Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the 1964 Harlem Uprising

Chuck Modiano
Apr 5, 2019 - 7:30

“Everybody knows me. I’m the big basketball star, the weekend hero, everybody’s All-American,” 20-year-old UCLA star Lew Alcindor, known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after 1971, told a packed conference of 200 attendees in November 1967. He explained his reasons for boycotting the 1968 Olympics. “Last summer I was almost killed by a racist cop shooting at a Black cat in Harlem,” continued Abdul-Jabbar. “He was shooting on the street — where masses of Black people were standing around or just taking a walk. But he didn’t care. After all we were just a bunch of n—. I found out last summer . . . We catch hell because we are Black. Somewhere each of us has got to...

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