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Publisher's Summary

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s deeply personal essay explores racial conflict through the prism of his childhood and the influence of his father, a police officer who walked the beat between two worlds.

Growing up in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar listened to jazz, watched Jackie Robinson at Ebbets Field, and saw a Black pop-culture icon in a TV western. It kick-started Kareem’s interest in a rich history erased by white educators. It also sparked his activism. During these years, as Kareem struggled with racism, visibility, and justice, his father’s presence loomed large with purpose. He was a Black cop weathering a complicated conflict of loyalties during the most tumultuous civil rights upheaval the country had ever been through. Now, at a time when his powerful voice is needed the most, Kareem shares his unique perspective from the front lines of sixty years of social change, not just as an activist, but as a son, an athlete, a writer, and a Black man in America.

©2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Narrator JD Jackson gives listeners a talented portrayal of the preteen Kareem, who doesn't understand his father's friendly persona at work because at home he is quiet and he wants quiet around him.... Listeners hear disappointment and confusion vibrate in every word Jackson delivers. The brevity of this piece would make it difficult for any narrator without Jackson's skills to give listeners a full performance, complete with character portrayals. Jackson's superb presentation succeeds in doing just that.” (AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner)

“In Black Cop’s Kid, [Abdul-Jabbar] eloquently explores the contrasts of learning about his father’s experiences as an officer and being a curious Black child during an era of widespread unrest....” (Blavity)

What listeners say about Black Cop's Kid

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Unexpected connected to my current study.

The book introduced me to a Kareem Abdul Has bar that I did not know. I am grateful for the introduction. I will explore more works by him..

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interesting

So I'm not one to follow sports. I recognized Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's name as a sports person, but that was the extent of my knowledge of him. This essay has me searching out all his works (fiction and non-fiction) because it was so well written and thought out.

I enjoyed learning about his take on law enforcement and why it's complicated. Since finishing this essay, I've already looked him up on social media, followed him on Twitter, and read several of his recent articles on substack. I'm interested in all of his writings!

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Thoughtful and Compelling

Kareem Abdul Jabar is a fine writer and thinker and citizen. I enjoyed his essay very much, as I have enjoyed and profited from some of his previous writings. He knows what questions to ask and provides a view into his own and others’ attempts to answer those questions. A pleasure to read, a pleasure to contemplate.

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Timely Story

It was good to learn about what shaped and motivated Kareem’s life. His quiet yet strong father as his role model certainly fed his passion for justice and equality.

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I’m a black cop

I understand what his father is going through. It’s a shame we have to be two people to exist. This book is eye opener for all blacks who want to be police officers and to break this pattern and stand strong by our convictions and not the job or succumb to peer pressure. Great book!!

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Love the aubile .

Touched home. It captivated my feelings on the times and subjects. I will tell people to give it a listen.

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Very intelligent and knowledgeable prospective

Very good and shows how things haven't changed for black people in all these years.

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Really loved this!

This was so good and revealing. Think again if you believe blacks are treated the same under the law as whites. It is a sad commentary on this country that we've advanced so little to remedy this injustice.

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  • Barnickal
  • 10-07-21

Brilliantly written and insightful

Kareem has a unique insight into being black in America that is both fascinating and important.