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 around 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. Of direction, girls are not immune; they too are enticed with “bribes” of precise times and 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 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, sports exert a powerful effect on our adolescents and that its impact is insidious in some respects.

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Okay, you are saying, allow’s preserve matters in the right attitude. Is no point in 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 affect, but are not we those who willingly buy their merchandise, their services, and 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 unmistakable. The few players who, both because of their overall performance or profits (the two generally pass collectively), make it into the celeb leagues are the new trademarks of fulfillment and have grown to be the position models of every young black male who fancies his possibilities and sees sports activities as a clean price ticket out of the ghetto, the classroom, or the dull existence dictated via the ones of his parents’ era.

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What I discover most disturbing is how 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 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 paralyze or otherwise infect our network thru our youngsters. Hey, they say and suppose, you don’t must paintings too harsh. 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 going to make it! 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.