Black Men Can't Shoot

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ReadHowYouWant.com, Oct 19, 2010 - 368 pages
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The myth of the natural black athlete is widespread, though it's usually only talked about when a sports commentator or celebrity embarrasses himself by bringing it up in public. Those gaffes are swiftly decried as racist, but apart from their link to the long history of ugly racial stereotypes about black people - especially men - they are also harmful because they obscure very real, hard-fought accomplishments. As Black Men Can't Shoot demonstrates, such successes on the basketball court don't just happen because of natural gifts - instead, they grow out of the long, tough, and unpredictable process of becoming a known player. Scott N. Brooks spent four years coaching summer league basketball in Philadelphia. And what he saw, heard, and felt working with the young black men on his team tells us much about how some kids are able to make the extraordinary journey from the ghetto to the NCAA. To show how good players make the transition to greatness, Brooks tells the story of two young men, Jermaine and Ray, following them through their high school years and chronicling their breakthroughs and frustrations on the court as well as their troubles at home. We witness them negotiating the pitfalls of forging a career and a path out of poverty, we see their triumphs and setbacks, and we hear from the network of people - their families, the neighborhood elders, and Coach Brooks himself - invested in their fates. Black Men Can't Shoot has all the hallmarks of a classic sports book, with a climactic championship game and a suspenseful ending as we wait to find out if Jermaine and Ray will be recruited. Brooks's moving coming-of-age story counters the belief that basketball only exploits kids and lures them into following empty dreams - and shows us that by playing ball, some of these young black men have already begun their education even before they get to college.
 

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Black men can't shoot

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Brooks (sociology, Univ. of California at Riverside), having studied under and been inspired by the highly esteemed Elijah Anderson at the University of Pennsylvania, provides an ethnographic ... Read full review

Contents

JERMAINE AND RAY
1
BECOMING A BASKETBALL PLAYER
21
GETTING KNOWN THROUGH NETWORKS AND EXPOSURE
33
PLAYING SCHOOL BALL
41
OLD HEADS AND YOUNG BULLS
48
A SATURDAY MORNING AT ESPY
58
THE HEART OF THE PLAYGROUND
65
CHUCK BREAKS THEM DOWN
77
PLAYING EVERYWHERE
167
CANT LOOK POOR
176
IMPLOSION
192
MOVING NORTH
209
LEARNING OTHER STUFF
224
POLITICS AND PUBLICITY 228 21 A STAR IS BORN ANOTHER IS STILL WAITING
239
GETTING IN SCHOOL AND GETTING OUT OF THE HOOD
248
BEING USED
253

GOTTA WANT IT LIKE THAT
92
PLAYING UPTOWN
98
SOME FALL OFF
109
THE CHIP 120 12 BRINGINGEM BACK AND PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
129
THE GLOW BUT REALITY OF SUCCESS
144
RAY VS GREEN
156
CONCLUSION
261
METHODOLOGY
275
SETTINGSPOLITICS OF SPACE
292
REFERENCES
320
BACK COVER FLAP
333
Copyright

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