Youth Education, Sports Icons and Community Leadership


Today, it’s all about being “cool” or “hip.” It’s about imparting the right “image”, approximately being able to galvanize the girls or one’s friends. It’s approximately making the group, about being the best-looking participant at the basketball court or soccer subject, the dude with the snazzy haircut or braids, or gangster style tattoo, or Fubu outfit, or steeply-priced Nike trainers, or gold chains, or earrings, or disheveled pants, or sports activities vehicle.

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Of direction girls are not immune, they too are enticed with “bribes” of precise times and being pregnant! But it is usually our boys – the following technology of Black guys – which can be in real and in a few cases mortal danger. It might be an overstatement to say that sports activities can be seen as a new shape of mental and physical slavery. But is it? It’s probably actual to say that because it’s miles appealing and related to stardom, that sports exert a powerful have an effect on our adolescents and that during some respects its impact is insidious.

Okay, you are saying, allow’s preserve matters in the right attitude. Is no point scaremongering right? After all, it is most effective a sport. And can we certainly offload this sports activities issue onto the media moguls, sports activities magnates or fashion homes? Accepted, they do have the electricity and the have an effect on but are not we those who willingly buy their merchandise, their services and who permit ourselves to be used?

As effective as the media is; as seductive because the entice of on the spot achievement via Nike trainers or an NBA or NFL settlement would possibly seem, the fact is that most dad and mom and youngsters are not stuck up by the hype or fooled via the lies. In different words, the selection is ours. And lots of us have taken a stand towards the enticements of game understanding that one Michael Jordan, or Venus or Serena Williams, or Tiger Woods does no longer an entire generation make.

The vast majority of younger black men who rally to the call of the sports and fashion media are drawn both to basketball or football. Almost certainly those are the “coolest” sports activities and the black presence is obvious. The few players who, both because of their overall performance or profits (the 2 generally pass collectively), make it into the celeb leagues are the new trademarks of fulfillment and have grow to be the position models of every young black male who fancies his possibilities and sees sports activities as an clean price ticket out of the ghetto, the classroom, or the boring existence dictated via the ones of his parents’ era.

What I discover most disturbing is the manner in which the instructional possibilities of many younger black men are reputedly being hijacked. Of route, folks who make it into the expert ranks comprehend the importance of a scholarship and a college schooling. But the stories of cooked grades and stars who can slightly study or write are too real to push aside as fable.

But, possibly extra crucial even than this, is the “easy believism” that can be paralyzing or otherwise infecting our network thru our youngsters. Hey, they say and suppose, you don’t must paintings too tough. Just play a little basketball. Don’t fear about faculty. There’s not anything incorrect with training that jumps shot all day on the park. Homework? What’s that?

Forget it, who wishes grades besides? Just paintings on the one’s Harlem Globetrotter capabilities, slam, dunk, dribble, don’t pass, drink your milk and Oreo cookies and think of Michael Jordan’s fulfillment. No problem. You’re gonna make it!

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And my prayers are with you. But the fact is that you probably have a higher risk of making it to the White House and appointing an all-black cupboard as you do of turning into the next Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, or any of the alternative currently pinnacle-rated basketball stars.

Get actual.

And it is the trouble; the cloud of unreality that has colored our questioning and blinded our vision. And, until we wake up and shortly, our collective blindness may consign our youngsters to the profession ghetto and not using an education, restricted opportunities, on a educate going nowhere speedy. And you should not assume too difficult approximately the same old passageway from here to capsules and the crook justice machine.

Most folks understand and accept that those final are tearing many groups aside and we frequently pay attention people speaking out in opposition to the most cancers of crack cocaine or the unwarranted numbers of black men behind bars. We rightly apprehend these “truths” as being proof that perhaps all isn’t proper with our society. But the possibility that slipping instructional standards and the promoting of a smooth path to success can be the real current-day curse of our youngsters has but to be trumpeted from the hilltops via our politicians, network leaders or conscientious media personalities.

If they’re talking about it, then they must be whispering. Either that or I’m slowly becoming deaf! Of path, not all sports stars are jocks and it might be a horrible disservice to the capable, talented, and aspiring amongst them to say as some would possibly that most athletes are not anything extra than children with an excessive amount of money and too little sense for his or her very own precise. While the stereotype remains popular, again in large part because of the media’s attention and misrepresentation, it is largely untrue.

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There are many young, brilliant, articulate, educated, aware young male and girl athletes who’re serving as fantastic function models for the subsequent era. However, it’s unlucky that interviews with those people or real-time media representations of their lives off the court or field are few and some distance among. It’s a lot easier to attention on their carrying expertise and promotes their big name first-class. After all, that’s what sells tickets and will increase the cost of the individual to the promoter, proprietor, manager, coach, or tv network.