Cuba Gooding Jr. Stars as Ben Carson

The cool thing about being an English major, or maybe just an avid lover of books in general, is that even if you haven’t read a certain book, you probably know a few things about: what the cover looks like, what the book is about, various people’s opinions on it, and sometimes even the decade/century/year of publication. Upon reading the news of today’s post, I couldn’t help but recall the story behind my first encounter with the book.

Sometimes when I tell guys that I like to read (and/or write), if they’re interested they’ll try to connect by announcing some book that they’re reading or that they’ve read recently. Well, while riding a train from the airport in Atlanta (a long time ago), a guy struck up a conversation with me and pulled out Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands. I did what I always do when somebody hands me a book. I looked at the cover, read the back summary, and asked for an opinion. I don’t remember the guys face or what else we talked about, but I remember that book. Never read it. Never purchased it . . . but I know the book.

I wonder why they decided to update Carson’s cover. When I searched for the book online, I thought to myself, that ain’t the cover that I remember! All that to say this:

Cuba Gooding Jr. has been cast as the lead in “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” a TNT original movie based on a memoir by the real-life neurologist, reports Reuters. Due in the first quarter of 2009, the film will trace Carson’s journey from frustrated inner-city kid to director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. It will air under TNT’s Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation banner. Thomas Carter, who directed the feature film “Coach Carter,” will direct “Gifted Hands” from a script by John Pielmeier.

Carson’s memoir begins with his childhood in a rough neighborhood of Detroit and his difficulties after his father “abandoned the family.” Encouraged by his mother, Carson wrote, he pushed himself to succeed in school even when faced with prejudice and negative peer pressure. His accomplishments led him to be named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which President Bush bestowed on Carson at a ceremony in June (Source).

If HBO produced the picture, I might have greater hope. However, that TNT stamp makes me wonder. Sure, you can argue that TNT has evolved into creating better programming—but I ain’t seen it! Can you name five shows that you enjoy watching on TNT? Personally, I would like Dr. Preston Burke (I. Washington) to star as Ben Carson instead of Radio (Cuba). That’s just me though. You know I like to hate, but I’m sure I’ll watch it. I just hope it’s better than Something the Lord Made starring Mos Def. Sigh.

Happy reading, ya’ll!


15 thoughts on “Cuba Gooding Jr. Stars as Ben Carson

  1. I saw an interview on BET (black entertainment Channel) with DR. Ben Carson in the 1990s. Dr. Carson said when he was in school the teachers out him in remedial classes because he was not intelligent enough. Now he has become a successful Doctor and is famous in the medical field. Dr. Ben Carson was the first medical Doctor to separate Siamese twins joined at the head and both twins lived.
    Other Doctors had separated twins joined together but only one lived, and some Doctors separated Siamese twins but both died.
    Dr. Carson separated two Siamese twins in the 1980s and both lived he was the first to do it and he is a black American. It was inspiring watching that interview with Dr. Carson. In the interview Carson said he is so busy as a Doctor that he has to plan family trips, and family time with the kids to do family things in advance due to his busy schedule. That was one of the best interviews that I had ever seen.
    I have been so busy at the mixed race website MGmix you how it is when you have more than one website, and try to update both.
    Good post Naysue, and hope you have been doing well and swell.


  2. I think the publisher changed the cover in the last year or so, to match Dr Carson’s more recent book (it’s also in a Trade Paperback size as opposed to the smaller mass market one with the ‘classic’ cover).

    I liked Mos Def in _Something the Lord Made_ actually, but agree: HBO or another channel would make me less concerned than TNT


  3. Cuba Gooding Jr.?! Oh no, say it ain’t so! (smile) I read GIFTED HANDS back in day. Great story. Even though I’d prefer to see someone other than Gooding play Dr. Carson (I. Washington would be my pick too), the fact that Thomas Carter is directing gives me hope.


  4. Hey… when you get a chance can you recommend me some goooood books. like a book you can’t put down. i work in a library! imagine that… and i read a lot.. and i just want some recommendations…

    i’ve already read your recommendations. I just finished October Suite which was really good. I usually like books told from a black womans perspective.. but i open to any really good book.


  5. Zakiya, do you want a recent publication or can it be something from another century? Does it have to be African-American or can it be any other ethnicity? What have you read that I already recommended (other than October Suite)? Did you see my listing of favorites to the right?


  6. I don’t think people should count Cuba out so soon. He has the talent to really pull this off. I can’t see Isaiah Washington playing the part. He’s good but, i just can’t see it. *Keeps fingers crossed.


  7. Isn’t Isaiah Washington is still trying to come from under that unfortunate homophobic black cloud he cast?
    I don’t count Cuba out at all. He’s just so…extra.
    I thought it was normal practice for a book’s cover to be changed when a movie version comes out…just something I’d noticed.


  8. Beautiful movie.

    Question: Who is the composer of the classical tune that plays as Dr. Carson observes Cynthia, the girl who had seizures?


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