Forty Million Dollar Slaves The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete

ISBN-10: 0307353141
ISBN-13: 9780307353146
Edition: 2006
List price: $14.99 Buy it from $11.06
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Description: From 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, says  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.99
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 7/24/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

From 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, says "New 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 bringskids 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. "From the Hardcover edition."

Prologue
Introduction
The Race Begins: The Dilemma of Illusion
The Plantation: The Dilemma of Physical Bondage
The Jockey Syndrome: The Dilemma of Exclusion
The Negro Leagues: The Dilemma of Myopia
Integration: The Dilemma of Inclusion Without Power
Style: The Dilemma of Appropriation
The Conveyor Belt: The Dilemma of Alienation
The River Jordan: The Dilemma of Neutrality
Ain't I a Woman? The Dilemma of the Double Burden
The $40 Million Slave: The Dilemma of Wealth Without Control
The One Who Got Away? The Dilemma of Ownership
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

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