10 Questions for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Basketballer and history buff Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on writing, records and working for State

Javier Sirvent for TIME

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Correction Appended: Feb. 22, 2012

Your new book, What Color Is My World?, is about inventors. Why inventors?
I wanted to pick a subject that would really surprise people. Most people in the world, including black Americans, don't think of black Americans as inventors of anything.

Was there a particular inventor you found really interesting?
Lewis Latimer. He did Alexander Graham Bell's patent-application drawings, and then he went on to invent the filament for the lightbulb.

... I was hoping you'd go with Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the Super Soaker.
I've never had the opportunity...

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