Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, with 38,387 points. He’s now 65. But once upon a time he was just another black kid growing up in Manhattan.
In New York magazine’s great “Childhood in New York” issue, he talks about moving from Harlem to Inwood and being among the first black people in the neighborhood. His mom was harassed at the supermarket because the manager insisted she was shoplifting, and there was a constant fear he’d get beaten up en route to school by the Irish kids.
“I remember I saw a man get out of a Rolls-Royce—the man was Caucasian, and his driver was black. I said to the driver, “I’m gonna have a car like that one day.”