Hoop Roots is a very illuminating book. First of all, it is non-fiction, so no nice novel-like stories here (one wouldn't have expected that from Wideman anyway). Wideman speaks here, setting out and recurring to the history and current situation of basketball in the US, pro as well as playground type. From there he ventures forth into all sorts of areas, from his personal biography (relation to his grandma) to that of others (mostly he dips into the biographies of black basketball greats), to his understanding of writing and of being a writer, and to the situation of underprivileged blacks in a society determined by white economic and ideological factors. As always with Wideman, he challenges the society which onthe one hand made him great as a uni teacher and author and on the other hand suppresses many blacks like his brother Robby. Again, there is this black essence, this vigorous black, almost anti-white voice in this book, which also permeated his previous works and which is, probably; at the very heart of Wideman's success. All in all, this is a great book which will give many insights (from the black perspective of course) into modern American society and the forces at play in the tension-filled continuum of black and white.