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Dreams and Deception

Sports Lure, Racism, and Young Black Males' Struggles in Sports and Education


Isabel Ann Dwornik

This book helps young black males, educators, policy makers, parents, and all other interested parties to understand the importance of education alongside athletic pursuits. In the world today, many young black males view athletic participation as the way to secure a successful future. Yet for the majority of them, dreams of playing professional sports rarely pan out. Many end up returning to a life of poverty as a result of the sports lure which deceives them and entices them to focus exclusively on athletic talent at the expense of their education. This book presents a social historical and critical deconstruction introducing readers to this sports lure, revealing what makes it so powerful in the lives of these youths. As Isabel Ann Dwornik documents, centuries-worth of racism in the United States is at the core of this phenomenon, which has affected the academic identity development of black male youths and has discouraged them from taking full advantage of their schooling.

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Chapter 1: Garnering Awareness of Sports Lure


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A Look Back

“Syracuse University was officially chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education. Its mission is to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and service” (“Anthony presents donation,” n.d., para. 13). Though best known for its cutting-edge graduate school programs, Syracuse’s noteworthy college basketball championships and football bowl victories turned it into a big-time sports powerhouse attracting a large fan base and generating profit from significant ticket sales despite frequent exposure from media broadcasts. Many Syracuse University athletes have gone on to play professionally, which reveals the depth of commitment this excellent institution has made to sports. I highlight it here to provide a context for my personal reflections.

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