ESSAY Category

Taking His Talents to South Beach: LeBron James’ 2010 Free Agency Decision, the Possessive Investment in Black Bodies and the Resistance to the Agency of Black Athletes

Author’s Note: This essay was 2015 before Colin Kaepernick and before the election of Donald Trump. 1.      The Decision Ben Carrington poses the question “can the black athlete speak,” and writes “Black athletes have re-made sports, but not under conditions and rules of their own choosing” (2010, 177). Black American athletes in America have certainly […]

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The Rose That Grew From Madison Avenue: Adidas, Powerade and the Marketing of Derrick Rose

…late-capitalist economic practices…led to deindustrialization and the decline of black urban communities in the post-World War II United States [and] also produced the black basketball star as a commodity and an object of desire for mass consumption…  (Gitanja Maharaj:1997, 98).   The Coca-Cola owned sports drink brand Powerade’s 2015 advertising campaign centers around the duel […]

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Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova: We Have NOT Come a Long Way Baby

ri•val 1. a person who is competing for the same object or goal as another, or who tries to equal or outdo another; competitor. 2. a person or thing that is in a position to dispute another’s preeminence or superiority. ‘Beauty? To me it is a word without sense because I do not know where […]

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THE ULTIMATE TROPHY: What the Phenomenon of Sports WAGS tells us about Sexism, Race and Beauty

“In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.”                            -Tony Montana (Scarface)   WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends) is an acronym coined […]

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THE EMPRESS HAS NO CLOTHES: Beyoncé and The Quixotic Search for a Black Feminist Icon

On December 13, 2013 the black “IT” girl of the millennium Beyoncé released a surprise visual album entitled Beyoncé, consisting of 14 new songs and 17 videos exclusively on iTunes causing an instantaneous digital frenzy and creating a record for digital album sales. Tulane University professor and MSNBC talk-show host Melissa Harris-Perry, declared that the album […]

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DREAMING of a WHITE PRINCE: Town & Country’s Top 50 Bachelors

    So Town & Country Magazine just published its list “of the most notably eligible men in the universe right now.” Being that this magazine is Town and Country, one should not expect to see any profiles of working-class blue collar guys. The list is an outstanding celebration of elitism, privilege, whiteness and inequality. […]

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Stop and Frisk Now, Stop and Frisk Tomorrow, Stop and Frisk Forever/Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever

Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. ― Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference […]

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WANTED: Objects of Desire, Black Girls Need Not Apply

“A fetish is a story masquerading as an object.” For over four hundred years in the United States, a combination of law, social restriction and cultural taboo has discouraged interracial marriages from taking place. Up until 1967, most states had laws prohibiting interracial marriages. In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia […]

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