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That’s the question author Shaun Powell poses and ultimately answers with regard to the nature of blacks’ participation in American sports. Neither blacks nor whites—athletes, coaches, administrators, owners, media, parents, and yes, even fans—are without blame for race still being an issue in the athletic arena. And Powell, perhaps like you, is fed up with the excuses.
Souled Out? boldly addresses the following dilemmas and more:
Do today’s black athletes and coaches have the purpose to follow the leads of pioneers like Jackie Robinson, Althea Gibson, Robert Johnson, or Tony Dungy?
Is Muhammad Ali’s great legacy being misused to justify the behavior of today’s prima donnas and their preconceived, self-centered celebrations?
Why, with tremendous models like Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Venus and Serena Williams, and Candace Parker, is black female participation not more encouraged across a wide array of sports?
Are portrayals of professional black athletes, centered on gaining luxury possessions and material wealth rather than giving back to the community, ensuring that a me-first mind-set carries over to the next generation of athletes?
Will more blacks break through the glass ceiling in coaching and sports management positions to achieve strong decision-making roles?
Can negative attitudes about race, held by segments inside and outside the black community, be overcome so that faster and enduring progress can be made in the future?
Powell’s answers will surprise, anger, please, and—most of all—challenge you.
Introduction: Setting the Stage
Chapter 1. Generational-Cultural Differences: Seeking Common Ground
Chapter 2. Black Athlete Activism: Has the Last Militant Left the Stage?
Chapter 3. Home Is the City: Metro Dares and Small-Town Stares
Chapter 4. Academic Divide: Old School, New School, No School
Chapter 5. Basketball Score: Jumping Through Hoops or Just Growing Up?
Chapter 6. Baseball Bygones: Going Soft on Hardball
Chapter 7. Golf Gulf: The Lonesome King of Cablinasia
Chapter 8. Show Time: Ali Started It, NFL Exhibitionists Ruined It
Chapter 9. Media Madness: The Price of (Not) Dancing to Their Tune
Chapter 10. Leadership Positions: Hitting the Cement Ceiling
Chapter 11. The Feminine Side: You Go, Girl, But How Far?
Chapter 12. Natural Athleticism: Where Science Ends and Bias Begins
Closing: Solutions Start at Home
About the Author
Shaun Powell has been a sports columnist at Newsday in New York since 1993. Prior to that, Powell had a similar role for newspapers in St. Louis, Dallas, and Miami. Through his career he's covered every major sporting event, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, Masters, World Series, NBA Finals, Wimbledon, and Final Four.
Powell's work has garnered awards from the Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists, and he is former president of the Professional Basketball Writers Association. A highly sought after commentator on sports issues, figures, and events, Powell is a frequent guest on national and local radio and television programs.
Powell resides in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife, Terry, and daughter, Victoria.
"Souled Out? is absolutely must reading for anyone sincerely interested in developments at the interface of race, sport and society. In this regard, the book clearly portrays where we are as a society and where we are headed as a nation relative to these issues."
Harry Edwards, PhD Sports Sociologist, Professor Emeritus Department of Sociology University of California Berkeley
"Souled Out? is a joy to read. Shaun Powell is the right man at the right time on the right topic—race, sport, and society."
Rick Telander Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times Author, Heaven Is A Playground
"Here is what you get with Shaun Powell: thoughtful, considerate, provocative, original commentary. Souled Out? is classic Shaun Powell. He tells us where we came from, where we are today and where we are headed in his unique, straightforward ‘dare I say so' way."
Jerry Reese General Manager, New York Giants
"Shaun has a way of reaching parts of your brain that previously went untapped. You read Souled Out? and you will see."
Terence Moore Columnist, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Shaun Powell speaks the truth about how people felt on pivotal topics -- but didn't want to say themselves. This book will get you to think."
Curtis Symonds Chief Operating Officer, Washington Mystics Former executive at Black Entertainment Television (BET)