Author Talk: Johnny Smith

Author Talk  Johnny Smith's Umpman  The Making And Meaning Of Michael Jordan
atlanta history center
Monday November 27, 2023 07:00 PM EST
Cost: Free-$31

From the venue:

Johnny Smith is the author of Jumpman: The Making and Meaning of Michael Jordan, exploring how Michael Jordan’s path to greatness was shaped by race, politics, and the consequences of fame. To become the most revered basketball player in America, it wasn’t enough for Michael Jordan to merely excel on the court. He also had to become something he never intended: a hero.

Reconstructing the defining moment of Jordan’s career — winning his first NBA championship during the 1990-1991 season — sports historian Johnny Smith examines Jordan’s ubiquitous rise in American culture and the burden he carried as a national symbol of racial progress. Jumpman reveals how Jordan maintained a “mystique” that allowed him to seem more likable to Americans who wanted to believe race no longer mattered. In the process of achieving greatness, he remade himself into a paradox: universally known, yet distant and unknowable. Blending dramatic game action with grand evocations of the social forces sweeping the early nineties, Jumpman demonstrates how the man and the myth together created the legend we remember today.

Online ticket sales will close at 5 p.m. on the day of the event; however, tickets can still be purchased at the door. The event will be hosted at Woodruff Auditorium, located inside McElreath Hall. Doors and cash bar open at 6 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/event/johnny-smith/

More information


72b18 Swan House Magnum
130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 814-4000