5 Reasons Why

In view of many people who know me, understands that I am an extreme symbolic person. Promptly consequent to where I come from, my beliefs, relationships, etc., I express nature, character, emotions, and signs allusively. Specifically, the way that I signify someone and a form of awareness is simply by wearing a certain basketball jersey number. Thus, here are my 5 reasons why.

  1. To begin with, I grew up attentively watching high school basketball favoriting two players my brother (#4) and his teammate Corey Hill (#5). Corey participated on the varsity level from his freshman to senior year. Which encouraged myself to contest at the varsity level as a freshman too. Even so, his downfall occurred while I was a freshman contending on the varsity team, therefore number 5 generated as my life-long number since that shattering moment.
  2. Secondly, after hearing Corey’s fate I have always considered marking a tattoo to represent my love for basketball and for him. Usually before an organized basketball game I would stare at the tattoo located below my right shoulder if I am not wearing number 5. Then I would reminisce of him, which would be my drive to perform well and represent Corey’s basketball jersey number.
  3. Thirdly, wearing number 5 shaped my style of play according to how I perceived Corey, with respect to being a shooter. As an illustration, for people who wear number 30 as their basketball number are likely wearing it because he or she admires Stephen Curry. So to say, one would obviously attempt three point shots or deep range three pointers because that is what makes Curry notorious. By way of representing Corey’s jersey number 5, my role and performance of basketball shifted. I converted from a ball handler into a jump shooter but netted them. This alter strictly allowed me to advance my skills. In that, I was able to execute identical to Corey Hill.
  4. Fourthly, Corey was one of few people who progressed to college while facing many setbacks. Graduating high school and advancing to higher education was slim and uncommon for most people in our town. Considering many young African American males destined to be a statistic, Corey was able to persevere by using sports as a tool which resulted college arrangements. This was an approach which I desired until the announcement of his death. Corey’s account for suicide shut me speechless and nonetheless to analyze how the experience thereof college itself, residing in a different state from home, and furthermore being upraised by a difficult background would eventually lead someone into such actions. This agitation prevented my aspiration on pursuing college. Although, I managed to conquer a Bachelor’s degree on top of living far away from home, while Corey being one of my motivations during the journey.
  5. The final reason why I wear number 5 is due to suicide awareness. Most people have a story behind their jersey number selected. In addition to this, the awareness to Corey’s afterlife harvested my reason. That well known suicide report have lived with me up to this moment. Also, remembering the fact how heavy his decision had an impact on students at our school and the community. Even the coaches together with whom I saw as the toughest and hardest acting people wept. Seeing those emotional reactions from everyone established a memorable sense of pain alone. Today, another immovable thought which stricken myself individually and surely everyone else, is “why”? Many reasons came about while examining and judging Corey’s inspiration. However, we will never know his reason(s) to extent of an undertaking action. In view of that, I wear number 5 in support of suicide awareness and Corey Hill.

Potential Book Cover

The autobiography cover was designed in order to portray visions reflecting personal relevance, life experience, activities, and growth.

Alongside the basketball court, the image presented at the upper left hand corner projects Stonehenge community center. Although there were many chill spots in the neighborhood whereas people would associate, this area would best fit the script of anyone’s’ concern of my whereabouts. So to say, this place was a second home, meanwhile, it played a significant role in my personal-development.

Underneath the community center states “A Story for Believers”, in the event that I was lectured several stories and motivational conversations from peers who had hope in my aspiration. In terms, it was a healing factor that assisted my self-assurance while in doubt. Let alone, I can recall numerous amount of dreams from childhood friends who are deceased. It makes a huge difference to have people who care about your success to give feedback, coaching, encouragement and accountability. Such people planted an ambition in my motive, however, it is very conventional to share my journey for next generations who identify with an equivalent path or witness similar experiences.

In the top middle, Stonehenge is an art of several stones whose name is inscribed into one of its horizontal beams portraying the beauty outside of the neighborhood. All of the initial homeowners were white and now Stonehenge is predominantly black. Built in the late 1990s, as a gateway for a housing subdivision. Spectating the viewpoint is amazing while appearing forefront of the neighborhood. In view of the foreground positioning, Stonehenge is an appreciative sight to observe upon the overall city Athens, GA.

With sight-seeing in mind, the upper right hand corner resembles a direct photograph of Oceanside’s ocean view. The image was taken while traveling from Los Angeles, CA to San Diego, CA. After deep reflection and conscious decision-making, the significance of this photo represents a journey of striving. In the case of forfeiting life, education, and basketball while in a new environment and being exposed to a total new lifestyle that I was never intended to be settled in. Nevertheless, growth begins the moment you step out of your comfort zone.

Underneath the ocean lies the symbol of Ankh. The ankh is the Egyptian symbol of life, also referred to as the Key of Life. Notably, the water and sun above represents the nutrients for life. With the arrangement of the ankh symbol, the authors’ name being the autobiographical sets a venue. To resume, Osiris is worshipped as God of the afterlife as Egyptians believe there is life after death. Aten was a being who represented the god or spirit of the sun. The god Hapi controlled the water itself. Thus being spiritual once before, discovering ancestry data through higher education conducted a strong relevant connection to my impression even before studying.

At the bottom of the book cover, a transparent basketball hovers on the weighing scale. Basketball was an activity of mental balance and has been the pivotal reasons for my drive, venture, and triumph in life. In view of a translucent basketball, the more I aged the game faded away forethought. Yet, basketball gave me an education, opportunity in life, and a future that I would not have otherwise. The more I learned in the classroom the less I was concerned of the sport. Although I played through injuries, basketball taught me the discipline and work ethic I entailed while encountering adversity on and off the court.

Lastly, the weighing scale at the base of the book holds the powerful word and unique name Justice. The meaning of justice has been the most emphasized category that I have clinched through higher education. Due to the extreme active social political aggression for human rights, living in the Bay Area has been truly eye-opening. Owing to the diversity, the environment makes it effortless to glance injustice unlike other places that I have occupied. Being that San Francisco State University was the first Africana Studies program in the United States, it has been an effective program to shift my paradigm. Hence, higher education and witnessing a prolonged journey led to critical consciousness and altered my perception of the world.



Coping With Community Violence

Antisocial Behavior contains a section on Community and Youth Violence.  In that category there are several studies on the ways in which Black youth “cope” with community violence.  There are various methods of coping used by Terrence Fischer and his friends in the film “Bullets in the Hood

A method that I noticed used by Terrance Fisher in relationship to “Community and Youth Violence” would be civic engagement. In the beginning of the film, he was seeking to make a difference in the life of his community explaining why guns are bad. In creating the film, Terrance Fisher could consider as an activist, because he was making the documentary film to portray life in the hood while looking for change. Moreover, he campaigned for social change, participated in a March protest, and sought a lawyer to help seek justice for Timothy Stansbury. And of course, the cop was not even indicted.

Terrance Fisher and his friends acted the form of coping with music, by creating a vivid song inspired by Timothy’s death. The friend (rapper) who was interviewed in the documentary, explained how his frustration was a substitution of the wrong things that they normally see done for retaliation. For this reason, he considered in feeding the audience with words of truth through his art of talent. To add, Terrence Fisher states that they were aware that authorities were determining for the community to act violently to the justifications of the officer. In that, finding other ways to cope through the situation involving music was a way to peacefully maintain the situation through the artist and the community. In comparison, we are socially glorified with Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole music as being “real”. Notably, they rap truthfulness that goes on within the community. Which usually benefits them and their fans as a solution to whom are exposed to community violence.


Rest In Peace Alton SterlinPhilando Castile

The Realtionship Between Race and Sports in America

Sports in America is a multi-million dollar creation that has contributed to American culture today.  Before one can say sports helped unify the country, we must examine the origins of racism and how it contributed to the worldwide leisure activities we classify as sports.  Early sporting events were set during a time where African-Americans were still experiencing racism and injustice because of the color of their skin.  To really understand how important equality is during a sporting game and in everyday life, we should first understand the injustice they experienced. Racism is defined by the blunt formula:  prejudice plus power equals racism.

Racism is prejudice is turned into action that harms others.  America strives on being the “best” country and is very patriotic on an international level, but at home America has a hate for its own natural citizens whose complexion were not white.  America is unified during athletic competition with other nations (for example, the Olympics), but at home racism existed for minority athletes.  Negative racial feelings affect sports on a domestic and global basis; however there were several activists who not only integrated sports, but they helped the nation understand the social cons of racism.  “The walls of segregation were built thick and high during the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth, and racism manifested itself not only in exclusionary practices, which pervaded the sporting world as well” (Miller and Wiggins 1-2). Additionally, this is the birthing of Jim Crow.

Jim Crow came from a song performed by a white entertainer who was popular in the 1830s. He painted his face black and mocked blacks, “In the late 1800s, as southern legislatures and communities systematically deprived African-Americans of equal rights, ‘Jim Crow’ became for southern whites a euphemism for segregation in the South” (Carson 54).  Namely, this social and legal custom would follow African-Americans until the late 1960s.

Racism post-civil war had a major impact on sports.  A major Supreme Court case, Plessey v. Ferguson, in 1896 that stated separate but equal is fair, thus supporting the Jim Crow laws which basically funded racism in the country.  “On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy entered a New Orleans railroad station and boarded a whites-only coach…Plessy was an octoroon (one-eighth black) and, therefore, in violation of state law” (Carson 38-39).  The Supreme Court rules against Plessy “finished the job by upholding as constitutional the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine’” (Carson 55). After all, there was racism in America.

Racism is when prejudice is turned into action that harms others, and the belief that one race of people is superior to another because of their ethnicity (Davis).  Racism is based on the color of a person’s skin, it is destructive and it disembowels people by shattering their identity. It destroys community cohesion and creates divisions in society (Carson). Plessey v. Ferguson supported racism in America and limited minority participation in “white-only” sports.  Altogether, this case began the question of what makes a person black or white and how Americans classify people and athletes based on the amount of black ancestry.

Blacks were not allowed to participate in white-only sports and facilities.   “Tennis had been introduced to the United States as a country club sport in the 1880s.  Because most clubs were segregated, it had remained a predominantly white sport” (Rennert 528).  American tennis athlete, Althea Gibson was the first black to win a Grand Slam title, also known as the French Open. Gibson dominated the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) indoor matches, but she was not invited to any outdoor events because they were plated at a private, segregated country club.  Due to her achievements on the courts, she gained a lot of attention from the public and the USLTA’s practice was put into question.  Alice Marble, a white woman who dominated tennis during the 1930s, spoke out against racial discrimination; her article was published in the American Lawn Tennis magazine.  Through the public’s participation and awareness of discrimination on the basis of race, Gibson was invited to play in the tournament (Rennert 530-531). Anyhow, blacks were not allowed to participate in white-only sports and facilities.

“In the pre-World War II years, the Black athlete was restricted from competition in all the professional sports. Only in the Olympics, because of its international nature, were Black athletes allowed to compete unrestricted” (Walter). America allowed talented blacks to represent America on a global range but when the competition was over and they had to return home, the country did not treat the athletes as equal citizens. For example Jesse Owens was a black man that did track and field.  He is a natural born American citizen who participated in the Olympics, the leader of Germany did not like the fact there was a black man winning all of the races and he refused to congratulate the athlete (Rennert 541-547). Even when Jesse Owens returned back to America, he was not seen as an American hero, he was not treated like an American citizen with rights. With this in mind, several years after Plessey v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, (1954) overruled the idea that separate but equal is fair, arguably ending discrimination on the basis of race.

Just a few years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Ernie Davis, he was a football running back and the first African-American athlete to win the Heisman Trophy.  Although Davis was a great athlete, the color of his skin prevented him from caused major problems during the Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas, Texas.  Because he was considered colored, he could only accept his award at the banquet following the game and then he had to immediately leave the building.  Davis and his white teammates refused and decided to boycott the banquet because a teammate was not allowed to participate in a banquet due to the color of his skin (Gates and Appiah).  It was a challenge Davis had to overcome; for example, being physically abused after each play and advised not to score. After this, Davis became an icon for an integrated America and for African Americans achieving the American Dream (Wright).

There seems to be an additional challenge that blacks have to approach and overcome relative to white Americans.  “The signing of Jackie Robinson by baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 is well chronicled, as is his debut in the major leagues in 1947. For most people, Robinson has the honor of integrating professional sports.  However, two years before he made his debut, the National Football League had integrated when the Los Angeles Rams signed two African-American professional players, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode, the latter of whom became movie star” (Walter).  Robinson is credited by white Americans as integrating a “white,” American pastime sport—baseball, at the time, football was not the same type of American traditional sport. On the other hand, why do critics arrange sports by race in today’s society, prohibiting certain races from participating in “mainstream” sports?

Black athletes dominates certain sports, like basketball, football, track, and baseball. To add to that, they also play some leading role position such as quarterback, which is normally the position you would see a white athlete playing. “In track and field, particularly in the coming Olympics, the overwhelming number of Black American athletes in proportion to white Olympians is radically disproportionate to the Black population in overall U.S. society.” (Walter)  Black athletes are casting to take over American sports and receiving financial income equally as whites. African American athletes receive less income in America’s major sport, which is baseball. This declined the number of black baseball players, and the black attending audience as well. Blacks are quick to sign a major league baseball contract before a white person, but are financially treated unfair of salary. At the same time, salaries alone do not tell the entire story.

Today African Americans generate an enormous amount of publicity from the mass media. The public views elite black superstars as celebrities, valued citizens, and heroes. Their sports performance and other outside activities reflect the ways in which American people view them as individuals and perceive African Americans as a whole. A gradual increase  of African Americans athletes are gaining successful income pay from endorsement products. This idea started from cereal boxes to now  automobiles, Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, State Farm and others. Walter Payton, African American football player at Chicago Bears, did not appear on a Wheaties box until 1986.  “In 1996, Michael Jordan of basketball’s Chicago Bulls and sports’ highest paid athlete is expected to earn 90% of his $40 million through endorsements.” (Walter) Giving these points, this has started the take-over of African Americans athletes, dramatically increasing their popularity and  success.

Not so long ago, black athletes were segregated from  participating with white athletes due to the Jim Crow Laws established after the Plessy V. Ferguson (1896) Supreme Court case. Black athletes, as were their non-athletic brothers and sisters, were seen as racially inferior and not worthy of socially mixing with whites. However, these purely promoted brave athletes slowly but positive social change against the racism and later racial prejudice in this country by their heroic example both in and out of the athletic arena. Black athletes hold a special place in American sporting tradition.

Social Movements

Social movements are collective behaviors that are organized, purposeful, institutionalized, but their actions cannot be repeated. They seek some limited social change and tend to focus on a narrow group of people but advocate for radical changes. They also advocate for limited social change but tend to affect the changes across the entire society. The past analyses of social movements and social movement organizations have often been assumed to have a link with the frustrations and grievances of a collectivity of actors. The theoretical centrality of the analyses directs the socials movements away from its intense emphasis on the social psychology of the social movement participants. As a consequence, it can be integrated more easily with structural theories of a social process.

There are several social movements’ models that include the classical, the political process, resource mobilization, professional movement organizations and social movement organizations among others. The film, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is about women’s movement in the 1960s and early 1970s. The women in the movie make the viewers understand that they surely had some grievances that they wanted to articulate, and show the energy. For this reason, it appears as if the universe was being discovered because all the things seemed possible when the rights were being fought for without turning back.

The film follows the awakening of women to the issues that always hinder their participation in the policies and duties of the American society. As they come out to air their grievances, they stand against the social and economic norms that have come of age. Their eyes were quick to open on the issues that were immediately close to them. They advocate for what they term as the Second Wave Feminism that struggles to achieve the objectives that the movements of the previous centuries did not attain. Ms. Dore led the movement called National Organization for Women in the years between 1966 and 1971. In the movement, the women articulated rights, freedoms, and the issues that have affected them over time that included childcare, abortion, sex, work, and motherhood. Above all, they also did not forget matters like class, sexual orientation, and race.

In the film, issues of women ensued when they had little access to some requirements such as family planning or birth control pills and abortion was illegal. Their career options also were too limited, and young women were expected to raise their families and set up households rather than pursuing their professions. With mixed reception, women forged ahead and come up with another movement called the Student Non-violent Coordination Committee that later created the Black Women’s Liberation Committee. Furthermore, the film shows some significant aspects of new women’s movements that skillfully weave together the actors, actions, and aspects of the Second Wave Feminism’s interests.

Shay’s Rebellion, on the other hand, was an armed rebellion in western Massachusetts that was against the state government in 1986 and 1987. According to Leonard Richards, the rebellion emerged following the revolutionary war, Boston and other New England merchants who imported much of British goods that deteriorated the farmers’ markets and substantial merchant indebtedness. The wholesalers consequently sold their goods on credit to merchants in the interior who in turn sold the goods on credit to backcountry farmers. The whole process led to a chain of debts. The rebellion was also fueled by the injustices in the regressive taxation system and conservative state government that seemed no better than the British colonial rule. Other historians have not bought shay’s idea of rebellion because they see the protesters as just mere peasant farmers who were against the local authority. Richards opposed Shay’s rebellion terming it as misleading although the protestors represented the entire Massachusetts communities. The poor, the wealthy, and even the weak members of the Massachusetts are also influential. After careful assessment of the existing past records including the ignored but important lists of some followers, Richard creates a picture of how the policies would affect the entire society. The reason for the Shay’s rebellion was to have a long-term influence on the participants and the whole nation.

Doug McAdam’s Political Process and Black Insurgency’s Development of 1930 to 1970, presents a political process model that explains the rise and decline of the black protest movement in the United States. He moved from the theoretical concerns to empirical analysis and focused on the significant role of three institutions that foster protests that include black colleges, black churches, and the southern chapters of NAACP.

Moreover, he holds that political opportunities that are heightened by a sense of political efficacy and the development of the said institutions play a significant role in the civil rights movements. Political movement model asserts that the members of a political movement are not interested in the rational, self-interest political actions. They tend to have motives behind their actions that are distinct from those of the ones leading them.

McAdams argues that the errors in resource mobilization model and classical model are the explanation of social movements. The political process model argues that the power in the United States is concentrated. The constitution provides guidelines on how such powers can be practiced. Therefore, it is expected that there will be the conflict between the elite and the challenges. The political process model explains that it takes an ideal social and political environment and some organization minority group to create a successful social movement. It claims that the rise and fall of a social movement rest on the organizational strength of movement. Although, it also rests on the political opportunities available, the optimism of the challengers towards the achievement of the aims, as well as the responses towards the challengers.

The validity and the usefulness of McAdam’s political process are to enlighten those leading the social movements that the participants’ grievances are to be put on the forefront rather than their self-interest motives. However, it advocates for engaging all those who are affected by the issues at hand to come on board and fight for some common interests. He claims that a movement is formed with a purpose that addresses some particular problems that affect some groups.

Conclusively, McAdam’s model made better history because much what he explains and how he relates the doctrines with the actual aspects of the social movements. He links people’s motives and expectations in a social movement and conjoins them with the political doctrines. The historians are enlightened by McAdam’s doctrine of the political process model that they should put in the paper something that is realistic, not favoring any side but mostly look deep into the participant’s discrepancies.

Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970

Brief summary and main argument

The book seeks to give a summary of an evaluation of the current movement theory within sociology in the USA. In the struggle to redefine the minority status, the farm workers, women, blacks and students together with the other groups struggle to effect certain specific economic and political structural changes in the society. The current state of social movement within sociology does not allow them, however. There are two models of social movements that are evaluated in this book: the classical model, and the resource mobilization (RM) model. The author of the book builds on the critiques of both the classical model and the resource mobilization model, and comes up with a third model: ‘the political process’ model. In his arguments, the author believes that all social movement models imply adherence to a far much general conception of political power that is institutionalized.

Structure of the book

In the first chapter, the classical model is discussed. The author starts by claiming how there has been questioning of the accuracy of the pluralist model as a description of the American political system. According to this model, the political powers in America are distributed all over but don’t concentrate on some specific groups. It is at this point that the author discusses the effect of the distributed power o rather failing to concentrate the power. This impact leads to the birth of the ‘mass society theory,’ where the absence of well-organized intermediate groups in the society. Similarly, status inconsistency (where an individual has discrepancies in their social status) and its impact on subjective tensions are discussed. The chapter ends with a discussion of the weaknesses of the classical model.

In chapter 2, the resource mobilization model is discussed. The model is based as an alternative to the classical model. However, the model is termed as a deficient alternative due to its flaws. Unlike the classical model, the RM model links to elite theory, where it is argued that individuals across social movement have different levels of powers. Élites view the political systems as a rational method of involvement in political systems rather than as an irrational behavior. The mass base has many political capacities, especially considering their ability to form indigenous social networks. The model emphasizes that social movements can thrive provided there is a health funding from prior organizations and groups. The RM theory emphasizes that the collective definition of grievances by social movements makes it easy for their voice to be heard.

The political process model is outlined in chapter 3 and discussed in a similar way. It is proposed as an alternative for the RM model and the classical model. Chapter 4 discusses and stresses on the empirical implications of the three models. From chapter five all the way to chapter eight, the development of social movement is analyzed in a chronological order. In chapter six, the period of emergence of the movement (Heyday of civil rights protest) is analyzed (1955-1960). The reaction of the whites towards the same is also analyzed. Chapter 8 analyzes the period from 1966 to 1970, discussing the decline of the movement. Chapter 9 is simply a closer synthesis of the previous eight chapters.

Analysis of the book

Doug McAdam reasons out in a very sequential way that is easy to understand. The models are discussed in a chronological way starting from the classical model, then the RM model and the political process model. McAdam writes the book in such a way that one idea leads to the next and concepts in the first idea are appreciated to give more advanced concepts in the following discussion or chapter. For instance, starting with the classic model, the pluralist theory defines the basis of discussion, which becomes the primary base even in the other two models. The reader is able to argue out the concepts being discussed by first having a good understanding of the pluralist concept I the first chapter. The second chapter happens because of chapter one and it is the issues of the second chapter that give rise to the third chapter. That is, the second chapter discusses the RM model, which is said to be an alternative of the first model found in chapter 1, the classical model. Similarly, the political process model in chapter three is an upgrade of a combination of chapter one and two.

The author answers the questions effectively on that none of the concepts of any of the models is left out. He judges the theories in the models using very understandable arguments and leaves the reader in a very convinced state. He moves from theoretical concerns to an empirical analysis in a very clear way. He shows us how the civil rights movement has been shaped by the heightened sense of political efficacy, development of the three institutions (i.e., black colleges, black schools and the southern chapters of the NAACP) and by political opportunities.

The author, however has left out a number of issues in his empirical analysis. First, he is biased when discussing some of the models. Though it is said that the RM model is an alternative for the classical model and the political process model is an alternative for the RM model, it should not go by default that his preceding models are weak. The height of this bias is seen in the discussion of the classical model. The author is very keen on discussing the weaknesses of the body by he cannot highlight its benefits.

In conclusion, I like the book. Despite the author having been biased and showing some faulty features in his discussion, his positive side of his work has outdone these flaws. The author leaves the reader completely informed by following a sequential way of stating his empirical analysis. He is also very clear in showing the reader the theoretical work from which the empirical analysis come.