Rafi Kohan in conversation with Carl Suddler - Trash Talk

Rafi Kohan in conversation with Carl Suddler - Trash Talk

Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023 7:00 PM

Manuel's Tavern
602 North Highland Avenue, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30307

A Cappella Books welcomes Atlanta-based writer and editor Rafi Kohan to Manuel's Tavern for a talk on his new book, "Trash Talk: The Only Book About Destroying Your Rivals That Isn't Total Garbage." Kohan will appear in conversation with author and Emory University history professor Carl Suddler.

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of "Trash Talk" will be available for purchase.

About the Book

"You're mad at me, but I am killing you."—NBA star Gary Payton

"Find the hate."—NFL star Warren Sapp

"Why can't you be more like Rafi Kohan?"—your mom, probably

Whether in basketball, football, or MMA, athletes talk trash to each other—and sometimes to fans—like it's their job. And in some ways, it is: sports only matter if we decide to care about them. And insulting your opponent, or playing the heel, is probably the fastest route to making someone care. Talking smack is as old as the bible; it's perhaps the original sport.

But until now, there's never been a book about it.

In this lively, often hilarious history, Rafi Kohan interviews some of the world's top competitors—on the petty rivalries and mind games that fuel them. He talks to point guards and soccer strikers, cricketers and insult comedians, forming a theory along the way about the surprising and influential role that name-calling plays in our world.

Brilliantly original and wide-ranging, "Trash Talk" is a book for sports fans, culture mavens, or anyone looking to get an edge.

About the Author

Rafi Kohan is an Atlanta-based writer and editor. His first book, The Arena, was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing. Previously, he has served as deputy editor at the New York Observer and as executive editorial director for the Atlantic's creative studio, Re:think. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including GQ, Men's Journal, Rolling Stone, The Ringer, and the Wall Street Journal.

About the Conversation Partner

Carl Suddler is an associate professor of history at Emory University. His publications, teaching, and public scholarship have placed him among a small number of African-American scholars who study the intersections of Black life, crime, and sports since the late nineteenth century. Suddler's first book, "Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York" (2019), is widely used in college and graduate classrooms across the country.

In 2021, Suddler worked with Harvard University's Global Sports Initiative to help professional athletes become more informed on how to maximize their platforms to contribute to social justice efforts across the globe. With his recent op-eds and articles in outlets such as the Washington Post, Bleacher Report, HuffPost, and Brookings Institute, Suddler has built a name for himself outside of the academy. His expertise is in high demand from scholarly communities and media outlets such as CNN, ABC News, Al Jazeera, Black News Channel, and NPR.

In addition to a number of public-facing projects, Suddler is currently working on a second book project, tentatively titled "No Way Out: The Carceral Boundaries of Race and Sports," which uncovers the hidden fingerprints of police power in sports over the past 150 years and tells the stories of how Black athletes have been forced to navigate the constantly growing police presence in their daily lives..