By Matthew Whitaker Ph.D.

This identify deals an exam of African americans in activities, from quite a few views and during a full of life variety of rhetoric kinds, and illuminates the heritage of hugely winning and influential members, athletes and groups who've transcended mere superstar to return to symbolize a given Zeitgeist to a large a part of the area. It additionally explores the heritage and lives of complicated, multi-layered personages and teams. ultimately, it examines the level to which smooth mass media and pop culture have contributed significantly to the increase, and infrequently fall, of the those strong symbols of athletic, person, and team excellence.

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Extra resources for African American Icons of Sport: Triumph, Courage, and Excellence (Greenwood Icons)

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Regardless of his purpose in the Nike advertisement, the cultural debate that ensued shed more light and less friction on the issue of role models. Barkley also continued his self-taught political education. For example, he read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. He changed his political party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and stressed the importance of class and race. Many Republicans gave us fish, he argued, instead of teaching us how to fish. He labeled the Republican revolution of 1994 as mean-spirited, and denounced Pat Buchanan as a neo-Nazi.

The love and discipline he received from his father and relatives, as well as his first tennis instructors, Charity and Johnson, prepared him well for his future and the life he would lead outside of his hometown. Ashe’s father wanted to see his son excel in tennis. Opportunities to play winter tennis did not exist in Richmond, so in 1960 Ashe moved to St. Louis to live with Richard Hudlin, a friend of Johnson’s, for his senior year of high school. The move proved permanent for Ashe. He attended Sumner High School, where Hudlin taught.

Grew up and spent the first 16 years of his life in Richmond, Virginia, a city in the segregated South. In 1947, his father took a job as the supervisor for Brook Field Park in Richmond. The family moved to a small home on the property, which also included a swimming pool, baseball fields, and tennis courts. Mattie died in 1950 due to pregnancy complications at the age of 27. In a poignant autobiography, Off the Court, written by Ashe and Neil Amdur, Ashe noted that losing his mother affected him greatly.

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