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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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The idea for this book originated under the tutelage of many exceptional educators at the State University of New York at Binghamton: Professor Lawrence C. Stedman guided me through the original writing of the manuscript and Professor Joseph DeVitis helped me to convert it into a book. I am also grateful to Dean Kenneth Teitelbaum, Dean Linda Irwin-DeVitis, Professor E. Wayne Ross, and Professor Sue Crowley, who inspired me to write about this educational issue.

Additional thanks goes out to series editors Joseph DeVitis and Linda Irwin-DeVitis for taking an interest in my work, former managing director Chris Myers, senior vice president Dr. Farideh Koohi-Kamali, director of production Bernadette Shade, and all of the outstanding professionals at Peter Lang Publishing for their expert amenities and for making my experience as a first-time author so enjoyable.

A warm thank you to my dear friends Ellen Boesenberg and Mohamed Aly whose insights have enriched my thinking and whose support enabled me to complete this book, and to Tom Williams whose friendship and camaraderie in Christ inspired me to keep the Spirit alive throughout this endeavor.

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