Philadelphia

In celebration of Black History Month, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar presented his documentary “On the Shoulders of Giants” to Students of Bodine High School

Tuesday, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Skyhook Foundation, in conjunction with his alma mater UCLA and the National Council for the Social Studies, selected Bodine High School as the only school in the tri-state region to partake in a special program which focuses on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s “On the Shoulders of Giants” – a film-based educational program designed to increase knowledge and awareness among US high school students of the impact of the Harlem Renaissance and its leading figures in sports, music, literature and history. The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is the co-founder and co-sponsor of Bodine High School in cooperation with the School District of Philadelphia where students focus on a curriculum of global studies and foreign languages. Bodine is a Blue Ribbon School and home


for the third consecutive year to the Ruth Hayre Teacher of the Year.

Bodine Principal Dr. Ann B. Gardiner looks on as, er should I say up as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar addresses the students assembled. Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s height is 7 ft 1.625 in
Producer and Director Deborah Morales, of On the Shoulders of Giants answers questions from the students. She urged the kids to get into digital animation as it’s a high paying field. She knows she said, she had to pay the bills.After the film Kareem did a Q&A with the kids. I can assure you I would not be able to go head to head with these braniacs at Bodine. They were all asking intelligent questions regarding the film, how it was made, Civil Rights questions as well as the elephant in the room what it was like to be a professional basketball player? Bill Russell was always one of his role models, and one of the toughest players Kareem ever had to go up against was Overbrook’s Wilt Chamberlain. One kid did asked if he was born tall. He said he was average size but weighed 22lbs, which was pretty heavy for a baby but he grew into it tall, he said.

During the Q&A Kareem discusses how segregation affected him when he went to college.
After the film I caught up with Abdul-Jabbar in one of the classrooms. I asked him about the film and he said “The film has all the things I love, it has basketball, jazz music and the history of African-American people.” He likes the end product and believes it will be educational for everyone. Beginning today you can watch it on Demand on Comcast and Cox cables systems.
Check out the Jamie Foxx narrated trailer here: