His Story: Plaxico Burress On Prison, Death, and His Lost Legacy

His Story: Plaxico Burress On Prison, Death, and His Lost Legacy

His Story

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Plaxico Burress was the star wide receiver of the New York Giants and a Super Bowl champion, but one bad night with a gun landed him in jail for 22 months. VICE Sports spoke with Plaxico in NYC about losing his football prime to prison and becoming a media scapegoat.

Check out Plaxico Burress talk about the gunshot that changed his life:

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His Story: Caron Butler on the Hustle

His Story: Caron Butler on the Hustle

His Story

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Caron Butler is a 12-year veteran of the NBA, but an ATF drug bust nearly ended his basketball career. He was 15 at the time. In this VICE Sports exclusive, Butler takes us on a tour of his childhood hometown and recounts the harrowing stories and random moments that somehow led him to a life no one could have ever predicted.

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Positive Black Male News: Cam Newton visits Georgia Tech QB recruit after brain injury

Positive Black Male News: Cam Newton visits Georgia Tech QB recruit after brain injury

Positive Black Male News

BvlUaFlIMAIqS8nCarolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton visited a high school quarterback who is recovering in a Charlotte hospital from a brain injury.

Jaylend Ratliffe committed on a football scholarship to Georgia Tech a few months prior to suffering a fractured skull, reports The Atlantic Journal-Constitution.

The teen was in an ATV accident July 30, just weeks before he would begin his senior season at Scotland High School.

Since the accident, Ratliffe has undergone brain surgery, as well as other procedures, and Newton visited the younger QB Tuesday.

“Cam went up to see him in the hospital, and I thought that was awesome,” Scotland coach Richard Bailey told the AJC. “He brought some stuff from the Carolina Panthers, and they took some pictures together. Cam stayed for around an hour. Whomever made that happen, I’m happy because Cam Newton is one of his favorite players. Jaylend was pleased to see him. That was nice. It really seemed to bolster his spirits.”

Click here to read more about Ratliffe and his current condition.

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals

Source the Grio

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Positive Black Male News: Teen fighting cancer meets idol LeBron James

Positive Black Male News: Teen fighting cancer meets idol LeBron James

Positive Black Male News

by  |

As reported back in February, Wisconsin teen Ebony Nettles-Bey’s dream was to meet LeBron James. Saturday night, the Miami Heat made sure she did.

The Heat honored their commitment and then some — tapping Nettles-Bey to lead the Heat onto the BMO Bradley Harris Center before the Heat squared off against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Nettles-Bey continued to play on her high school basketball team despite a cancer diagnosis back in October. The junior forward for the Verona Area High School lost weight, her hair and underwent several chemotherapy treatments throughout the season.

She played on.

Supporters and friends started a #LeBronMeetEbony Twitter campaign back in February. It went viral quickly and soon LeBron and company took  notice.

Earlier this month, the NBA’s reigning MVP sent Nettles-Bey a signed jersey and called her his “favorite player.”

James told FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Andrew Gruman:

I didn’t need to meet her to understand how strong she was. But it’s great to be around her and see her enthusiasm even with what she’s dealing with. It’s like she doesn’t even have [cancer]. It’s not going to stop her. That’s a very unique trait.

Nettles-Bey and her family posed for several photographs with members of the Heat team, including All-Star forward Chris Bosh. She took in the Heat’s 88-67 victory from courtside.

Her idol LeBron James scored 13 points.

Follow’s Todd Johnson on Twitter @rantoddj

Source: The Grio

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His Story: Richard Sherman | No Black Boy, No Invisible Man

His Story: Richard Sherman | No Black Boy, No Invisible Man

His Story

“I knew that I lived in a country in which the aspirations of black people were limited, marked-off. Yet I felt that I had to go somewhere and do something to redeem my being alive.” ― Richard Wright, Black Boy

The Richard Shermans of the world know all too well about living a life that feels like any level of the supremely popular Candy Crush Saga game; for many their zip codes are the lone pieces of candy, and intermittent pieces of “candy” like gangs, poverty, low expectations, and limitations align these zip codes. Eventually this pulsating combination explodes into something ugly, or in the case of Richard Sherman, something beautiful.

And so I write about them.

I write about them because I imagine that if Sherman has ever read Richard Wright’s Black Boy (with his academic record, I suspect that he has), he can unequivocally relate to the above-mentioned quote; and, because I recognize that we still suppress the “alive” black boy because a dead one poses no serious threat.

I know that if they carry and dribble balls, or weave seamless lines of nouns, verbs, adjectives, metaphors, and similes, and create bountiful mounds of wealthy industries, the perception is that we don’t ever have to worry about them being great humanitarians, philanthropists, academics, or even good fathers and faithful husbands.

It appears that we want these men to become invisible, but still commit magical acts like leaping from VIP Boxes to dunk basketballs or catching a football pass moving 3000 miles per hour, but if the basket isn’t made or the ball isn’t caught, these invisible men become outcasts and labeled as visible failures.

There is no love for Black boys or Richard Shermans that express passion and confidence. The message is always “shut and play” or “shut up and rhyme” or “shut up and make me money!” And, it’s time we just shut up with these demands!

So today I write to thank Richard Sherman for advancing us in this crushing saga; I want you to know that I see you and you are not invisible to me, Mr. Sherman.

For most of my academic life, I was taught by strong, positive Black men. They enhanced my confidence because they were so; I have always wanted to be just like them in subtle and not so subtle ways. When my band teacher, Mr. Elston Fitzgerald, Jr. told my peers and I that we were the best high school band in Norfolk, VA, he affirmed our practice and skill as much as he affirmed what he had taught us. When he became angry at any semblance of doubt directed from others to us, he wasn’t ranting, he was being protective of what he had invested in our lives.

For all of my academic practice, the Black boys (my Big Sons) I teach are always allowed to be. However they come is how I accept them. However they leave is how I have groomed them.

Whoever they become is what the Creator has established as their journey.

If Richard Sherman did not believe “I’m the best [corner] back in the game,” would it even be worth our time to watch him play? If he didn’t contribute to advancing his team to the largest event in sports outside of the World Cup, would we even care to know more about Sherman? Had he never given such an honest post-game interview, would the inner-bully ensconced in some of us ever had been revealed?

No. And so I write in honor of the Richard Shermans that are not too afraid to be visible, honest, and alive.

“I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I’ve tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth. No one was satisfied.” Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

About the author:

Zakiyyah Ali is an American educator of US History and Government, Global History and Economics in a really small town called Brooklyn, NY.  She is a Virginia State University FANatic and a Political Science graduate. In addition, she is a politics and history groupie! You can catch her sneaking inside of history books, stalking phenomenal political and historical figures and events, snooping around historical websites and outlets, galvanizing voters, and living at The

This blog, ThePoliDayReport, is designed to keep citizens informed about different political and historical perspectives on some of the hottest contemporary topics of debate.  It is the place to be if you’re looking for straight talk, simple understanding and the razor’s edge to sharpen your genius. Come on in and engage. I almost dare you! Check out her blog at

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Positive Black Male News: Football players team up to sing in ‘NFL Players Choir’

Positive Black Male News: Football players team up to sing in ‘NFL Players Choir’

Positive Black Male News


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A group of NFL football players have teamed up to showcase some of their talents off the field.

Over 40 professional players have banded together to join the NFL Players Choir — a group of former and active athletes who prove that their talents run the gamut from having stellar stamina and physical agility to impressive vocal skills.

The choir was formed in 2008 and made their debut in Phoenix, AZ, at Super Bowl XLII. Some of the players include Carolina Panthers player Cam Newton, Jacksonville Jaguars’ Justin Forset, Philadelphia Eagles’ Dereck Faulkner and Washington Red Skins’ James Davis, among others.

Grammy-Award-winning gospel artist Donnie McClurkin leads the choir, who have performed around the nation and recently sang alongside legendary singer Patti LaBelle on Good Morning America. 

On Wednesday, the choir performed at a McDonalds in New York City just days before the big Super Bowl game Sunday.

Watch footage from their performance above and tell us your thoughts below.

Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works

Source: The Grio 

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His Story: Deaf Seahawks fullback stars in commercial that will give you chills

His Story: Deaf Seahawks fullback stars in commercial that will give you chills

His Story


The above commercial is from Duracell and stars Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, who is the first deaf offensive player to ever play in the NFL.

After not being drafted in 2012 despite a stellar career at UCLA, Coleman made the Seahawks this season. In his first game with the team, he had 3 catches for 30 yards, and he also caught a touchdown pass against the Saints in the Monday Night Football game on December 2nd.

Source: USA Today

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Positive Black Male News: At Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym, kids find athletic and academic success

Positive Black Male News: At Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym, kids find athletic and academic success

Positive Black Male News

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


By Craig Stanley, NBC News

DETROIT, Mich. — On a cold December day in East Detroit, a dozen kids form a human assembly line stretching across the parking lot of the Downtown Boxing Gym.

With strong arms, the kids grab and push boxes of food from the delivery truck.

“The kids don’t go without a meal,” Coach Khali Sweeney told NBC News. “Forgotten Harvest, the local food bank, they’ll bring food here for ‘em, so we have food for the kids to eat healthy.”

According to a 2010 report, more than half of the city’s households with children under 18 receive food assistance from the state.

But that food is just one of the reasons the kids depend on this gym, which is the only building left standing on its city block.

To learn more about the Downtown Boxing Gym, please click here to visit their website. 

It is surrounded by a handful of vacant lots and remnants of abandoned buildings, where the kids sometimes run laps at night.

“It’s not, like, really safe for us to go out there and train,” 19-year-old boxer Anthony Flagg Jr. said.  “But we do it anyway. They say boxing, you’re risking your life.”

For these kids, there are risks both in and out of the ring.

Across train tracks, less than a mile away from the gym, there’s a scene of a different kind: a new Whole Foods grocery– a sign of new life for the struggling city.

“I appreciate and applaud all the efforts goin’ into [...] buildin’ the city,” Sweeney said. “But the residents themselves, they’re not gonna see that for a long time, and they’re still suffering. So places like this is a good place for kids to go. ”

We first profiled the Downtown Boxing Gym back in March of 2013. The gym, a grassroots effort to keep kids off the streets, had no heat, and was beyond capacity. Since the story aired, the gym has received an outpouring of support from their community and from viewers across the nation.

“A lot of doors opened up for us,” Sweeney said. “There was a lot of people working behind the scenes, but a lot more people reached out to us.”

Sweeney, who still goes to pick up students for practice, now uses donated Zipcars to get around the city. Rides are not limited to and from the gym; the students’ parents can call for help as necessary.

“They are my family, all of ‘em,” Sweeney said. “I wouldn’t drive across the planet, you know, if they wasn’t.”

Inside of the gym, a new ring stands, complete with a life-sized wall decal of Sweeney and the boxers. A few feet away from the ring, the tutoring area boasts new furniture, fresh paint, and updated computers.

Teach for America Detroit started a partnership with the gym, assigning seven teachers to work alongside the gym’s pre-existing tutors to help strengthen the gym’s academic program.

“Seeing kids using boxing to give them more confidence and focus on their self-esteem, I think education can be used the same way,” Teach For America Detroit community coordinator Lauren Coleman said. “Our goal is to provide students with at least an hour a day [of] tutoring and prep, and also … college and career readiness.”

Another major change is on the horizon: The gym has raised more than $175,000 in donations toward a new facility that Sweeney hopes will be able to accommodate some of the gym’s more than 150 kids that remain on the waiting list.

“That’s one of the things we can’t afford to do, just keep kids waitin’ around,” Sweeney said. “If they’re just sitting around, I mean, nobody’s helping them at that point, you know?”

Today, that help also comes in the form of mentoring and improved self-esteem.

“I think I’m turning into a role model,” Flagg said. “It makes me feel good on the inside, that kids be askin’ me for help with their homework and for advice. I never thought I’d be givin’ anybody advice.”

“You know, boxing is a male-dominated thing,” said boxer Christal Berry, 15. “I think it gives me a lot of power, because I feel really good, I feel strong.”

Parent club leader Sheba McKinney, whose daughter and son visit DBG every weekday, said the gym gives her peace of mind.

“It gives [the kids] an outlet of something to do, so they’re not just out in the streets,” she said. “This gives them something to work hard for.”

Sweeney and the kids have also found appreciation and recognition within their community. The Detroit Pistons recently invited every kid and volunteer to a basketball game, after which they received a monetary donation from the Meijer store for winter coats.

Despite the positive changes over the past year for the gym, Sweeney says there’s much more to be done—and a much larger need to fill.

“Right now, the kids need it more than ever,” Sweeney said. “Detroit is still a rough place, you know. With all the progress that we’re makin’, we can’t forget the fact that a lot of people are still suffering.”

Jessica Hauser, the gym’s executive director, believes the gym’s growth and progress thus far is proving to be a good lesson for the boxers.

“It’s okay to struggle,” she said. “It’s okay as long as you’re working towards your dream and that you can make it happen … And I think that’s what the [new gym] will show them.  That hard work does pay off.”

Source: NBC Nightly News

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Positive Black Male News: Andre Johnson spends more than 17K at Toy Giveaway

Positive Black Male News: Andre Johnson spends more than 17K at Toy Giveaway

Positive Black Male News

By Andy Nesbitt Fox Sports

Andre Johnson continues to do the right thing in Houston.

The Texans’ wide receiver held his seventh annual toy giveaway Tuesday morning, giving 12 children and their brothers and sisters 80 seconds to grab whatever they could at a local Toys R Us.

The children, who were picked from child protective services, were able to rack up a total bill of $17,352. Each child also received a gaming system and two games.

“It’s fun,” Johnson said. “It’s fun for the kids and it’s fun for me. It’s something I enjoy seeing every year, so I figure why not keep doing it?”

The kids loved it, too, as you can see in this video:

Source: Fox Sports

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Positive Black Male News: Bo Jackson shocks Paralympic sprinter Black Leeper on ‘Arsenio Hall Show’

Positive Black Male News: Bo Jackson shocks Paralympic sprinter Black Leeper on ‘Arsenio Hall Show’

Positive Black Male News


Paralympic sprinter Blake Leeper met Bo Jackson, his childhood hero, on The Arsenio Hall Show Monday night.

Leeper, who is training to become the first American Olympian with two prosthetic legs, explained that Jackson was his hero because he received a prosthetic hip due to an injury.

The young athlete even said that when he was younger he asked people to call him Bo and explained the first time running peaked his interest.

Hall asked to see Leeper’s running blades, and Jackson was the person who brought them out. It took a few seconds before Leeper realized exactly who it was, and his reaction is priceless.

Watch the full video above and let us know who your childhood hero was in the comments.

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @Carrieheals

Source The Grio

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Positive Black Male News: Seahawks Safety Kam Chancellor Provides ‘Golden’ Opportunity for Seattle Youth!

Positive Black Male News: Seahawks Safety Kam Chancellor Provides ‘Golden’ Opportunity for Seattle Youth!

Positive Black Male News

DSC_0251-1024x685Kam Chancellor capped off his recent backpack donation project with a special meet and greet for five student recipients affiliated with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. Through his foundation Kam Cares, Chancellor partnered with the Mission in late August to provide backpacks and supplies to nearly 600 children facing economic hardships. In addition to school supplies, five students received a “Willy Wonka”-style golden ticket – entitling them to a tour of the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC), home of the Seahawks training facility. The lucky ticket holders redeemed their prize this morning.

“This has been a phenomenal experience for our children, and we really appreciate Kam and the Seahawks staff for providing them with such a great opportunity,” said Jeff Lilley, President of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

Chancellor led the children and their parents on a tour of the weight room, administrative and coaching personnel offices, team meeting rooms and auditorium, and specialized training areas. The children, adorned in their Seahawks gear, were also able to visit the indoor and outdoor training fields, while catching a quick glimpse of practice before tomorrow’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I really wanted the kids to tour our training facility to show them the hard work and preparation we put in before stepping out on the field,” said Chancellor. “I hope this experience encourages them to apply that same work ethic as students, in both education and sports.”

As the children and their parents walked wide-eyed through the facility, they paused for photos against several backdrops of players and action shots of the most memorable game highlights. The tour ended with a surprise meet and greet with other Seahawks – including Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Robert Turbin, Jameson Konz, and Walter Thurmond. After a few hugs, autographs, and additional photos, the golden ticket holders said their goodbyes to Chancellor – wishing him and the team well on Sunday’s game.

Kam Cares Foundation will partner with the Mission again in December for its annual Holiday Toy Drive.

Source: Black Celebrity Giving

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Positive Black Male News: NBA Star Demarcus Cousins to Donate $1 Million to Families in Sacramento!

Positive Black Male News: NBA Star Demarcus Cousins to Donate $1 Million to Families in Sacramento!

Positive Black Male News

demarcus-cousins-kentucky-university-gestures-after-being-selected-the-sacramento-kings-the-fifth-overall-pick-the-2010-nba-draft-new-yorkBy Drenna Amrstrong

Sacramento Kings star Demarcus Cousins has had his share of troubles since joining the team since 2010. But that hasn’t stopped them from compensating him and he, in turn, is giving back to the community.
The Kings organization and point guard recently agreed to a four year contract extension and reportedly, the deal is worth about $62 million.

But what was even more impressive was what Cousins said he’d be doing for the city of Sacramento. At the end of the press conference announcing the deal, a seemingly nervous Cousins announced he’d be donating $1 million to families and communities in the city. He wasn’t exactly clear what families he was talking about, but one can only assume he meant families who were experiencing some serious financial troubles.
He also announced he would be donating to St. HOPE, a non-profit organization founded by former basketball player and current mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson. St. HOPE (Helping Others Pursue Excellence) is broken down into three divisions: St. Hope Academy (a charter school in Harlem), St. HOPE Public Schools (a charter school system that educates 2,000 students in seven school) and St. HOPE Development (which restores historic Sacramento buildings and homes).

Cousins said regarding resigning with the Kings when he could have gone with a more competitive team that he values loyalty. It looks like the same could be said about his loyalty to the city in the way he’s giving back. Oh and yes, he is pretty easy on the eyes.

Source: Black Celebrity Giving

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Positive Black Male News: Inner-City Junior High School Defies the Odds to Become National Chess

Positive Black Male News: Inner-City Junior High School Defies the Odds to Become National Chess

Positive Black Male News


“If you want to see what may well be the most optimistic, inspiring and downright thrilling movie released all year—then absolutely do not miss . . . Brooklyn Castle.”—Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

This public-school powerhouse in junior high chess competitions has won more than 30 national championships, the most of any school in the country. Its 85-member squad boasts so many strong players that the late Albert Einstein, a dedicated chess maven, would rank fourth if he were on the team. Most astoundingly, I.S. 318 is a Brooklyn school that serves mostly minority students from families living below the poverty line. Brooklyn Castle is the exhilarating story of five of the school’s aspiring young players and how chess became the school’s unlikely inspiration for academic success.

Katie Dellamaggiore’s Brooklyn Castle has its national broadcast premiere on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 at 10 p.m. (check local listings) on the award-winning PBS documentary series POV (Point of View). The film will stream on POV’s website,, from Oct. 8- Nov. 6, 2013. The film is part of the new PBS INDIES SHOWCASE, a four-week series of independent documentaries airing on Monday nights from Sept. 30-Oct. 21.

The late I.S. principal Fred Rubino pointed out that extracurricular activities are not really “extra,” because they teach “the whole child.” Beginning in 2000, under the tutelage of chess teacher and coach Elizabeth Spiegel and assistant principal John Galvin, the school expanded its small chess program and began competing in national tournaments. The results have been stunning: more than 30 national chess titles, including the 2012 U.S. High School National Championship, a first for a junior high.

Meet the students:

  • Justus Williams, 11 years old, is a prodigy, already one of America’s highest-ranked young chess players. Yet he is plagued by a tendency to freeze, stymied by the expectations created by his success.
  • Thirteen-year-old Rochelle Ballantyne, who broke the gender line of what had been an all-boys chess club, has the potential to become the first African-American female master in the history of chess. She is the first-ranked player in the school.
  • Pobo Efekoro, 12, is the big, boisterous, warm-hearted leader of the team. When the school’s budget for afterschool programs is cut, he runs for school president with the goal of mobilizing a student protest to get the cuts restored.
  • Twelve-year-old Alexis Paredes’ approach to chess is like his play—meditative and thoughtful. The second-ranked player at I.S. 318, he sees chess as a way to an education and a lucrative career that will allow him to support his Paraguayan immigrant family.
  • Patrick Johnston, 11, is a sensitive beginner who wants to raise his ranking to middle level. He has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has taken to chess to develop concentration and patience.

For these kids, chess is more than a game, and winning is more than a matter of trophies. Brooklyn Castle is a clear-eyed look at a school program that has made a huge difference to students. It is equally a celebration of youth’s determination to dream, if given the chance.

“I had always been interested in making a film about Brooklyn, but I wanted to tell a story that people didn’t expect,” says Dellamaggiore. “We’re hoping, too, that the story in this film will make some lawmakers think twice before cutting funds for extracurricular activities.”

About Katie Dellamaggiore, Director/Producer:
Katie Dellamaggiore is a documentary producer and director whose work has appeared on MTV, A&E, HBO/Cinemax and VH1. She has held various production and outreach roles on award-winning documentaries, including 39 Pounds of Love,To Die in Jerusalem51 Birch Street and American Teen. Dellamaggiore co-produced After the Storm, a nonprofit theater and film project aimed at inspiring young people in post-Katrina New Orleans, and for A&E Classroom directed, produced and shot UR Life Online, which explored sexual solicitation and cyber bullying and received an Emmy nomination for single-camera editing. In 2010, she and her husband, Nelson Dellamaggiore, co-founded television and film production company Rescued Media. Brooklyn Castle is Katie Dellamaggiore’s feature directorial debut.

Brooklyn Castle is a production of Rescued Media in association with Indelible Marks and Chicken and Egg Pictures. The film is part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a national public media initiative made possible by CPB to identify and implement solutions to the dropout crisis and help parents and teachers keep students on the path to a successful future.

As part of its commitment to provide viewers with year-round access to the creative work of independent filmmakers, the PBS INDIES SHOWCASE is scheduled during the weeks between the seasons of the award-winning series POV and INDEPENDENT LENS and will feature films from both. While PBS features the work of independent filmmakers throughout the year, the SHOWCASE is designed to spotlight their work and increase audience visibility for this important genre.

About POV
Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and now in its 26th season on PBS, the award-winning POV is the longest-running showcase on American television to feature the work of today’s best independent documentary filmmakers. POV has brought more than 365 acclaimed documentaries to millions nationwide. POV films have won every major film and broadcasting award, including 32 Emmys, 15 George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the Prix Italia. In 2012, POV achieved a new milestone, winning five News & Documentary Emmy® Awards. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s most pressing social issues. Visit

POV has the honor of receiving a 2013 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the desJardins/Blachman Fund and public television viewers. Funding for POV’s Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Special support provided by The Fledgling Fund and the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

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Book of the Week: Forty Million Dollar Slaves: by William Rhoden

Book of the Week: Forty Million Dollar Slaves: by William Rhoden

Book Of The Week

178459From Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe, African American athletes have been at the center of modern culture, their on-the-field heroics admired and stratospheric earnings envied. But for all their money, fame, and achievement, saysNew York Times columnist William C. Rhoden, black athletes still find themselves on the periphery of true power in the multibillion-dollar industry their talent built.

Provocative and controversial, Rhoden’s $40 Million Slaves weaves a compelling narrative of black athletes in the United States, from the plantation to their beginnings in nineteenth-century boxing rings and at the first Kentucky Derby to the history-making accomplishments of notable figures such as Jesse Owens, Althea Gibson, and Willie Mays. Rhoden makes the cogent argument that black athletes’ “evolution” has merely been a journey from literal plantations—where sports were introduced as diversions to quell revolutionary stirrings—to today’s figurative ones, in the form of collegiate and professional sports programs. Weaving in his own experiences growing up on Chicago’s South Side, playing college football for an all-black university, and his decades as a sportswriter, Rhoden contends that black athletes’ exercise of true power is as limited today as when masters forced their slaves to race and fight. The primary difference is, today’s shackles are often of their own making.

Every advance made by black athletes, Rhoden explains, has been met with a knee-jerk backlash—one example being Major League Baseball’s integration of the sport, which stripped the black-controlled Negro League of its talent and left it to founder. He details the “conveyor belt” that brings kids from inner cities and small towns to big-time programs, where they’re cut off from their roots and exploited by team owners, sports agents, and the media. He also sets his sights on athletes like Michael Jordan, who he says have abdicated their responsibility to the community with an apathy that borders on treason.

Sweeping and meticulously detailed, $40 Million Slaves is an eye-opening exploration of a metaphor we only thought we knew.

Purchase Now Click here

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Positive Black Male News: LeBron James wins 3 trophies at ESPY Awards

Positive Black Male News: LeBron James wins 3 trophies at ESPY Awards

Positive Black Male News


by Beth Harris, Associated Press

LeBron James padded his trophy collection, receiving three at the ESPY Awards, including male athlete of the year for helping the Miami Heat win a second straight NBA championship.

James also won in the championship performance and NBA player categories, completing a sweep of the three awards he won last year. He shared in the best team award Wednesday night.

“We went through so much adversity,” teammate Ray Allen said. “We did everything we could to fight, scratch and claw to put ourselves in that moment.”

James beat out Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps for male athlete honors.

James mentioned his fellow nominees, then told them, “This is for all four of us, man, but I’m just keeping it at my house.”

Serena Williams won two awards, including female athlete of the year. She defeated a pair of Olympians, gymnast Gabby Douglas and swimmer Missy Franklin, and former Baylor basketball star Brittney Griner. Williams didn’t attend because she’s playing a tournament in Sweden.

Peterson and Phelps also won two awards each.

Jon Hamm, the star of AMC’s “Mad Men” and a noted St. Louis Cardinals fan, hosted the 21st annual show from the Nokia Theatre.

He joked it was “the world’s largest gathering of people wearing sunglasses indoors” as the cameras caught James and NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick behind shades.

Hamm got in some digs about former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard.

“We thought it would be nice to honor Dwight Howard with his greatest moments with the Lakers,” Hamm said as no film clips appeared on the screen behind him while the crowd laughed.

Hamm noted the talk about possible suspensions resulting from baseball’s latest drug investigation has included Alex Rodriguez.

“That’s OK, Yankee fans are used to him not showing up for the second half of the season,”he joked.

Quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M won male college athlete honors after flying in earlier from Hoover, Ala., where he attended SEC media day. Griner, who now plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, won female college athlete.

Peterson won trophies for NFL player and best comeback, while Cabrera won as best MLB player.

Williams won female tennis player, giving her eight career ESPYs.

Phelps also claimed best male Olympian, while teenage swimming sensation Missy Franklin won best female Olympian.

Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers won as breakthrough athlete. Rick Pitino won as coach-manager for guiding the Louisville Cardinals to a national basketball championship.

The best game was Game 6 of the NBA finals between the Heat and San Antonio Spurs.

The award for best upset went to Florida Gulf Coast’s men’s basketball team, a No. 15 seed that upset No. 2 seed Georgetown in the NCAA tournament.

The best moment award singled out 7-year-old Jack Hoffman’s 69-yard touchdown run at Nebraska’s spring game in April, which was replayed on national TV and viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube. The boy from Atkinson, Neb., has brain cancer.

As his father spoke, Jack held the big trophy that blocked part of his face.

Sidney Crosby won NHL player, while Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls won MLS player.

South Carolina football player Jadeveon Clowney won best play for his hit on Michigan’s Vincent Smith in which he knocked the runner on his back with a helmet-toppling smack, then reached out with one hand to snare the ball.

Helping out Hamm with comedy bits were Jack McBrayer of “30 Rock” as a befuddled NFL replacement referee and Jay Pharoah of “Saturday Night Live” as Jay-Z explaining how in his new gig as a sports agent he only represents winners.

Former “SNL” star Bill Hader spoofed Russian president Vladimir Putin, who was accused by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft of stealing his 2005 Super Bowl ring.

In the bit, Hader showed off his other sports collectibles, including the Stanley Cup, some of Phelps’ Olympic gold medals and “the ring Kobe gave his wife that one time for no reason.”

The Arthur Ashe Courage award went to “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, who underwent a bone marrow transplant last fall to treat a life-threatening blood and bone marrow disease. She was off work for five months before returning to her TV job. James presented Roberts with the award, and first lady Michelle Obama saluted her via video.

Roberts received a standing ovation and noted her friendship with the late Ashe.

“At this moment I’m filled with such gratitude,” she said.

The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance was given to father-and-son duo Dick and Rick Hoyt by actor-director Ben Affleck. The younger Hoyt was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to use his hands and legs. His 73-year-old father Dick pushes him in a custom-made running chair, and together they have participated in more than 1,000 endurance events, including 31 Boston Marathons.

“I don’t think you could find two guys more proud to represent the city of Boston,” Dick Hoyt said.

His son spoke through computer-generated voice technology, saying, “I can’t hardly believe we are here. Thirty-seven years ago nobody would even talk to us … It only proves the wisdom of Jimmy v’s words, ‘Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.’”

The winners in most categories were determined by fan voting.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Source: The Grio

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Exquisite Women: Rehema Stephens

Exquisite Women: Rehema Stephens

Exquisite Women

TheBlackManCan: You go by the name The EDUTAINER which is Educator + Entertainer. I love this name and it is very creative. What inspired you to put the two together?

RWS: My teaching style dictated the moniker, EDUTAINER. I am an educator who possesses the ability and the wherewithal to make learning exciting. My non-traditional teaching methodology is considered entertaining and engaging. I make it a point to know my audience, make the lessons relevant and fun.

TheBlackManCan: When did you realize that you possessed an exceptional speaking gift?

RWS: I realized while sitting in a pew at church as a teenager that speaking was in my future. It was something about the way the preacher used words and phrases to convey the message that intrigued me. From that day forward, I could be found reading and meditating on God’s Word. During my time of study, I stumbled across a profound discovery. My name, Rehema, is one letter short of the word Rhema, which means: the Spoken Word of God. A Rhema Word is a specific, tailor-made word from God directly to you. And that word is typically sought after to give daily guidance to the life of the Christian. That small, yet significant coincidence led me to accept my calling into the ministry some years later and consequently preach my first sermon. And I’ve been “preaching” ever since.

TheBlackManCan: Your second gift is that of a teacher. You say it is your passion and purpose. When and how did you come to know this?

RWS: I have been around education all my life. Both my parents were educators (retired), and they made a point to stress the importance of education as it related to creating future opportunities for me. It wasn’t until after I retired from athletics that I realized I had a knack for teaching. I started as a basketball coach and I quickly found success and a client base of young girls who aspired to play college basketball. Over time, and upon recommendation of one of my client’s parents, I landed my first full-time teaching job. I always tell people that I didn’t find teaching, teaching found me.

TheBlackManCan: How did you ultimately decide on teaching in higher education?

RWS: It was a family emergency that called me out of the State of California to Phoenix, Arizona where I stumbled upon my first opportunity in higher education. There was an ad in the local newspaper seeking college admissions representatives, and one of the incentives was an all-expense paid education. It just so happened that I had been contemplating going back to school to earn a graduate degree, and here was my opportunity to get it.

After being hired, I quickly found myself at home in the admissions department. It brought me great joy “changing lives” through higher education. I felt an instant connection with the adult learners I served. After awhile I found myself following up with students after their enrollment to check on their academic progress, which was above and beyond what was required of me. It didn’t take long for me to begin researching opportunities to teach at the college level, all I needed to do was complete my graduate degree. And that opportunity presented itself exactly two years later.


TheBlackManCan: You have international as well as WNBA experience. Can you share what a day in the life is like as a professional athlete?

RWS: As a professional basketball player, GAME DAY, was the best day ever. Typically, I would sleep in as long as I could before shoot around. Whether we were playing at home or away, we would always have a light practice at the arena to go over the game plan one last time. After shoot around, I would have a light lunch to hold me over till after the game. My pre-game meal consisted of a garden salad, grilled chicken breast with fries or a baked potato. A pre-game nap was next on the agenda, so I could be well rested and fresh for the game.

I’d always head over to the arena a few hours early to get treatment and my ankles taped. I usually headed out onto the court early to get a few hundred shots in before everyone else, to break a sweat, and stretch real good. Thirty minutes before game time, we met as a team in the locker room to get our matchup assignments, say a prayer, and make our way out onto the court. There is no greater rush than running out onto the court, of a packed home stadium, full of screaming fans.

Practice days were definitely a lot more laid back. I would go to practice in the morning for three hours, hit the weight room for a light resistance training regimen, and maybe watch a little film in the locker room. After practice, a hearty lunch was always the first thing on my mind to replenish my body, then a nice long nap. The rest of my day would consist of any appearances I was scheduled for, handling personal business, shopping or just relaxing.

Life on the road is expected as a professional athlete. I spent a lot of time in airports, nights in hotels, and living out of a travel bag. My laptop, cell phone, and MP3 player were my best friend and kept me connected to family and close friends while gone for days/weeks at a time. I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to just about every State in the Union because of basketball. I have met people from all walks of life, and been in the presence of some of the most sought after people in the world.


TheBlackManCan: You represent the essence that is a Scholar-Athlete. How important is it to be a Scholar-Athlete and not just an Athlete?

RWS: It is very important. No matter how great an athlete you may be, never lose sight of why you’re attending college in the first place. No one can play sports forever. I always saw athletics as means to pay for my college education, a platform to showcase my athletic talent and an opportunity to engage in the highest level of athletic competition. But, my proudest moment was earning a college degree. Having earned my undergraduate degree holds more significance in my life than any of my athletic accolades. Those accolades come and go, records are made to be broken, but the fact that I’ve earned my college degree is FOREVER!

TheBlackManCan: You have accomplished many accolades on and off the court. Who and/or what is your inspiration?

RWS: My inspiration comes from what God has ordained me to do with the life He has given me. I’m in total awe that He called me to speak into the lives of other people; particularly young people…young adults.

I have lived a blessed life. My resume speaks for itself. It has given me a platform to share what is possible in anyone’s life, if they put God first. I know God is no respecter of persons, so what He has done in and through my life, He will do for others as well. I want as many young people as possible to discover their passion and find their purpose.

I’m also inspired to know that the words I speak, the books I write, and the Christ like lifestyle I choose to live has made/is making a difference in the lives of those I have had the privilege to come into contact with.


TheBlackManCan: Rags 2 Riches is a self-published book that you have written and is available for purchase. Can you give us some insight into your book?

RWS: Rags 2 Riches is a Diary of a Christian Athlete. I share my athletic exploits from the time I picked up a basketball as a young girl, to the time I retired as an accomplished professional athlete. I bare all as I share life lessons I gleaned over the course of my journey. I wrote blending together actual events, poetry and the Word of God. This book was written to INSPIRE all that read it. Below is one of many poems I wrote that exemplifies the underlying theme of the entire book…


I’m not talkin bout MONEY, POWER, RESPECT…

Cause for most, what you see is what you get.

But I’m talkin bout the treasure that lies within

deposited through the Savior’s death that freed mankind from sin…

So you don’t have to stand on the outside lookin in.

Just know that it’s JESUS whom you must confess…

He’ll take off your filthy rags and robe you in His righteousness.

Freedom from sin, sickness, pain, and strife…

whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

Right now, I pray for every man, woman, boy, and girl…

to no longer be consumed by the cares of this world.

But to pursue LOVE, JOY, and PEACE

that only the Most High God can give…

testifying to every man

that Christ died that we might live.

And like disciples, you’ll desire to catch men and not fishes…

that’s when you know you’ve gone from…RAGS 2 RICHES!

Rehema W. Stephens


TheBlackManCan: There are going to be young girls who read this feature, what inspirational words would you like to leave with them?

RWS: First, I would say to my young sisters to enjoy your youth. Don’t be in a hurry to grow up. You have your whole life ahead of you. Take your education seriously, dream BIG, and go after those dreams while you’re young.

Second, I would affirm them by saying, “you can do anything you put your mind to”. Develop your gifts and talents, because they are the “key” to you unleashing your Passion and finding your Purpose. Because when you operate in your Purpose, you no longer look without, for what already lies within.

And lastly, surround yourself with the BEST people. Choose your friends and acquaintances wisely. Iron sharpens iron. In other words, befriend those who make you better and stronger because of their presence in your life.


Exquisite Women is where we at TheBlackManCan highlight Black Women who are making positive and remarkable contributions to society.  Nominate a Black Woman today on the contact page or e-mail, subject line: Exquisite Woman!


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Open Letter to Rob Parker

Open Letter to Rob Parker

His Story

Open Letter to rob-parker

Dear Rob Parker:

Not too long ago, ESPN commentator Rob Parker viciously attacked Robert Griffin III (RG 3) because he doesn’t fit into his narrow idea of what’s required to be black.  Read what he said here: Rob Parker’s Comments on RG3.

Your preposterous verbal assault on RG 3 ranks among the most despicable diatribes ever.  Your comments are demeaning to all members of our race.  Why can’t a black man be articulate without being suspected of trying to “act white”?   Sorry brother, there are numerous black brothers and sisters who are articulate and we have no desire to give whites the credit for how articulate we are.

You’re not the determiner of who is authentically black and who is not.  If a person is born black, he or she is black—period.  Because RG 3 elects to be involved with a white woman, he’s not authentically black?  Really?  You’re reckless.  You hurt so many people when you make comments like this.  How can you fight against racism when you’re using it?  You cannot.  You no longer have any credibility when it comes to discussing issues of race.  Actually, you no longer have any credibility to discuss anything, including sports.  Who wants to listen to you anymore, save some extremists who agree with your ignorance and radical viewpoints?

ESPN should do more than suspend you; you should be terminated indefinitely.

While everyone deserves a second chance, you can no longer be effective as an ESPN commentator because your comments will leave an everlasting stain incapable of redemption.  Hopefully, your understanding of blackness will improve.  Right now, you should feel an incredible amount of shame and should work your entire life to remedy this public wrong.

RG 3 is an exceptional athlete and person.  He deserves significant respect and admiration.

If ESPN does not fire you indefinitely, do us all a favor and resign.


Antonio Maurice Daniels


By: Antonio Maurice Daniels, Originally posted to

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Perceptions of Black Male Student-Athletes on Predominantly White Campuses

Perceptions of Black Male Student-Athletes on Predominantly White Campuses

His Story

(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit:


In “‘Athleticated’ Versus Educated: A Qualitative Investigation of Campus Perceptions, Recruiting and African American Male Student-Athletes,” C. Keith Harrison (2008) conducted a study to explore students’ narratives about the college recruitment of high-profile Black male high school student-athletes.  Harrison had participants to watch a scene about college athletic recruiting fromThe Program (1994).  The research questions posed in this study are as follows: (1) Are the recruiting visit perceptions by students about student-athletes based on stereotypes and athlete biases?  (2) How will students respond to images that represent the intercollegiate athletic ritual(s) to sign major recruits in revenue sports (i.e. football and/or basketball)?  (3)  What type of discussion and dialogue about academics and athletics does the qualitative data (narratives) reveal?

A mixed-method research design was used.  202 students at a highly selective Midwestern university participated in this study.  73.6% of the participants are White, 13.4% Asian, and 9% Black, 3% Hispanic, and 1% identified as “Other.”  Visual elicitation was employed to stimulate a discourse between the interviewer and the interviewees.  A survey questionnaire was used.  Hierarchical content analysis and inductive analysis were employed to analyze open-ended responses to questions posed on the survey questionnaire given to each participant after viewing only one scene from The Program.  Participants’ responses emerge from viewing this one scene.

The findings of the study indicated that both Black and White students identified Black male student-athletes in the film to be more athletic or “athleticated” than educated.  Both Black and White students viewed the Black male student-athletes on the film as sex objects.  For Black participants, two dominant themes were found: “athleticated” and “sex object.”  For White participants, four major themes were determined: “athleticated,” “sex object,” “media stereotypes,” and “unrealistic depiction.”  The most prominent themes for both Blacks and Whites were “athleticated” and “sex object.”

Harrison (2008) found important gaps in the professional literature about their being limited empirical investigations of the recruiting inventory of the student-athlete and how the general student body views the student-athlete’s recruitment process.  Since this study extended knowledge about the two aforementioned gaps in the literature, it helps to give some understanding of them.

Harrison (2008) does not offer the reader an understanding of whether this was each participant’s first time viewing the film, which is crucial to understanding potential influences on their responses to questions posed.  One significant weakness of the study is the scholar did not allow the participants to view the entire film, which impacts their ability to properly contextualize the scene the study engaged.  The study does not offer specific details about the responses Hispanic, Asian, and “Other” participants divulged.

Future research needs to resolve how the views of the recruitment of Black male student-athletes of the general student population impact their educational experiences at predominantly white higher education institutions.  Additionally, future research should be devoted to understanding how the perceptions of the recruitment of Black male student-athletes impact their interactions with faculty at predominantly white higher education institutions.  Finally, future research needs to replicate this study and allow students to watch the entire film and then ask them questions about the particular scene used by this study.


Harrison, C.K. (2008). “Athleticated” versus educated: A qualitative investigation of campus perceptions, recruiting and African American male student-athletes. Challenge: A Journal of Research on African American Men14(1), 39-60.

By: Antonio Maurice Daniels, Originally posted to

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Examining Self-perceptions and Behaviors of Successful Black Male College Student-Athletes

Examining Self-perceptions and Behaviors of Successful Black Male College Student-Athletes

His Story

Examining Self black-male-student-athletes

(Photo Credit: Black Entertainment Television)

In “Diamonds in the Rough: Examining a Case of Successful Black Male Student Athletes in College Sport,” Bimper, Jr., Harrison, Jr. and Clark (2012) investigated the self-perceptions and behaviors that enabled 7 Black male student-athletes to experience academic and athletic success.  A case study was used as the research method, and Critical Race Theory (CRT) was employed as the theoretical framework.  From the findings in the study, the researchers concluded that helping Black male college student-athletes to evolve positive identities as student-athletes and the ability to experience rewarding academic achievement are crucial to their academic success.  The findings of this study revolved around three core themes: complex identities, community, and liberation.

Bimper, Jr. et al. (2012) express that Black male student-athletes are being recruited to predominantly White institutions (PWIs) for their athletic abilities, but many of these student-athletes are experiencing tremendous difficulty with meeting their academic challenges.  They note that recent graduation reports promulgated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) about 70 bowl-bound NCAA Division I football teams and NCAA Division I tournament-bound basketball teams reveal that the graduation rate of Black male student-athletes is significantly lower than their White counterparts.  In conducting this study, the authors explain that they want to improve knowledge about the distinctive experiences of Black male student-athletes who have been both academically and athletically successful in high-profile revenue-generations sports at PWIs of higher education.  The researchers also disclose that they concentrate their research on “the role in which race unfolds in the experiences and identity of Black male student athletes in this collegiate setting” (p. 108-109).  They assert that great differences in academic achievement between Black male student-athletes and their White counterparts indicate that issues associated with culture, identity, and social relationships could be important to the academic achievement of student-athletes.

Moreover, Bimper, Jr. et al. (2012) explain how pernicious racial stereotypes lead to decreases in Black male college student-athletes’ academic achievement.  Although all student-athletes have to combat “the dumb jock” stereotype, this stereotype becomes even more problematic for Black male student-athletes, considering they academically underperform all of their peers.  The researchers inform the reader that Black male student-athletes have to fight serious pressure to construct a strong athletic identity before they are given the proper space to develop a constructive academic identity.  The authors discussed how Black male student-athletes who participate in high-profile sports experience a level of alienation far greater than that of the general Black student population.

The lead researcher in this study is a Black male and former student-athlete who participated in multiple revenue-generating college sports.  The lead researcher also has experience working with diverse student-athletes.  To ensure trustworthiness, the lead researcher maintained “transparent memos and notes throughout the data collection and analysis, member checked data transcriptions, and collaborated in a peer review process to check biases and discern the accuracy of findings” (Bimper, Jr., et al., 2012, p. 112).

The participants in this study are 7 Black male student-athletes who attend a southwestern PWI on a full athletic scholarship.  The classification of these student-athletes range from sophomore to graduate student: 1 sophomore, 3 juniors, 2 seniors, and 1 graduate student.  The graduate student finished his undergraduate degree in 3 years and had completed work toward a master’s degree when the study was conducted.  Only one of the participants came from a two-parent home.  All of these Black male student-athletes came from low-income homes, and they all attended public K-12 schools prior to enrolling in college.  A purposeful sampling strategy was employed to recruit them for this study.  Specifically, criterion sampling was used to recruit them.  Bimper, Jr. and colleagues (2012) make clear that the reason why Black male college student-athletes at PWIs were sought after is these institutions have proved in the professional literature to be sites where Black male student-athletes experience the lowest academic achievement.  To be selected to participate in this study, the student-athlete would have to have made valuable athletic contributions to the team and be first or second on the depth chart.  Additionally, the student-athlete had to have at least a 3.0 GPA or received some academic award by the institution, NCAA or the athletic department.

The main method of data collection was semi-structured individual and focus group interviews.  The initial questions asked during the individual and focus group interviews are as follows: “(a) ‘Will you describe your experience as a student athlete at your university?’ (b) ‘How have your experiences as a student athlete influenced your perception of self?’ (c) ‘What do you think contributes to your success as a student athlete?’” (Bimper, Jr., 2012, p. 114).

As mentioned previously, three dominant themes emerged from the data collected: complex identities, community and liberation.  The dominant finding that pertains to the complex identities theme is the student-athletes contended that their identity as Black male student-athletes played an instrumental role in their lives, and they provided a counter-narrative to the prevalent thought of them being only athletes.  All participants were proud to identify themselves as being Black and were conscious of their peers and instructors’ perceptions of their racial identity.  Most of the student-athletes posited that toxic stereotypes about being Black and being an athlete are concatenated.  All participants articulated that Black male student-athletes have to confront challenges associated with their athletic and racial identity.

The community theme refers to the participants communicating their ability to “engage a supportive community” that is critical to their academic and athletic success.  One of the participants explained that too many of his teammates attempt to perform well academically on their own, but they struggle mightily.  For this participant, he did not find the language of the recruiters that he would be coming to a “family” environment to be true.  These student-athletes contend that it was their ability to find a supportive community within the institution and use the available resources offered by the institution and athletic department, especially the academic center in the athletic department, that greatly contributed to their academic success.  Some participants felt that the athletic department created a culture where they expected their student-athletes to graduate, but others believed that there was not a true commitment to their degree completion.  All, save one, participants were linked with tutors to work with outside of the athletic department.  The student-athletes found that networking was essential to their academic success, especially networking with Black professors on campus.  In their opinion, one of the fundamental reasons why many Black male student-athletes struggle academically is they fail to network with others on campus, especially Black professors.  These student-athletes communicated that they were able to overcome the pre-college expectations for them to come to college to simply try to become professional athletes.

Moreover, the theme of liberation that surfaced throughout the study refers to the participants becoming “self-empowered through education” (Bimper, Jr., 2012, p. 122).  The participants believe that it’s more important for them to be successful academically than athletically.  It is there hope that they can change perceptions about Black male student-athletes’ intellect by excelling academically.  They were deeply bothered about the negative perceptions on campus about their intellectual capabilities as student-athletes, especially as Black male student-athletes.

One disappointing aspect of this study is it does not offer any understanding of the academic preparation the student-athletes had prior to coming to college.  This study did not provide any understanding about where the participants’ strong self-determination emerged, and what helped them to not fall prey to simply coming to college to try to become professional athletes.  While this study has great potential for helping scholars to understand how to ameliorate the academic achievement of Black male student-athletes at PWIs, its failure to give insights into the pre-college academic and social preparation of the participants leaves many issues and questions unresolved.  Although it does explain that all of the student-athletes come from low-income homes, the reader is left without any understanding of how well the students performed academically in their K-12 experience.  It would have been helpful to learn more about their pre-college social lives and experiences.  Simply learning that the student-athletes come from low-income homes is not sufficient enough to provide essential background information about the pre-college factors that facilitate and militate against their college academic achievement.

The Black male student-athletes provided valuable insights about how important networking, especially with Black professors, was to their academic success.  It would have been helpful to learn specifically what those Black professors provided for them.  Future research should devote critical attention to how networking can aid in the academic success of Black male student-athletes and what can be done to mitigate barriers to Black male student-athletes being able to engage in networking.  Scholars need to investigate why many Black male student-athletes are not currently engaging in networking on-campus and off-campus.  The study offers promising insights about how academic support centers in athletic departments should adopt a culturally relevant pedagogical framework.  The study does not, however, give specific recommendations for accomplishing this.  Future research should provide specific recommendations for establishing a culturally relevant pedagogical framework in academic support centers in athletic departments, and examine the specific academic and social outcomes that result from implementing a culturally relevant pedagogical framework in these academic support centers in athletic departments.


Bimper, Jr. A.Y., Harrison, Jr., L., & Clark, L. (2012). Diamonds in the rough: Examining a case of successful Black male student athletes in college sport. Journal of Black Psychology, 39(2), 107-130.

By: Antonio Maurice Daniels, Originally posted to

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Darrell Wallace Jr. and NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program Makes History

Darrell Wallace Jr. and NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program Makes History

Positive Black Male News

History was made Saturday night in NASCAR—though most people may not know of it and who the subject of it is. To read more click here wants to provide you with news stories from across the world that promote a positive black male image. Many of the stories featured here may not be on the front page of your local newspaper, but we believe that it is our job to inform you on all the positive black male news circulating the world.

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