Too pretty to play? Stephen Curry and the light-skinned black athlete

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-05-17 02:16Z by Steven

Too pretty to play? Stephen Curry and the light-skinned black athlete

The Conversation
2017-04-30

Ronald Hall, Professor of Social Work
Michigan State University


Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry walks off the court after a game against the Denver Nuggets in February. USA Today Sports/Reuters

During a recent interview, Golden State Warriors Draymond Green discussed why players around the league have long doubted or dismissed the talents of his superstar teammate, Stephen Curry. But it was Green’s last point, mentioned almost as an aside – “And of course, Steph is light-skinned so [players] want to make him out to be soft” – that got the most attention.

To white Americans, the relationship between skin color and toughness or masculinity might not be obvious. They might associate skin color with race or with attractiveness. But toughness? Not so much.

My first book, published in 1992, referred to skin color as “The Last Taboo Among African Americans.” It explored how African-Americans, within their community, grapple with prejudices that stem from their various shades of skin colors. If you’re black, depending on the shade of your skin, other black people might think of you as “high yella” or “red-boned,” a “white wanna-be” or just not “black enough.”…

..After the first African slaves arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, a population of mixed-race blacks emerged. Their masters and fellow slaves celebrated their exotic features – not quite African, but not exactly white. The women were called “fancy girls” and paraded at quadroon balls, events for wealthy white men to meet and mingle with them. Lighter-skinned black men, meanwhile, were dubbed “run ‘round men” because, with their fairer skin, they could supposedly have their pick of any woman in the black community…

Read the entire article here.

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Chris Hughton: ‘I have a thirst for knowledge. I won’t always be a manager’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2017-04-29 02:08Z by Steven

Chris Hughton: ‘I have a thirst for knowledge. I won’t always be a manager’

The Guardian
2017-04-28

Donald McRae


Chris Hughton says he is hoping to ‘tweak the squad and make some improvements’ before starting life in the Premier League. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images

In an exclusive interview, the Brighton manager talks about the ‘shocking’ imbalance between white and BAME managers in England and his hopes for Brighton in the Premier League next season

“‘It is shocking and the more we speak about it, and reflect on it, the more it hits home that there’s an incredible imbalance,” Chris Hughton says as he addresses the grievous lack of black managers in English football. His only current managerial contemporary is Keith Curle, in charge of Carlisle United in League Two, and Hughton’s quietly spoken words carry even more impact now that he has led Brighton & Hove Albion into next season’s Premier League.

Brighton’s inspiring promotion, after decades of strife in which the club became homeless, bankrupt and on the brink of losing their place in the Football League, was guaranteed last week. Their 58-year-old manager has two games remaining of this Championship season, starting with Bristol City at home on Saturday. But first, on a cold evening at the Amex Stadium, before his players participate in their annual awards, it is striking how he sidesteps beaming celebrations or personal vindication. Hughton, instead, confronts more important issues with a social conscience that is often missing from English football.

The “incredible imbalance” has long been, as Hughton says, “between those of ethnic backgrounds playing football, often at very good clubs, having good careers, being captains of their teams, and an absence in senior management. There have been some changes and it has been encouraging at academy and grassroots level – but still not at the top level. The game has a responsibility to redress the balance.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Early Afro-Brazilian Soccer Stars and the Myth of Racial Democracy

Posted in Articles, Biography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2017-04-11 01:38Z by Steven

Early Afro-Brazilian Soccer Stars and the Myth of Racial Democracy

Sport In American History
2017-03-23

Zachary R. Bigalke
Department of History
University of Oregon


Carlos Molinari, “Time do Bangu em 1905,” Bangu.net, via Ludopédio, Francisco Carregal is pictured seated front row and center in the photo.

The ideology of racial democracy cast a long shadow over twentieth-century race relations in Brazil. First popularized by influential Brazilian scholar Gilberto Freyre, this theory presumed a level racial playing field that was paradoxically dependent on the whitening of the populace. Rather than helping to drive the country toward a multiracial future, racial democracy shrouded the structural issues that remained as a legacy of Brazilian slavery.

Throughout his corpus of writings, Freyre portrayed Afro-Brazilians as sexualized Dionysian figures with a florid talent for bodily movement, expressed not only through capoeira and samba but also on the soccer pitch. Freyre used soccer as a foil for his theories of racial democracy throughout the course of his career, assigning certain attributes such as surprise, skill, cleverness, speed, and spontaneity on a racialized basis even as he tried to claim racial syncretism both in soccer and in broader society. Journalist Mario Filho furthered this discourse in his 1947 book O Negro no Futebol Brasileiro, for which Freyre wrote the introduction. Freyre and later Filho lionized certain players while glossing over others to create the myth that soccer exemplified multiracial harmony within Brazil’s racial democracy.

The career arcs of two key soccer players—Francisco Carregal in Rio de Janeiro and Arthur Friedenreich in São Paulo—offer a lens to evaluate the extent of Afro-Brazilian agency during the early decades of soccer’s growth in Brazil. The stories of their respective careers and historical representations illustrate the extent to which the myth of racial democracy was contingent on the process of whitening, in soccer’s case less through manipulation of behavioral traits and physical appearance.

To better understand these individuals and their status in Brazilian soccer as vanguards for future generations of Afro-Brazilian players, let’s look at both men through the context of their careers as well as their portrayals by Filho in his landmark text…

Read the entire article here.

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The NFL has effectively blackballed Colin Kaepernick

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-03-24 18:48Z by Steven

The NFL has effectively blackballed Colin Kaepernick

The Washington Post
2017-03-23

Kevin B. Blackistone, Visiting Professor
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
University of Maryland

A week before Christmas 1996, Craig Hodges, who twice during his 10 NBA seasons was the league’s best three-point shooter, filed a federal lawsuit against the NBA. He charged that the league colluded to end his career four seasons earlier.

Hodges contended the league was upset that he showed up at the White House with Michael Jordan and his other teammates from the 1991 NBA champion Bulls draped in a dashiki — a traditional West African tunic popularized here during the Black Power movement — and exercised utter audacity by presenting their host, President George H.W. Bush, with a two-page letter calling for the plight of people of color and the poor in this country to be prioritized in Bush’s domestic agenda.

A week into 1998, the court dismissed Hodges’s complaint. His career effectively died when the Bulls waived him following their second championship in 1992.

But Hodges’s story was revived with the advent of this NFL offseason’s free agency period. He’s been reincarnated in Colin Kaepernick. To be sure, Kaepernick managed the 17th-best quarterback rating last season among starters while coming back from injury. His touchdown percentage was 13th best, better than Washington’s Kirk Cousins, who wound up in the Pro Bowl and with a new franchise-tag contract worth $24 million next season. His interception percentage was sixth, just behind Aaron Rodgers and just ahead of MVP Matt Ryan

Read the entire article here.

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The Mixed Race Athlete’s ECG: Not So Black And White

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United Kingdom, United States on 2017-03-19 21:11Z by Steven

The Mixed Race Athlete’s ECG: Not So Black And White

Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Volume 69, Issue 11, Supplement
2017-03-21
pages 1416
DOI: 10.1016/S0735-1097(17)34805-2

Aneil Malhotra, Prashant Rao, Harshil Dhutia, Sabiha Gati, Tee Joo Yeo, Rajit Khosla, Vivek Prasad, Michael Papadakis, Sanjay Sharma
St. George’s University of London, London, United Kingdom

Non Invasive Imaging (Echocardiography, Nuclear, PET, MR and CT)

  • Background: The past 2 decades has seen a huge rise in the number of mixed race athletes with one white and one black parent. In fact this is the largest growing ethnic group in both the USA and UK. Little is known on the mixed race athlete’s EKG. This is the first study to analyse the EKGs of mixed race athletes (MAs) and compare them to white (WAs) and black (BAs) athletes.
  • Methods: The EKGs of 300 MAs professional soccer players were compared to 1,000 BA and 1,000 WA soccer players all of whom underwent mandatory preparticipation screening with EKG. All MAs had one white and one black parent. EKG characteristics were analysed independently by 2 cardiologists.
  • Results: The mean age of all athletes was 16.7 years. 95% were male. MAs had a higher prevalence of bradycardia (67%) vs. both WAs (44%) and BAs (46%; table 1). MAs had more left ventricular hypertrophy (30%) vs. BAs (17%). MAs revealed more atrial enlargement and left axis deviation than WAs, but not BAs. T wave inversion (TWI) was 4 times more common in MAs (8%) than WAs (2.3%) though less common than BAs (10.9%).
  • Conclusions: MAs demonstrate EKG changes similar to black athletes in terms of atrial enlargement and axis deviation which are borderline variants according to the refined criteria for EKG interpretation in athletes. MAs demonstrated a higher prevalence of TWI in all territories vs. WAs, though less than BAs. Mixed race athletes do indeed exhibit a “mixed” pattern of EKG characteristics though these tend to be more similar to black athletes’ EKG than white athletes.

Read the entire poster here.

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Teaser: Documentary on Leone Jacovacci – 1920s Black Italian Boxer Who “Took a Swing at Fascism”

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, Media Archive, Videos on 2017-03-13 15:34Z by Steven

Teaser: Documentary on Leone Jacovacci – 1920s Black Italian Boxer Who “Took a Swing at Fascism”

Shadow and Act: On Film, Television and Web Contents of Africa and Its Diaspora
2017-03-12


Leone Jacovacci

Leone Jacovacci (a.k.a. John Douglas Walker and Jack Walker) was born in 1902 in the village of Pombo in the then Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), the son of an Italian man and a Congolese woman. He was raised in Italy which was rough for him, given that he was bi-racial, and as a result, in his late teens, found himself in England where he reinvented himself as John Douglas Walker, added a couple of years to his age, and enlisted in the 53rd Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment of the British Army.

After being discharged, he took up amateur boxing and was mostly successful, bouncing between England and France, racking up victories. In 1922 he returned to Italy, pretending to be an American named Jack Walker until he found it too burdensome to maintain the fake persona (he occasionally slipped and spoke fluent Italian). His surprising confession in 1925 that he was Italian presented complications in a nation that was then ruled by Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party

Read the entire article and watch the trailer here.

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Race, Identity and the Making of Hashim Amla

Posted in Africa, Articles, Media Archive, South Africa on 2017-01-13 02:15Z by Steven

Race, Identity and the Making of Hashim Amla

Africa Is A Country
2013-07-20

Niren Tolsi

Hashim Amla has arrived. His back-lift to gully now appears the sort of lazy flourish that bored twelve-year-olds develop because they are staggeringly superior to their opposition, rather than the defect that presumed he wouldn’t cut it at international level early on in his career. That twirl of a back-lift is now brought down to defend, flick, drive and reduce Test bowlers into looking like schoolboys. He is silky and elegant in a manner that compelled Richie Benaud, the former Australian captain–and one of the most knowledgeable, and least myopic, of that country’s commentators–-to describe him as “an artist in a team of artisans” during a solid first tour Down Under in 2008.

At the time of writing (after the Wanderers Test match against Pakistan in early February) he was the International Cricket Council’s world number one ranked Test batsman. En-route to overtaking Australian captain Michael Clarke to assume that apex he had struck an unbeaten 311 against England at The Oval–becoming the first South African to score a triple-ton and the 22nd person in the history of Test cricket to do so.

His batting is eye-catching. As is the shaggy square beard that marks him out as a devout Muslim in a team that has traditionally traded on what Jesus would do, Castle Lager, jock-of-the-establishment-school-tie posturing and a gritty approach to the game that melded the conservative, dour and tragic elements that reside inside the Afrikaner and the Rooi-neck. If Jacques Kallis, the darling of the South African (white) cricketing media corps, represents the establishment with his hair implants, demeanor as wooden as his “big bat” and tweets calling for the return of the death penalty, then Amla, all leg-side flicks as luxurious as his beard, imperious punches off the back-foot and mere physical manifestation represents its anathema–almost. In the chaotic, overlapping and contradictory world of South African identity politics even that would be too reductionist. Too simple…

Read the entire article here.

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Tony Collins: Football Master Spy

Posted in Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2016-10-27 17:54Z by Steven

Tony Collins, Football Master Spy

Book Guild Publishing Ltd
2016-10-27
270 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781910878934

Quentin Cope & Sarita Collins

The English Football League’s First Black Manager

This is the story of the English football league’s first black manager. Tony Collins was a young man, born into disadvantaged circumstances, in a time period between two world wars where nothing was certain, except the kind of reception a black man would receive when attempting to move into a slightly brutal but reserved world of top class white sportsmen. After becoming the very first Black English Football League manager in history, Tony went on to be one of the most influential ‘backroom boys’ the game has ever seen, being labelled ‘The Teacher’ and football’s ‘Master Spy’ by the National Press. The story falls naturally into three distinct parts:

  • Part I: His early life as a child in London, his schooling and army life in Italy.
  • Part II: His career as a football player and time as a manager.
  • Part III: His time as a chief scout for the top teams of the day and the England side under well-known names as Revie and Atkinson.
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Where did Colin Kaepernick get start as an activist?

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2016-10-22 22:35Z by Steven

Where did Colin Kaepernick get start as an activist?

USA TODAY
2016-09-30

Josh Peter

They remember the conservative haircut he wore at John Pitman High School, and now they see the Afro and cornrows. They remember his studious and soft-spoken ways from a decade ago, and now they see him refusing to stand for the national anthem and agitating for social change.

In Turlock, Calif., where Colin Kaepernick was raised, many residents have asked some version of the same question: What in the heck happened to our hometown hero?

But those who knew Kaepernick at the University of Nevada at Reno, where attended from 2006-10 and was a star quarterback before getting drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, say they’re not at all confused.

“Anyone who wants to characterize this as some new black awareness on his behalf just simply doesn’t know him or didn’t do the diligence,’’ Reg Stewart, director of the Center for Student Cultural Diversity at Nevada-Reno when Kaepernick was in school, told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s not like I turned on the TV and was like, ‘Wow, where did this come from?’ I was like, ‘You know what, he has been thinking about these issues for at least the time I’ve known him.”…

…At the black student union meetings at Nevada-Reno, Kaepernick was outspoken about issues such as attracting more African Americans to the campus, Bart-Plange said.

“He would let us know, we’ve got to get everybody unified,” Bart-Plange said. “The only way we’re going to get better is together, that’s how we’re stronger, power in numbers, educating each other.”

Kaepernick’s increasing identification as African American began as soon as he arrived at Reno, according to Stewart. African Americans made up about 4% of the student body, but Stewart suggested the university’s cultural diversity center gave Kaepernick an outlet to find his identity as an African American…

Read the entire article here.

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Shaun King on Colin Kaepernick: He is Enormously Courageous and Has Sparked a Movement Among Athletes

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Videos on 2016-10-22 22:12Z by Steven

Shaun King on Colin Kaepernick: He is Enormously Courageous and Has Sparked a Movement Among Athletes

Democracy Now!
2016-10-21

Amy Goodman, Host and Executive Producer

Shaun King, Black Lives Matter activist and the senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, discusses NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who continued his protest Sunday against racial oppression and police brutality by kneeling on one knee during the pre-game national anthem ahead of his first game of the year for the San Francisco 49ers. His actions have sparked similar protests across the country among professional, college and even high school and middle school athletes.

Read the transcript here.

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