Racism in Sports
from 07:00 PM to 09:00 PM
- Marci Blackman (novelist, author of Po Man's Child and Tradition)
- Satish Ram (York College student, author of a New York Mets blog Metsmerized.com)
- Cecil Harris (Sportswriter, author of Breaking the Ice and Charging the Net)
- Dr. Michele Gregory (Associate Professor of Sociology)
- Dr. Mychel Namphy (Assistant Professor of English)
In 1895, the year before the United States Supreme Court used a "separate but equal" argument to uphold (by a 7-1 vote) the constitutionality of state laws that mandated segregated public facilities, a New York Sun editor named Charles Dana wrote, "We are in the midst of a growing menace. The black man is rapidly forging to the front ranks in athletics, especially in the field of fisticuffs. We are in the midst of a black rise against white supremacy." Over 100 years later, African-American athletes are at the forefront of American popular and sporting culture. From Venus and Serena Williams to Lebron James and Michael Jordan to Floyd Mayweather and Muhammad Ali to Gabby Douglas to Tiger Woods, Black American athletes today command wealth and celebrity at a level that would have been hard to imagine for Americans of a century ago. But have these large dollars and unbridled celebrity translated into any real power for Black people? Where are we right now in the historical arc that is the journey of the African-American athlete? What are the implications of racism in sports with respect to gender and sexual orientation? And is sport a worthwhile site for resistance to white supremacist exploitation? This panel brings together a group of critics, writers, and former athletes from the York College community and elsewhere to discuss and debate these kinds of questions. All are welcome to join us. Free and open to the public.
 This is the titled of William Rhoden's 2006 book Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete, published by Three Rivers Press.