(1) Can you tell ZNet, please, what your new book, “What’s My Name Fool?”, is about?
What’s My Name Fool? sports and resistance in the United States (Haymarket Books) is an effort to reveal the hidden history of radical politics in US pro sports, both in the past and the present. It’s an attempt to recall this history for a new generation of both sports fans who hate politics. activists who hate sports, and the athletes themselves.
(2) Can you tell ZNet something about writing the book? Where does the content come from? What went into making the The start of this book began
It started with a column I wrote for the Prince George’s Post – an African-American owned community newspaper in Maryland – called Edge of Sports. I wanted to write the sports column that I wanted to see, something political and edgy that also appreciated what is beautiful and exciting about the sports themselves. At first, one could have fit the readership in a phone booth. But I posted it to the World Wide Web – thanks to the web design skills of artist Nico Berry â€“ and I found that there were other people – thousands of them â€“ like me who were sports fans but completely alienated from both the apolitical and even right wing way sports are sold. Haymarket Books Publishers thought so too, so we now have a book that charts the historical tradition of radicalism and sports, and brings it up to date to today.
(3) What are your hopes for “What’s My Name, Fool?”
What do you hope it will contribute or achieve, politically? Given the effort and aspirations you have for the book, what will you deem to be a success? What would leave you happy about the whole undertaking? What would leave you wondering if it was worth all the time and effort
My hopes are that it will be be a way to give political support and a sense of tradition to today’s athletic soul rebels like Etan Thomas, Toni Smith, and Steve Nash. It also can be a way to connect with fans who love sports but hate the political baggage that accompanies it. I feel like the book will be a success if it gets an honest hearing beyond the left and in the broader sports living society as a whole. It was already worth eveyr drop of blood, sweat, and tears, because I have gotten to meet a lot of people grateful that they are not alone in thinking these thoughts.
I am also grateful that the book has confirmed for me that just because we have a right wing mass culture doesn’t mean we have a society brainwashed by these ideas. People want to see a better world, but feel incapacitated and isolated about how to accomplish this. If talking sports gets a layer of folks thinking about prospects for social justice and change, then it was very well worth it.