by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
Today I took my afternoon nap thinking about the days when I was captain of my high school track team in the 12th grade. I wasn’t the star of the team and I also wasn’t an academic star (my grades were terrible). Like many other black boys across America, I’d come to identify myself as an athletic commodity rather than an intellectual one.
I remember that one of the fastest boys on our team was also like a lot of other black males: He was in special education and had horrible grades. On his report card, he’d gotten two Fs, three Ds and a C. My coach was concerned about his grades, but not because he cared about the young man. He was only worried about his grades because he thought that the kid might not be eligible for the big track meet we had coming up.