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Books > Religion & Spirituality > 0231177283
  1. Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball
    Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball
    Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball
    Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball
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  2. Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (8 reviews)
    Price R678.00

Additional Information

J-Rod moves like a small 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 each 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. He shows that 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 ballplayers are half-men, half-heroes, defying the ghetto's limitations with their flights to the basket.

Basketball is popular among young black American men but not because, as many claim, they are "pushed by poverty" or "pulled" by white institutions to play it. Black men choose to participate in basketball because of the transcendent experience of the game. Through interviews with and observations of urban basketball players, Onaje X. O. Woodbine composes a rare portrait of a passionate, committed, and resilient group of athletes who use the court to mine what urban life cannot corrupt. If people turn to religion to reimagine their place in the world, then black streetball players are indeed the hierophants of the asphalt.

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Onaje X. O. Woodbine
Columbia University Press
Columbia University Press
Columbia University Press
Columbia University Press
Columbia University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Shortly after I heard Onaje X.O. Woodbine talk about the book on NPR, I ordered it. I am glad I did. As a sportswriter, I covered NCAA Division I college basketball in Los Angeles during the 1990s and had a great working relationship with some influential coaches in the Black Coaches Association. Through the lense of sports, I have seen first hand some of the harsh social inequities that Woodbine brilliantly chronicles. But I never could get the full picture. A former NCAA Division I player from the streets of Boston, Woodbine is, perhaps, the only person who could have written this book, which gives a voice to the voiceless and allows these men to explain how basketball is a lived religion. Thank you, sir. I look forward to the screen play and will use excerpts of this book that fuel discussions in my college-level media studies class. ... If you are thinking about buying this book, be forewarned that some of the stories will never truely leave you. Several times, I had to put the... Read more
This book is beautifully written with touching insights into the lives of many young inner city people. The case histories are so touching there were many times when I could not see because of my tears.
An interesting insight into an often unrecognized side to "ghetto life". Well written.
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