"Blackness of Athletes"

Essay by lumanUniversity, Master'sA+, February 2005

download word file, 14 pages 3.4

What does it mean to be a black athlete? 60 years ago, one would say that being a black athlete in a professional game dominated by whites was a blessing. "The athlete has proven himself worthy of crossing the color line."(KELVIN SIMS) In other words the ideology that they are a threat to white society is disappeared. This is not the same in today's society. A key issue in the neo-nationalization of the black Society is the creation of the sense of cultural identity in American society. Two athletes Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson have revolutionalized the game of basketball although are often condemned for there off-the-court Black behavior. This is important because the individual plays an important role in the nationalization of a nation, but only the elite are given a sense of individualism. As a result a different form of nationalism forms which is in cahoots with the Hip-Hop nation in the form of "keepin' it real".

Today African American athletes dominate almost all professional team sports. In basketball some of the record holders were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan. In football Walter Payton, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Erik Dickerson, and Jim Marshall set records. Baseball's Ricky Henderson held the stolen-base record at 939 in 1991. From Joe Louis in the 1930s until Evander Holyfield in the 1990's, black Americans have almost monopolized heavyweight boxing. Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson were at the top of the game of tennis. Since Jesse Owens won four Olympic gold medals in 1936, African Americans have excelled in track and field sports. Florence Griffith Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee won medals at the 1988 Olympics. Carl Lewis, Butch Reynolds, Roger Kingdom, Edwin Moses, Bob Beamon, and Willie Banks also set track records.

How is it possible that a particular...