Basketball a Reflection of African American Life

Cosmic Fling by Kadir Nelson

Cosmic Fling by Kadir Nelson

This image reflects the attitude that most African Americans grow up with a concentration on sports and team activities instead of academic pursuits.

This painting includes  a young African American male who is jumping in the dark. The man is holding a basketball in his hand. The shoes that the male is wearing are untied. There appears to be two world’s in this painting one that the boy is jumping towards and one that is near the blue ray of light that outlines the building.There are only five colors in this painting brown, black, purple, blue, dark green, and orange. The man looks like he is in great shape and, he has a scowl on his face so it looks like he works very hard at basketball everyday so that he can become better at the game. The man is jumping away from the blue world that is across from the building that is being outlined by blue light, towards a world that is dark green, where there is no light.

This man describes the African American youth, many kids practice everyday so that they can become better at a basketball so that one day they will be able to make the league. The young mans passion for the game is amazing and fun while he is a youth but he is headed on a path that could be dangerous for him. The young man’s shoes are untied so when he does land on that dark planet he will probably trip at a already dark planet. The blue planet represents the small chance that the African American male will have to make it to the NBA. The darkness that is surrounding the man is the big chance that he will not make the NBA. Since he has given all of his attention to basketball and not too other career interest that are more feasible there is a big chance that he will trip over himself. The closer blue light that outlines the building is the small chance that he will see the the error of his way and he tries to focus on his academics.

Darkness also represents another thing that many African American males choose which is incarceration.  If you do not choose to do your academics and you are not good enough to play in the NBA you may choose a life of crime that could get you arrested. Sports are seen as the only way to do well in life in many African American neighborhoods when academics is just like the light behind the basketball a feasible option for advancing to a better life.

This picture represents the the choices that the African American youth have which is choosing sports over academics. If you choose sports over academics and you are not good enough to play in the NBA you may be choosing incarceration. Sports are a great thing but they should never be praised higher than education. This picture is saying to me that until the African American youths mindset moves from sports to academics the African American community will remain in the darkness.
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One comment

  1. Watch the use of the words “you” and “things,” but the description of the painting was very creative, showed deep thought, and great use of imagery. Perhaps talk more about why just blacks want to be apart of the NBA and avoid the use of “me” as well. Good job though!!!

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