In Odessa, an oil-rich town in West Texas, there is a line that separates the two races of blacks and whites. They called it “the American version of the Berlin Wall – the railroad tracks that inevitably ran through the heart of town” (Bissinger 91). The tracks are the symbol of the barrier, tension, and attitude that stand between the two races. To the Odessan whites, African Americans are often considered extraneous, with few hopes and dreams to follow. It is also a common part of everyday language to blurt out the word “nigger,” without ever categorizing it in a racist context. To escape the predisposed perception, the football stadium, where the night lights shine, is the solitary premises where blacks accepted as an identity, as well as athletes. In the non-fiction book, Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger explores this phenomenon of racial tension and the low expectation that are imposed upon black athletes. Through the use of descriptive imagery, revealing dialogue, and anaphora, Bissinger describes the underlying message of Odessan’s racial division, coupled with the meager education that the general population receives while obsessed with high school football. The dream to strive as a football star can be achievable, but in some occasions, these dreams are miscarried. Boobie Miles is an African American star running back for the Permian football team, with an aspiration to strive for greatness in the football industry. Due to his abilities, Boobie was heavily recruited from colleges, asking him to play for their team. Despite of his talented skills, Boobie lacks the fundamentals in education. As a learning disabled student, he struggles to absorb information, making it difficult to stay motivated and perform well academic... ... middle of paper ... ...as the Odessan’s education system, one can determine that football never ends for blacks athletes. Their dreams are regulated by the White society, and even if these athletes find ways to create new dreams, it will inevitably, find its trail back to football. As an offensive lineman, Ronnie Bevers said, “This is the last minute of your life” (Bissinger 326). This demonstrates that once the era of your football career is over, you have nothing to look forward to. Perhaps Blacks are exploited in a way to elongate this dream of football. Imaginably, these athletes of colors are put out to create a sense of greatness, with an essential goal to bring home victory. But as long as this succession of manipulation is put out into the Friday night lights, there will always be athletes like Boobie Miles or Ivory Christian, who struggle to find their own dream and aspirations.
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Abstract: High school football in the state of Texas has become out of control. The sport is no longer played for the sake of the school but rather has become a Friday night ritual to these small towns in Texas. The players are no longer just high school kids inter acting in school sports but have now become heroes to these small town communities. Communities simply no longer support their local high school team but rally in pride of their hometown rivalry against another team. School administrators and coaches no longer are teachers and mentors for the kids but are the equivalent to what in professional football are team owners and "real coaches". Parents have become agents and sacrifice their jobs and homes so that their child may play for the right team. Finally the fans, the fans have lost the sense that it is just a high school sport and changed the game to a level of professional sports. I plan to prove and show that for all these reasons Texas high school football has become out of control. It is no longer the game that it was originally meant to be.
Football was not just a sport in Odessa, it was a lifestyle. In Friday Night Lights, Bissinger follows Permian’s high school football team. He is able to gain an understanding of the towns social components, and in the novel he analyzes the incompetence of the adults when making decision for their children, the bitter racism and unhealthy emphasis on the success of the football team. The author often compares Permian to a variety of schools and highlights the disproportionate emphasis on football and touches upon the vanity of the entire events. All in all, Bissinger is able to effectively show the reader the real Odessa.
...by the Texas Western Men’s Basketball Team of 1966 in emotional abuse, curfew, and stereotypes. The African-American players on the team elicited much harassment and racism. The emotional abuse that the team received threatened to break the team, but the team responded by triumph in the 1966 NCAA Division I National Championship. Then, the concept of curfew was not an important one within the Texas Western Basketball players’ priorities in the beginning of the season. The distraction of partying and girlfriends kept the men up all night and led to them being punished by their coach. In recruiting, Coach Don Haskins overlooked the stereotypes surrounding African-American basketball players and started the first all-black national championship team. This inspirational story is one that explains the reason for the racial equality in the sport of basketball today.
Since the earliest 2000s racism in sport have had change. Nowadays black professional athletes do not face as much racism as in the early 2000s.Professional athletes are admired by almost everyone in this country not matter their race. In Claudia Rankine 's book called Citizen: An American Lyric she present many stories that portrait racial injustices from the white community to the black community in many different ways. These racial injustices are evident, in her lyrics, not only towards a regular black person, but also to famous athletes in the early 2000. Although african american professional athletes nowadays rarely suffer racism, nowadays african american professional athletes are the ones who are standing up for their community because
One theory on why blacks have become more athletic than whites is through evolution and selective breeding. Slave owners wanted the biggest and strongest slaves to work on plantations; therefore a strong black man was mated with a strong black woman. Africans were originally brought to America as a physical specimen. They were expected to work the fields day in and day out. In January of 1988 Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder, a commentator on CBS’s NFL show made a remark about black athletes that cost him his job. Snyder stated, "Think of what the African slaves were forced to endure in this country merely to survive. Black athletes are their descendants"(Entine 72). The comment quickly surfaced through the media and many people were outraged. Snyder was eventually fired from CBS. Although, according to some, his remarks weren’t far off what from what could be the truth. So why were people so furious by these remarks? Saying that blacks and whites are simply different seem to ignite thoughts of racism. People are terrified to comment on this topic because of the repercussions that may occur. But without research and scientific studies there seems to be no way to reach a conclusion to a very controversial, but evident topic, that blacks are better than whites at sports. Entine makes a very strong argument by stating "No other group of Americans in such large numbers has had to pass such rigorous tests of survival as has the Negro"(73). The history of African slaves and the physicality that was required of them only seems relevant to the evolution of the modern black athlete.
The argument as to whether or not San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the right decision on how to protest his discontent with apparent national racial inequality has become a national debate that has many different viewpoints coming from all directions. The two most prominent approaches to this debate are that Kaepernick has the right to take his stance and that he did it the right way- by sitting and kneeling during the national anthem before a game- while other believe that he certainly does have the right to take a stance, but he should have done it in a more appropriate way that was not so painfully unpatriotic. In a Times article, “Kaepernick had no choice but to kneel” by John McWhorter, the first of the two stances
Since the early 2000’s there have been several films depicting racial struggles in sports films that often center around young black athletes. The films Remember the Titans, The Express, Glory Road and 42 all have main characters whose actions revolve around a sport and are all based on true stories. Additionally, in each of these movies there is a form of racism, or the plot of the movie is structured on race. For example, the film Glory Road is about Don Haskins, Texas Western’s basketball coach in the 1960’s, leading the first all black starting lineup to the NCAA basketball championship . The film shows how people were so discriminating of the black athletes and how acts of racism are committed. In the film, threats are sent to Coach Haskins’ family
All over America, friends and families join together on Friday nights in order to watch their hometown’s high school football game. However, many of the spectators do not go to just watch the game. As suggested by Lewis Lapham, the players play and the spectators spectate in order to feel a sense of various abstract things. There is much more to sports than the game itself. In Friday Night Lights, sports establish the illusions of both innocence and hope.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a professor in the department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and author of the essay “Delusions of Grandeur.” The statement that the author is trying to convey in this essay is that African American youth need to be educated on the fact that sports is not the only way to become successful in life. Professor Gates states that “too many African American youngsters still believe that they have a much better chance of becoming another Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan...” growing up in a low income, borderline poverty stricken neighborhood, I know first-hand about those dreams and aspirations. Growing up, the only way it seemed to get out of our neighborhood was to either become a rapper, or a sports star because that is all that is shown on television and glorified.
Linebacker Ivory Christian originally had different schooling ideals. He contemplates becoming a minister at a Baptist church after a dream he had. Ivory was a party boy and because of this dream he resolves to change his ways and turn his life towards God. Due to this change of heart he becomes indecisive about football and what it stands for and its place in the direction he has chosen for his life. This causes Ivory’s internal struggle between the two different values placed on life. This after-all is where football is an end all be all situation in the everyday life of high school boys and their
In the book Friday Night Lights by author H.G Bissinger, there are various themes circulating around, However, the theme of racism overwhelms the majority and provides sufficient insight into the social hierarchy and social structure of the town of Odessa, Texas. The book overlooks a group of high school students dedicated to playing football and their struggle with identity, culture, and race. Race not only affects social problems within the book but also psychological, economic and political. Friday Night Lights compares the tensions between the black and white players and the community as a whole, who idolize the game, proving that a single high school football team can shape an entire town. Bissinger uses the racism
In the year of 2014, there were 89 reported racial incidents according to ESPN. The issue of racism continues to grow and to find the effects that it has, we interviewed Boobie Miles, a former high school football player at Permian High school who was a target of racism. Boobie Miles was a character in the ethnography, Friday Night Lights that outlines the football season of 1988 along with racial issues that Odessa, Texas has. We asked Boobie Miles how racism affected his football career and life afterwards.
In 1971, in Alexandria Virginia, African- Americans and whites were forced to integrate and become one at T.C. Williams High School. Them being forced to become one caused racial tension among the community. Based on a true story, the movie centers around the Titans football team, who is led by Coach Boone an African- American. But the movie is about more than just football, it’s about learning to trust and accept one another as equals. The literary devices I’ll be using throughout the essay is, small town dynamics, characterization, the sound and lighting throughout the movie and the setting of where the events are taking place and how racism is a big factor. The movie explores numerous forms of racial prejudice and discrimination that I
Bimper, Harrison and Clark (2013) conducted a study to advance the understanding of the unique experiences of Black male student collegiate athletes in high-profile sport by examining a case of both academically and athletically successful Black male student athletes at PWIs. The athletes have said that it is automatically assumed that they
Dealing with the issue of sport and ethnology, three major factors come to mind; prejudice, racism, and discrimination. These factors span across gender, ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural groups. In the following paragraphs, I will discuss how these factors have played a part in the evolution of sport in our society. The first issue tackled in this paper will be racism in sports, followed by prejudice and discrimination.