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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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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Dwornik, Isabel Ann. Title: Dreams and deception: Sports lure, racism, and young black males’ struggles in sports and education / Isabel Ann Dwornik. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2017. Series: Adolescent cultures, school and society; vol. 66 | ISSN 1091-1464 Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016030614 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3374-9 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3373-2 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1911-8 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-3792-1 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-3793-8 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: African American athletes. | Sports—United States. African American men—Education. | African American men—Race identity. Racism in sports—United States. | Discrimination in sports—United States. Classification: LCC GV583 .D94 2016 | DDC 796.0973—dc23 DOI: 10.3726/978-1-4539-1911-8 LC record available at

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2017 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006

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