Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season

By David Shields | Go to book overview

10
THE SPACE BETWEEN US

4.27.95—The Sonics’ first playoff game is tonight. Payton, in his guest column for the Seattle Times, predicts, “It’ll be somebody and Utah for the Western Conference championship, and that somebody else will win it. I’m not going to say who that somebody is. I’ll give you a hint. It’s green and gold [the Sonics’ colors].” His bravado now rings in my ears as utterly pro forma and false.

As Paul and I are getting out of the car in the parking lot outside the Tacoma Dome, I realize I’ve forgotten the tickets. Laurie sweetly agrees, despite the relentless rain, to meet us halfway between Seattle and Tacoma at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport, where she gives us the $85 tickets and I hug Natalie, who informs me that she wants to fly high in the sky like a birdie. Paul and I virtually hydroplane back to the Tacoma Dome, missing only the first couple of minutes of the first quarter. It feels wonderful to experience in our own bodies—rather than vicariously through other people’s bodies—the adrenaline rush of going from gloom to joy.

At the insistence of the NBA, NBC, and TNT, the T-Dome’s overhead klieg lights have been turned off and twenty-four lamps have been added courtside; the effect is to make the court seem the site of imminent,

-198-

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Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Introduction vii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Contents xix
  • Author's Note xxi
  • 1 - America Upside Down 1
  • 2 - Everyone Else Is They 26
  • 3 - Proof of My Own Racism 53
  • 4 - The Beautiful and the Useful 73
  • 5 - Converting Our Self­ Loathing to Hatred 97
  • 6 - History Is Just a Rumor Somewhere out There 114
  • 7 - An Agony of Enthralldom 129
  • 8 - Can You Feel Now What Power Feels Like? 154
  • 9 - History Is Not Just a Rumor Somewhere out There 175
  • 10 - The Space between Us 198
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