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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 8: Racism and Identity in Black American Male Sports History


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Organized sports competition in the U.S. dates back to ancient Greece and has evolved as follows: (1) Gaming in Colonial America became a form of socialization and leisure; (2) Recreation and sports in the Industrial Age became a hallmark for health and fitness; and (3) Sports became a profit-yielding entertainment enterprise in capitalist America. The identity of the black male athlete evolved because of this third change, and racism and exploitation characterized it.

The Development of Sports Competition in the Greek City-States

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