A new book about Michael Jordan, titled Michael Jordan: The Life hit shelves Tuesday. It details everything from Jordan's basketball career, to allegations of sexual abuse within his family and dealing with racism while growing up in Wilmington.
The book explains that Michael Jordan moved to Wilmington just in time to start kindergarten in 1968. It was a very racially tense time in the Port City, something the book claimed Jordan discussed later. The book said:
Many years later in Chicago, Jordan would confide to Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach that the circumstances were difficult, that he felt a sense of isolation and pain as one of two black players on his youth baseball teams.
In the book Jordan said watching the show Roots in 1977 opened up his eyes and changed the way he viewed everything. The book quoted Jordan saying the following:
I was very ignorant about it initially, but I really opened my eyes about my ancestors and the things they had to deal with.
The book goes on to say, quote:
He hadn't had any overwhelming personal experience with racism, he would explain later. But the knowledge of America's ugly past was so infuriating, it occupied his mind. Everywhere he turned there were things he hadn't noticed before, things that only raised more questions about racism and injustice and how it all affected his own family.
Jordan also described what happened in that same year, 1977, when a girl at school called Jordan the n-word. The book said the following:
I threw a soda at her, [Jordan] recalled. It was a very tough year. I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at that time. Basically, I was against all white people.
Jordan said he was suspended for the incident. In the book, Jordan said it was his parents who helped him deal with the racism. The book quotes Jordan saying the following:
"The education came from my parents," Jordan recalled. "You have to be able to say, OK, that happened back then. Now let's take it from here and see what happens. It would be very easy to hate people for the rest of your life, and some people have done that. You've got to deal with what's happening now and try to make things better."
The book also included funny stories about Jordan's childhood, and how he reportedly tried to make himself taller by hanging from a bar in his backyard for hours and putting salt in his shoes. It also talks about how he didn't make the varsity team his freshman year at Laney High School.
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