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Boyhood to Manhood

Deconstructing Black Masculinity through a Life Span Continuum


Edited By C. Spencer Platt, Darryl B. Holloman and Lemuel W. Watson

Boyhood to Manhood: Deconstructing Black Masculinity through a Life Span Continuum seeks to foster an open and honest discussion about the intersection of multiple identities found among Black males. The book explores topics such as what it means to be a Black male; race and ethnicity; health; [dis]ability; athletics; socioeconomic status; historical accounts; employment; religion and sexual identity. Many Black men share the experience of being members of cultures that are guided by strict gendered norms. These norms often require men to conform to «masculine» behaviors, which may increase their levels of risk-taking behavior, anxiety and fear of being ostracized should they fail to display the appropriate «male» skill sets. The ability to explore and embrace other possibilities for the ways that men can construct their personal and professional realities helps to enhance and broaden the ways in which men live their lives and seek opportunities. The qualitative, quantitative and historical data presented in this book provide new understandings of the experiences, roles and perspectives of Black men.
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Chapter Three: All Eyes on Me: High-Profile African American Male Student-Athletes’ Social Transition into Predominantly White Institutions of Higher Education




African American male student-athletes are perhaps the most recognizable students at predominantly White NCAA Division I institutions. While their prominence is already high because they are one of the most visible historically underrepresented groups on campus, they are also frequently featured on television, radio, Internet, and other media outlets, making them stand out even more (Person, Benson-Quaziena, & Rogers, 2001). Despite accounting for only 9% of the total males enrolled in NCAA Division I colleges and universities, African American male student-athletes make up 30% of all the male student-athletes on athletic scholarship (NCAA, 2014a). Often, the most common image of the African American male student is the African American male student-athlete. Thus, due to their prominence in the media and campus culture, the choices they make and the things they do both on and off the field or court are highlighted and criticized openly and often.

Much of the prior literature on African American male student-athletes has suggested that these individuals have been exploited for their athletic ability and ← 43 | 44 → that their athletic participation often hinders their ability to reap many of the positive educational benefits of attending college (Edwards, 1984; Eitzen, 2009; Hawkins, 2001; Sailes, 1986). Scholars have used a number of theoretical frameworks to explain why academic outcomes are hindered. For example, a number of scholars have employed conflict theory to explain the reason for the academic issues of student-athletes in the major revenue-producing sports of...

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