Racial Tensiona and Low Expectation on Black Athletes in Football

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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.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how h.g. bissinger explores the phenomenon of racial tension and the low expectation that are imposed upon black athletes in his non-fiction book, friday night lights.
  • Analyzes how bissinger's imagery depicts an oppression tone which translates to the fact that black athletes are solely exploited until they have reached their point.
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