Sunday, January 19, 2020

Howard Bryant

Howard Bryant's new book is Full Dissidence: Notes from an Uneven Playing Field.

From the transcript of his interview with NPR's Scott Simon:

SIMON: You talk about African American athletes, and I'm not going to compare anyone else to O.J. Simpson, but there's...

BRYANT: (Laughter) Good.

SIMON: You know, but he famously said, I'm not black; I'm O.J. And at one time or another, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and a lot of Americans thought their success and their popular adulation indicated America was over this race problem.

BRYANT: That's right. And that's the deal. If you do these things, you'll be accepted. Or if you have enough money, you'll be accepted. And I try to examine in that essay the price of that. What are we really asking for? Well, we're asking for your blackness. What we see in the corporate world all the time, whether you're an athlete or not, do you want diversity of color and diversity of thought, or simply diversity of color? And it's an interesting thing when you look at today's athletes, what they are navigating.

I remember being in the clubhouse and locker rooms throughout the 30 years of doing this. You ask a black player a question that had anything to do with race, and they would look at you as if you were trying to set them up and get them released and get them traded. They knew the risk that came. It made me wonder once again, if you don't have advocacy in this industry where you have the control and you have the power and you have the the public influence, what's it like if you're an African American working at Lawrence Livermore, and you're the only black person...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue