Writings on the Wall by Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Reading Together

When we read together, we grow together.
Read and discuss Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White with people from all walks of life.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Meet the Author: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar »

  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017
  • 7 pm - 9 pm
  • Miller Auditorium, 2200 Auditorium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Free event; General admission, no ticket required
  • Books may be purchased at the event

Please RSVP »

Free General Admission (no reserved seats; no ticket required)

Please RSVP with a unique name and email address for each person who plans to attend (so we know how many people to expect - this does not guarantee a seat).

Group RSVPs - For groups larger than 10, please call 269-553-7895

Reading Together Events

Writings on the Wall: Overview and Discussion »

Several Overview and Discussion events will be held at locations throughout the community, facilitated by Reading Together Steering Committee members, volunteers, or librarians. Choose one that is convenient for you and participate in a conversation about Writings on the Wall in its entirety. Learn more...

Writings on the Wall: Dig Deeper - Chapter by Chapter »

In addition, a sort of "progressive book discussion" has been organized throughout the month of March whereby each chapter of the book will be explored in more depth in an interactive discussion facilitated by one or more local experts. Participate in as many Dig Deeper events as you'd like. Learn more...

Community Events »

Just like Kalamazoo Public Library and this year's Reading Together events, the greater Kalamazoo community is responding to current issues in our country in a variety of ways. We invite you to seek out other ways you can participate in these local events. Learn more...

Recovering 15 Years of Reading Together »New!


The entries are in! Vote now through Monday, February 27 for your top three choices. Winners will be announced at Art Hop on Friday, March 3 at Central Library. Art Hop begins at 7 pm. The top ten Reading Together recovers will be exhibited as part of the Recovering the Classics display on March 3. Learn more...

Reading Together Blog


Why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

At a recent Reading Together book discussion, I was asked, “Why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? What’s so special about this book when there are so many good books to choose from?” As I responded to the question, I was reminded that not everyone shares my librarian’s perspective about this author. 

Author, you say? Isn’t Kareem Abdul-Jabbar best known for being the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and six-time NBA champion? And of course, he is known for those achievements on the basketball court.

You might be surprised to know, however, that he is also the author of at least twelve books, including Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement (1996); Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes (2005); and What Color is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors(2013). His fiction titles include Mycroft Holmes for adults,  as well as Streetball Crew for middle graders. Writings on the Wall was published in 2016 and a new book, Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court will be released this May.

In addition to his books, Abdul-Jabbar has also become a regular contributor to the Washington Post and Time Magazine, where he shares his views on modern-day topics, from the parallels between Game of Thrones and the 2016 presidential election to patriotism in sports. He is the chairman of his Skyhook Foundation whose mission is to “give kids a shot that can’t be blocked,” by bringing educational STEM opportunities to underserved communities through innovative outdoor environmental learning. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016.

In other words, not only is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a national sports hero, he is also a respected cultural commentator, with a lot to say about social and political concerns facing our world today. In Writings on the Wall, he offers his views about a number of potentially divisive issues, and most importantly, offers suggestions for how we might resolve them. That is precisely what makes the book ideal for a “common read” initiative like Reading Together: It provides a built-in springboard for discussion that we believe can help bring people together from a common point of reference. 

We hope you’ll join the conversation!

Karen Trout, Reading Together Coordinator

Reading Together Steering Committee


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