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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 7: Repercussive Racism


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In the early 19th century, the British ordered the end of the slave trade, though it took many years to complete the process, ending with the near annihilation of African civilization. By 1811, slave trading was a felony; by 1824, it was outright piracy; by 1833, it ended officially; and by 1842, England and the U.S. enacted a treaty to end it legally (Blake, 1858/1969, p. 303). In America, Southern plantation owners perpetuated slavery through internal trading and inbreeding because, it was “one of the most approved methods for increasing agricultural capital” (Franklin, 1974, p. 132). Slavery finally ended with a Northern victory in the Civil War in 1865, and Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation became the edict for the states that had originally fought against it. Still, the lingering scars of slavery have penetrated American society so pervasively that the psyche of black Americans has been unduly transformed (hooks, 2003). Many of them continue to battle its residual effects and subsequent racism today (West, 2001).

Albert Memmi (1971) defined racism as “the generalized and final assigning of values to real or imaginary difference, to the accuser’s benefit and at the victim’s expense, in order to justify the former’s own privileges or aggression” (p. 185). And, as Memmi (2000) added, “racism is always both a discourse and an action; it is a discourse that prepares an action, and an action that legitimates ← 99 | 100 → itself through a discourse” (p....

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