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Race representation in American sport culture in the films: Remember the Titans (2000) and Glory Road (2006)

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Introduction

Race representation in American sport culture in the films: Remember the Titans (2000) and Glory Road (2006) Issues of race and sport in the United States are certainly still prevailing and obvious; many would rather have these issues not be addressed. Some people may choose to ignore them, perhaps stemming from a belief that if we single out the black athletes for discussion, we only heighten stereotypes. As a result, American culture urges us to see through two lenses -a lens that insists that we see the black athlete as someone "different" and a lens that sees the black athlete as athletically superior but academically inferior .But maybe, these perceived ideas exist simply because race in general is such a powerful societal force-the struggle to understand those that are "different". In this essay, I would be exploring the representation of race within the American sport culture for the films remembers the titans (2000) and glory road (2006) Hollywood has latched onto race and sport partially because it could be argued to be an area of contemporary American culture which is rich for exploration. The films glory road and remember the titans depict not only the black athlete's experience, but also the overall ideological belief of how the game doesn't care about ones colour. What seem to matter are collective hard work, passion and setting to achieve common goal and trust. ...read more.

Middle

Basketball-or any sport-can be an escape from hardship and a glimpse into a better life, but also a trap that perpetuates the same initial adversity. However, to many blacks in the inner city in America, basketball is much more than a sport; it is a form of education and expression. African-American culture from the city has brought a much more graceful, speed-oriented, physical, all-around skill aspect to basketball. Basketball, especially in these areas, teaches social skills, rights of passage, creativity and cultural identity. "It also became a way of ritualizing racial achievement against social barriers to cultural performance." , (Dyson 1993) What about talent? Why is it that we can comfortably say that blacks have God-given talent? The danger in suggesting this is that we may imply that blacks are lazy, that their talent somehow allows them to avoid the course of life. Stereotypically having talent, is the "easy way out". Their talent as suggested is not pure and achieved, but "lucky". On the surface, it may appear that blacks are more talented in the sense that a majority of NBA stars are African American, but taken a step further, talent stems from repetition. No one was born an NBA player; rather, many blacks aspire (although) few reach to be NBA stars, with the hope that basketball can provide an outlet to a better living as an individual. ...read more.

Conclusion

Similarly in the film glory road and remember the titans, the basketball players who were unaware that they all shared the same dream and were on the court for the same reason, they had a pre-conceived stereotype of each racial integrated team, this negative stereotype has latched on to their minds for so long that it creates a barrier for the players to show forth their abilities and skills and this is what was prevalent on the court. All two movies suggest what American sport cultures are about -facing adversity and responding to it constructively, setting collective goals and working to achieve them as a team and embracing a collective passion of a particular sport. The movies remember the titans and glory road explore several key issues in race and sport, from the black athletic journey to the racial tension could be argued to have influenced and currently influences what sport means to the black culture. While some argue that we don't have the race and sport discussion, we must in order fully appreciate how diversity to our games brings a heightened dimension to the sports we love. What we'll realize is that there really is little difference between the black athlete and the white athlete except their history. They are on the field for the same reason, not for any reason but a simple love and determination to succeed, to play hard and to achieve that which is needed -praise. ...read more.

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