Youth Education, Sports Icons and Community Leadership

Today, it is all about being “cool” or “hip.” It’s about presenting the right “photograph”, approximately being capable of provoking the women or one’s friends. It’s approximately making the team, approximately being the coolest searching participant on the basketball court or football area, the dude with the snazzy haircut or braids, or gangster style tattoo, or Fubu outfit, or highly-priced Nike trainers, or gold chains, or jewelry, or baggy pants, or sports activities automobile.

Of route girls are not immune, they too are enticed with “bribes” of precise times and being pregnant! But it’s miles in most cases our boys – the next era of Black guys – that are in real and in some instances mortal hazard. It might be an overstatement to mention that sports activities may be seen as a new shape of mental and physical slavery. But is it? It’s in all likelihood genuine to say that because it’s miles appealing and related to stardom, that sports activity exert an effective have an effect on our teenagers and that in some respects its influence is insidious.

Okay, you say, let’s keep things in proper perspective. Is no point scare mongering right? After all, it is only a sport. And can we truely offload this sports thing onto the media moguls, sports activities magnates or fashion houses? Accepted, they do have the power and the influence, however, aren’t we the ones who will purchase their merchandise, their offerings and who allow ourselves for use?

As effective as the media is; as seductive because the entice of on the spot fulfillment thru Nike running shoes or an NBA or NFL settlement would possibly appear, the truth is that maximum parents and children are not caught up via the hype or fooled through the lies. In different words, the choice is ours. And a lot of us have taken a stand towards the enticements of sport figuring out that one Michael Jordan, or Venus or Serena Williams, or Tiger Woods does no longer a whole technology make.

The overwhelming majority of young black adult males who rally to the call of the sports activities and style media are drawn both to basketball or soccer. Almost undoubtedly those are the “coolest” sports activities and the black presence is plain. The few players who, both due to their performance or income (the two commonly cross collectively), make it into the movie star leagues are the brand new emblems of achievement and have emerge as the role fashions of every younger black male who fancies his probabilities and sees sports activities as an clean price ticket out of the ghetto, the school room, or the uninteresting existence dictated via those of his mother and father’ generation.

What I find maximum worrying is the way in which the educational opportunities of many young black men are reputedly being hijacked. Of course, folks that make it into the expert ranks realize the importance of a scholarship and a university schooling. But the memories of cooked grades and stars who can barely read or write are too real to dismiss as fantasy.

But, perhaps greater vital even than this, is the “easy believism” that can be paralyzing or otherwise infecting our network thru our children. Hey, they say and suppose, you do not have to work too hard. Just play a touch basketball. Don’t worry about school. There’s nothing wrong with practicing that leap shot all day on the park. Homework? What’s that?

Forget it, who desires grades anyway? Just work on the one’s Harlem Globetrotter competencies, slam, dunk, dribble, don’t skip, drink your milk and Oreo cookies and think of Michael Jordan’s success. No hassle. You’re gonna make it!

And my prayers are with you. But the truth is that you in all likelihood have a higher chance of creating it to the White House and appointing an all-black cupboard as you do of becoming the subsequent Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, or any of the other currently pinnacle-rated basket ball stars.

And it is the trouble; the cloud of unreality that has colored our wondering and blinded our imaginative and prescient. And, until we wake up and soon, our collective blindness may additionally consign our kids to the profession ghetto with no schooling, restricted possibilities, on a educate going nowhere speedy. And you shouldn’t assume too tough about the usual passageway from right here to tablets and the crook justice machine.

Most people apprehend and be given that these closing are tearing many groups apart and we often pay attention individuals talking out towards the cancer of crack cocaine or the unwarranted numbers of black men at the back of bars. We rightly recognize these “truths” as being evidence that possibly all is not right with our society. But the opportunity that slipping educational standards and the advertising of a smooth course to success can be the actual present day-day curse of our kids has yet to be trumpeted from the hilltops by means of our flesh pressers, community leaders or conscientious media personalities.

If they may be speaking about it, then they should be whispering. Either that or I’m slowly becoming deaf! Of route, no longer all sports activities stars are jocks and it’d be a terrible disservice to the able, talented, and aspiring among them to mention as a few may that maximum athletes are not anything greater than youngsters with an excessive amount of money and too little sense for his or her very own exact. While the stereotype stays famous, again largely because of the media’s awareness and misrepresentation, it is largely unfaithful.

There are many younger, shiny, articulate, knowledgeable, aware young male and woman athletes who are serving as high-quality role models for the subsequent era. However, it is unfortunate that interviews with those people or actual-time media representations in their lives off the court or discipline are few and ways along. It’s a lot less complicated to consciousness on their sporting skills and sells their superstar quality. After all that is what sells tickets and increases the cost of the character to the promoter, proprietor, manager, educate, or television community.

For all the effective traits that a Michael Jordan may additionally exude, and for all the pace with which selected individuals are catapulted onto the sector stage and transformed occasionally overnight into American icons, how lots of your sons or daughters do you clearly accept as true with will ever have a possibility to achieve the same degree of success?

There are a few real success stories accessible. In most cases, the silent and the quiet who shuns media attention, and who awareness on their families, their careers and their futures in that order are not generally the stuff of which legends are made. You may not discover such people being touted inside the media. And there are other stars who, having gained a positive notoriety via living as much as the stereotype, have long gone on to make a achievement of their lives and enterprise accomplishments.

Magic Johnson is perhaps one example. It changed into returned on November 7, 1991, that the sport’s global was rocked by using the statement that Magic had the HIV virus. The news becomes shocking. This was at a time while for many HIV changed into the equivalent to positive dying. Now, a decade later Magic is a tremendous force in business with a pronounced $500 million enterprise portfolio.

Many groups are the richer for such efforts and nobody can dispose of from those public successes or the importance of those acts of entrepreneurial magic. However, I always discover myself asking, while faced with such tales of fulfillment and fabric wealth, how an awful lot greater could our stars and leaders be doing by using manner of sponsoring scholarship programs or linking their names, talents and wealth to charter colleges, faculties and universities, after-faculty care packages, mentoring packages, summer season camps, area camps, overseas language studying schemes, cultural exchange packages, computers in faculties, science and generation projects, hospitals, clinics, honest hire housing improvement schemes, libraries, urban renewal initiatives. The list is almost countless and the benefits would amplify some distance beyond the black community.

But how do I know that they are not making an investment in such things? Just because we do not listen approximately it doesn’t mean they ain’t? Right? Pardon the grammar but the factor is properly made. Perhaps they’re doing all this but nobody is speaking. After all is not this what the Bible encourages while it speaks of humility and the left hand now not letting the right hand recognize what it’s doing? Well how come we listen so much approximately the supposed wealth of character stars and so little about the acts of “exact.”?

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