In this edition of The Roland Martin Show we talk with Onaje X. O. Woodbine, author of Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop and Street Basketball about the spiritual connection between so many African American men and the game of hoops.
J-Rod moves like a small battle tank on the court, his face mean, staring down his opponents. “I play just like my father,” he says. “Before my father died, he was a problem on the court. I’m a problem.” Playing basketball for him fuses past and present, conjuring his father’s memory into a force that opponents can feel in every bone-snapping drive to the basket. On the street every ballplayer has a story. Onaje X. O. Woodbine, a former streetball player who became an All-Star Ivy Leaguer, brings the sights and sounds, hopes and dreams of street basketball to life. Big games have a trickster figure and a master of black talk whose commentary interprets the game for audiences. The beats of hip-hop and reggae make up the soundtrack, and the ball players are half-men, half-heroes, defying the ghetto’s limitations with their flights to the basket.
Rev. William Barber discusses the power of Moral Monday’s and how the movement should be molded across the United States to do what Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. suggested be done decades ago. Rev. Jackson argued issues that cause poor White voters, Conservatives and others to realize that “we thought that was a Black thing when actually it’s a people thing.”
Listen to Levar Burton’s sat down with White House Sr. Advisor Valerie Jarret Valerie Jarrett for a Q&A regarding the History Channel’s retelling of Alex Haley’s Roots.
Then listen to Joshua DuBois’ panel discussion addressing who African Americans really are and our history in the United States.
All that and more in this edition of “The Roland Martin Show” Audio Podcast.