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Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement Paperback – Bargain Price, July 3, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Perennial ed edition (September 1, 2000)
  • ISBN-10: 0380813416
  • ASIN: B001PIHVRG
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,321,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With all the flair of his last-second game-winning sky hooks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar delivers a well-written and important collection highlighting the lives of America's greatest black heroes. Taking his title cue from John Kennedy's Profiles in Courage, Abdul-Jabbar brings to life the exploits of a wide variety of African Americans, including Estevanico, a Moorish slave who discovered Arizona and New Mexico; Cinque, a kidnapped African slave who led a mutiny aboard the slave ship Amistad and later won his freedom in the U.S.; and Harriet Tubman, who brought hundreds of slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

In a time when the media beams negative images of African Americans around the world, Black Profiles in Courage is indispensable for young adults of other races as well as African-American youth, showing that attributes like courage are not coded by color. For those young blacks who feel distant from America because of racism, books like this are a small but potent antidote against prejudice, reminding them of the important contributions African Americans have made to their country. --Eugene Holley, Jr. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

To provide role models for African Americans, particularly young people, retired basketball star Abdul-Jabbar (Giant Steps) and Steinberg (Behind the Mask) have crafted here interesting and nuanced accounts of heroic African Americans whose accomplishments changed U.S. history. Among them are the lives of the 16th-century Moroccan explorer Estevanico, Revolutionary War patriot Crispus Attucks, slave liberator Harriet Tubman, anti-slavery author Frederick Douglass, Western frontier marshal Bass Reeves and a riveting description of West African rice farmer Joseph Cinque, who led a rebellion on the slave ship Amistad in 1839. Although Abdul-Jabbar is highly critical of past and present racism in the U.S., he gives credit to the abolitionist movement and leaders such as William Lloyd Garrison for their efforts toward ending slavery. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 22 customer reviews
I found this book to be very informative and very well writen!
Richard C. Benbo
It has inspired me to do better and to make a positive influence on others.
sookie
Grandsons love reading the history they are denied in school!!!
A-Mo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
kareem is not only one of the greatest players of all-time but a very intelligent man.this book is a must for all.it's history that needed to be told.and i couldn't and wouldn't put it down.i recommend it for all.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By neolix on May 22, 2000
Format: Library Binding
Simply put, I love this book. I like the fact that it summarizes the lives of so many African Americans including the famous and the still unknown. I highly recommend this book to any reader seeking information about the lives and consequent impact of some of our heroes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sundiata Piankhi on July 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
What's more remarkable than the informative nature of this text is how it came to be...

An African American sport icon who gained success through one of the primary avenues African Americans have to reach affluence (sports and entertainment) just to use it as an avenue to actually uplift the intellectual level of his community. Well done!

I can't tell you how many tears it brings to my eyes to see a brother who achieve greatness through the stereotypical avenue of sports and actually use his greatness to do the truly great...uplift his people. Though there have been lists and books previous to his on the same subject, it has rarely been done by a person with such influence among youth, and for that I credit him unlike other past atheletes who simply use their stardom to sell grills, orange juice, or try and become rappers.

Peace to the God
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. S. Robb on May 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book in hardcover when it first came out and since then have bought several copies to give to other people, both black and white, both young and old. Without fail, this book has impacted people, and every one of them has told me how much they learned from this wonderful book.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did a masterful job in gathering these inspiring stories from what has been, unfortunately, the footnotes of history, if they were acknowledged at all. The achievements by black Americans and their contributions to this country have been largely ignored by historians until recently. And even today, many black Americans who were not taught as young people about their heritage remain oblivious to what should be a matter of great pride.

We have taken great steps to equalize human rights, but we still have a way to go to completely obliterate the racial prejudice many of us grew up with. Books like this by people with the stature of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will help get us to where we should be--respecting people of all races, colors and creeds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I thought I was pretty well informed on the subject of black history but that was an eye-opening book. Kareem did a great job with this book. I am proud to see a great athlete show his skills as a great scholar. Thanks for sharing these powerful profiles. I stand taller with this new knowledge of my heritage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard C. Benbo on October 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very informative and very well writen! I particularly enjoyed learning true historical facts that have long been misrepresented, or clouded with partial information. I highly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys history and is interested in learning truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Jenkins on November 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Let me begin with this: I liked "Black Profiles in Courage." Initially, I was disappointed in the tone of the work, but as I read further, I found many layers to the work, as well as the authors. Unfortunately, grammatical errors (which probably passed as "style," but are quite annoying) mar the overall work. Still, I would recommend this to most people, regardless of race, creed, political leaning, etc., as the tales contained are interesting in any capacity.

Unfortunately, many would-be readers will probably be put off by (what they perceive as) the angry tone of the work. I would strongly suggest to these people that they try to look deeper at the book, as there is a complexity present that might be missed. For example, Abdul-Jabbar's opinion of Thomas Jefferson provides nuance that is too often absent, even at the academic level. On the one hand, here was a man who wanted to abolish slavery, despite the fact that he owned slaves. And while Abdul-Jabbar may be disgusted at the latter fact, he proudly proclaims that Jefferson is an admirable man. It's a shame that such nuance is often absent in the American "black-and-white" (pun absolutely intended) worldview.

Moreover, the tales themselves are interesting. In particular, while I had heard of Crispus Attucks from my own high school history classes, I actually did not know that he was black. The tales of black patriots during the revolutionary and civil wars are full of the derring-do you would expect (my only gripe is that the tales are too short!). Of course, everything is tinged with a certain sadness, as you think of the fates that these people suffered, coupled with the fact that history has forgotten almost all of them.

I do deduct a star because of the numerous sentence fragments found in the work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KMAK4 on March 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
EXCITING BLACK ACHIEVEMENTS THAT WILL CAPTURE THE EYES & HEARTS OF BABYBOOMERS TO PRE-TEENS. I HAVE PURCHASED THIS DELIGHTFUL BOOK 5 TIMES & EACH TIME THAT I LOANED IT OUT, THE READERS WERE SO OVERWHELMED WITH THE CONTENT THAT THEY REFUSED TO RETURN THE BOOK TO ME. MR. JABBAR PRESENTS EACH CHARACTER WITH A BIT OF AN ATTITUDE THAT ENCOURAGES THE READER TO NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. MR. JABBAR CLEARLY DEMONSTRATES HOW HISTORIANS DELIBERATELY DELETED AFRICAN AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENTS FROM TRADITIONAL HISTORY BOOKS & HE MAKES SURE THE READER UNDERSTANDS THE OVERWHELMING OBSTACLES THAT EACH HERO IN THIS BOOK FACED ON A DAILY BASIS. THIS BOOK SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING IN MIDDLE SCHOOLS THROUGH COLLEGE. WELL DONE KAREEM!
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