On Defining “Blackness”

Michael Wilbon on the Jalen Rose/Grant Hill controversy:

“The notion that there is one definition of “Blackness” is insidious and dangerous and too often promotes the notion that athletic achievement is “black” and academic achievement is “white.” It’s the intellectually lazy notion that has led too many in this generation of black men to believe athletic pursuits are somehow more worthy than academic pursuits, and anybody who isn’t with that school of thought is an “Uncle Tom” or less than fully black.”

Wilbon’s comment reminds me of a talk radio program I stumbled upon during the last presidential campaign. A teacher, who worked at an inner city Oakland school, called in to talk about the impact Barack’s campaign was already having on his grade 7 boys. “Our boys are changing how they look at school. It’s amazing. All of a sudden, I can tell that they value being smart.”


One thought on “On Defining “Blackness”

  1. As is my habit, I read the the Power Point, usually a bunch at a time. I am always grateful for the opportunity it gives me to ask my son something that I don’t know and start a conversation about something important. “Hey William, what did Jalen Rose say to Grant Hill?” I have some credibility with William on this point because I happen to like basketball and football and know the players from my era but I always appreciate the conversation starters that your excellent columns are, Jim.

    Since William joined CSIS upon becoming a teenager (Scott and I get information from him strictly on a need-to-know basis), it is so good to know the ideas you raise with the boys in assembly. Clearly, you are making him think and we are so grateful for that, Jim!

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