Reading Together 2017: What You Need to Know

Feb 24, 2017

Credit Kalamazoo Public Library

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, is well-known for his feats on the court. But did you know that, as a high-school reporter, he covered the late Martin Luther King Jr. at a press conference? And he's been writing ever since. Abdul-Jabbar shares this story and more in his new book, "Writings on the Wall: Searching for A New Equality Beyond Black and White," which is the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together selection this year.

Reading Together Book 2017
Credit Kalamazoo Public Library

Abdul-Jabbar will deliver a free talk about his book at 7 p.m. March 14 at Miller Auditorium on the Western Michigan University campus. On today's Arts & More show, WMUK's Earlene McMichael unpacks that book and interesting details about Abdul-Jabbar's writing life in an interview with Kalamazoo Public Library Director Ann Rohrbaugh and Reading Together Coordinator Karen Trout. One such detail is that Abdul-Jabbar has written 12 books, both non-fiction and fiction and many about historical topics.

While some community read programs in other cities have ended, Reading Together will be marking its 15th milestone anniversary in March. Rohrbaugh and Trout tell McMichael that one of the keys to its success is choosing good books that also have the potential for lively public discussions, often with themes dealing with social issues, such as autism, farming, immigration, Vietnam veterans and public art. On this, its milestone year, the Reading Together program is addressing race relations through Abdul-Jabbar's book that explores it in essays on nine subject areas, ranging from religion and gender to senior citizens. 

To find a "Writings on the Wall" book discussion, click here.


Hear about the overall history of the Reading Together program by clicking on the icon below for a longer interview with Kalamazoo Public Library Director Ann Rohrbaugh and Reading Together Coordinator Karen Trout. It aired Thursday on WMUK's WestSouthwest public-affairs show.