Police Brutality and White Supremacy

The Fight Against American Traditions.
Edge of Sports. Jan. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781636140568. $18.95. Political Science
Harlem-born retired NBA player Thomas follows his much-acclaimed book We Matter: Athletes and Activism with this exploration of white supremacy in the United States, focusing particularly on contemporary police brutality. Like his previous book, this volume is built on wide-ranging interviews. Thomas opens each of his 11 chapters with personal commentary, followed by transcripts of his conversations with current and former NBA and WNBA stars, coaches, team owners, sports journalists, and others. The deeply personal and revealing conversations cover police brutality incidents like New York’s 1989 Central Park Five case, the 1991 LAPD beating of Rodney King, and George Floyd’s 2020 murder by Minneapolis police. Other topics include the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the complicity of Christian churches, schools, and the media in white supremacy’s origins and persistence. Thomas seeks practical solutions to police brutality and stresses the importance of Black solidarity and white allyship. The book closes with a poem by Thomas’s son Malcolm.
VERDICT Thomas’s interviews demand careful reading by all who want to expose racism, hold police accountable, and create an American society that practices social justice.
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