magic johnson

Magic Johnson returns to the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., where he once played, in ‘The Announcement’ on ESPN.

*Author and social commentator Toure’ has written an interesting piece on Earvin Magic Johnson at Time.com.

The story points out how Johnson – like Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, John Carlos, Tommy Smyth, Curt Flood, Arthur Ashe and others – became an activist in the personal-as-political sense; he did something radical and necessary that altered America forever. He changed the way we see AIDS.

Magic the player did not seem to suggest the activist who was coming. He was too much of a happy performer to signal that. He played during the rise of hiphop, when the air was filled with the defiant spirit of Run-DMC and revolutionary energy of Public Enemy. But Magic recalled Louis Armstrong by playing like a genius while smiling wide and bright. Yet maybe the roots of Magic’s more political period were there all along. He was a leader. He was a revolutionary—he changed the way the point guard position was played. He was someone who brought people together—not just his teammates but the whole building. And, Magic was a crossover star loved by people who were non-Laker fans and non-basketball fans. I wonder if God thought, Who could get this virus and somehow turn it into a blessing? Magic sensed that He had. Shortly after he was told he was HIV positive he said, “God gave me this disease. He gave it to the right person.”

We hear that in a touching, sensitive, gripping new ESPN documentary called “The Announcement,” directed by Nelson George. It premieres Sunday, March 11 (at 9pm E/P)  and tells the story of Magic and AIDS, a transformative relationship for him and for us.

Read/learn more at Time.com.