The 16th Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472 by Rubin Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What does it take to make someone a great fighter like Rubin "Hurricane" Carter? This book might tell you what it takes and then a whole lot more. THe book will definitely tel you what it is like to ba an African American growing up in racist New Jersey. You see it was this hard life pelted with racism that made the Hurricane who he was. Born a fighter coming out of the womb, he was the son to a Lutheran preacher who was rather strict around the house. Hurricane one time saw someone stealing his families coal, and beating up one of his brothers, so Hurricane beat him up. Instead of being praised for defending the coal his father punished Hurricane without even hearing his side of the story .
Hurricane's father would later move to a nicer house in a crappier neighborhood . It was here that Hurricane would get introduced to the Apaches. THe local neighborhood gang which would organize fights with rival gangs and steal clothes . It was on one of these occasions where Hurricane had stolen a bunch of clothes that his father turned him in to the cops. This got his feet wet in the juvenile system and exp[osed him t the racism inherent in our nation's legal system. Later in his young life Huirricane and his friends would be hanging around a local river when a local pervert tried to molest Hurricane and a few friends. It turned out that Hurricane ends up stabbing the pervert which results in him getting incarcerated till he was 21. In the system Hurricane details and explains how racist the system is with prison guards and cops constants i9nsulting African AMericans, using racial epithets , and down right cruel physical abuse. The guards are sadistic and they are extra mean to African AMericans. White prisoners were not subjected to such treatment, in fact it is the cops who get off and making African AMerican lives difficult and would not lose sleep if they killed one.
Hurricane would later join the military after escaping the facility . He became a paratreooper and discovered the Muslim faith. It was in the military that he discovered his love for boxing and what he was meant to do. Upon returning to the states he would get incarcerated again for the crime of doing nothing. Later in his frustration he would pick pocket someone's purse and get locked up for a nether three years. It was here that he honed his desire to become a prize fighter.
THE world of prize fighting is not as pretty as ne might think. Promoters make the money while the fighter gets cheated and ripped off. A promoter will use a fighter until they are no good and then throw them to the proverbial scrap yard when they can fight no longer. Things are even worse if you are African AMerican.
Things culminate for Hurricane when he is accused of a triple murder he did not commit. Reading his account of what happened will give you insight into how cruel our system was and perhaps still is to African AMericans. The clear intent of the state was to lock up and possibly kill Rubin Carter. He was outspoken in telling his people to defend themselves against white cop oppression . The trial was a pic circus and a =joke with so many mistakes from law enforcement it was sad. Great autobiography and after reading this you will feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game.
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