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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 9: The Shaping of Black Male Identity


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So, in our view identity is emergent. That is to say, it is to be understood in terms of its history and situation. There are strong spatial and temporal lines to the degree to which self and identity are fixed. They change with time and ambiance. Thus, skills and identities are not primordial, given in an irrevocable act of special creation. No one is born with either a self or an identity; they emerge interactively in a real “here and now.”

—Dyke & Dyke (2002, p. 68)

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