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Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We Are Afraid To Talk About It.

Entine, Jon.

70 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1891620398 / ISBN 13: 9781891620393
Published by Perseus Book Group/Public Affairs, New York, 2000
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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387 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Very good condition. SPORTS. Is there a genetic reason that African-Americans dominate professional sports? Even raising the question seems tantamount to heresy. Jon Entine not only raises the question, he strives to answer it in Taboo. Includes an Index. (Key Words: Sports, Black Athletes, Race Identity ). Bookseller Inventory # 49323X1

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports ...

Publisher: Perseus Book Group/Public Affairs, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First Edition..

Book Type: book

About this title

Synopsis:

A sure-to-be-controversial argument, based on the latest scientific research, that blacks are inherently better athletesand a searing investigation into why were so uncomfortable with that conclusion.. Drawing on the latest scientific research, journalist Jon Entine makes an irrefutable case for black athletic superiority. We learn how scientists have used numerous, bogus scientific methods to prove that blacks were either more or less superior physically, and how racist scientists have often equated physical prowess with intellectual deficiency. Entine recalls the long, hard road to integration, both on the field and in society. And he shows why it isnt just being black that mattersit makes a huge difference as to where in Africa your ancestors are from. In virtually every sport in which they are given opportunity to compete, people of African descent dominate. East Africans own every distance running record. Professional sports in the Americas are dominated by men and women of West African descent. Why have blacks come to dominate sports? Are they somehow physically better? And why are we so uncomfortable when we discuss this?Drawing on the latest scientific research, journalist Jon Entine makes an irrefutable case for black athletic superiority. We learn how scientists have used numerous, bogus scientific methods to prove that blacks were either more or less superior physically, and how racist scientists have often equated physical prowess with intellectual deficiency. Entine recalls the long, hard road to integration, both on the field and in society. And he shows why it isnt just being black that mattersit makes a huge difference as to where in Africa your ancestors are from.Equal parts sports, science and examination of why this topic is so sensitive, Taboo is a book that will spark national debate.

Review:

Is there a genetic reason that African-Americans dominate professional sports? Even raising the question seems tantamount to heresy. Jon Entine not only raises the question, he strives to answer it in Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk About It.

Entine is no stranger to controversy, having worked with Tom Brokaw on the award-winning NBC News documentary Black Athletes: Fact and Fiction in 1989. He's also willing to ask tough questions--and come up with answers that anger people on all sides of the issue. Entine starts off with some statistics indicating that African-American athletes are disproportionately represented in professional sports: for example, 13 percent of the U.S. population is black, but the NFL is 65 percent black, the NBA is nearly 80 percent black, and the WNBA is 70 percent black. He also examines cultural issues, laying to rest the long-held idea that blacks excel in sports because it is the only avenue open for advancement.

Some scholars cry foul at the idea that blacks are physically gifted, seeing this as a subtle way of saying that they are therefore intellectually stunted. Entine carefully argues that historically athletic ability and intellectual prowess were linked--with a positive bias. The "dumb jock" stereotype is a relatively recent construct--perhaps a defensive mechanism that arose when blacks began to participate on a level playing field and gain prominence in the sporting world. There's no reason to suppose athleticism and intelligence are inversely related; Entine quotes respected sports reporter Frank Deford: "[W]hen Jack Nicklaus sinks a 30-foot putt, nobody thinks his IQ goes down." The issue of physical superiority is further complicated by fears that a genetic explanation results in a belief that blacks don't succeed because of hard work, dedication, and drive, but rather (in the words of Brooks Johnson, who doesn't believe Entine's claims) "because God just gave 'em the right gene."

Is the fear of sounding racist hindering legitimate scientific inquiry? Entine believes so, noting that, "Anyone who attempts to breach this taboo to study or even discuss what might be behind the growing performance gap between black and white athletes must be prepared to run a gauntlet of public scorn, survival not guaranteed." Taboo is destined to make most of its readers uncomfortable. Hopefully this discomfort will serve as a wedge to open up discussion of an issue too long avoided. --Sunny Delaney

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