While we can’t wait to get our hands on a copy, we do have the benefit of reviews (excerpts below), from trusted writers, which only heighten the interest. But first, an excerpt from Chapter 7, The Conveyor Belt:

“The Belt carries young black athletes out of black America and introduces them to a world with very few African-Americans, a world of white agents, real estate brokers, bank presidents, trustees, and lawyers. The fact that so many of the athletes’ closest advisers are not African-American means that they’re never around black models of leadership, a situation that undermines their own ability to become leaders, rather than pampered, passive followers.”

Syndicated writer Kam Williams writes in his review of Forty Million Dollar Slaves:

“Once upon a time, prominent African-American athletes were inclined to leverage their fame as a means of confronting racism…. But judging by today’s socially-unenlightened crop of sports icons, one might suspect that rich history of activism and advocating for the underclass to be more fairy tale than fact….

[Rhoden] concedes that most pros now make more money in one season than his childhood heroes could accumulate over the course of their entire careers. But he also argues that these financial rewards ought to translate into an even more effective advocacy bloc for African-American advancement. Yet instead, we have entered the age of the apolitical mega-star, carefully packaged products such as Michael Jordan who Rhoden says went to great lengths to cultivate a non-threatening, ever-neutral public image.”

In his review for the New York Times, William Goldstein — an American history professor at the University of Hartford and co-author of A Brief History of American Sports — writes of Forty Million Dollar Slaves:

“To Rhoden, this tale bursts with significance, illustrating, in turn: white people’s denial of black business ability while they continue to profit from black athletic skill; black athletes’ training in high school, college and the pros (what he calls the ‘Conveyor Belt’) to think only about individual success, never about a system that distributes power unequally; and how even today, professional basketball — controlled by whites, dependent on blacks (for the present) — resembles a plantation, albeit one on which the ‘slaves’ earn millions, as long as they don’t notice who’s running the show.”

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