Presentation Title

The Performativity of race for Black Canadian male student-athletes

Location

Room 306, School of Social Work

Start Date

29-9-2018 2:15 PM

End Date

29-9-2018 3:45 PM

Presentation Types

Paper

Abstract

Abstract

According to Fordham and Ogbu (1986), the acting White hypothesis stems from White Americans’ refusal to acknowledge Black Americans’ intellect, leading to stereotypes of Black intellectual inferiority. This results in Blacks American youth doubting themselves and their intellectual ability, defining academic success as a White person’s privilege, as well as discouraging their Black peers, whether consciously or unconsciously, from emulating the academic pursuits of White people (Fordham & Ogbu, 1986). With academic success considered a characteristic of Whiteness, many Black American students suppress their academic potential by doing poorly in school, as a means of rejecting accusations of acting White, even though they are intellectually capable (Fordham & Ogbu, 1986).

Drawing on data from 20 qualitative interviews of former and current Black Canadian student-athletes, this research addresses the acting White hypothesis from a Canadian perspective. Using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a guide, this analysis found that although Black American culture and the acting White mindset have permeated Black Canadian communities, many of the Black Canadian youth in this study did not suppress their academic potential out of fear of being characterized as “acting White”. Rather, in the Canadian university sport system that emphasizes education, their pursuit of academic success challenged the stereotype that Blacks are intellectually inferior, while simultaneously reproducing the acting White hypothesis.

Bio Statement

Humphrey Nartey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Human Kinetics department at the University of Ottawa. He studies sports and physical activity from a socio-cultural perspective, with an emphasis on the sociology of sport. His doctoral research focuses on the transition experiences out of university athletics for Black Canadian male student-athletes. Being a former university varsity athlete, he is very keen on understanding the processes involved with athletes transitioning out of sport, particularly among marginalized groups in Canada. With an M.Sc. in Kinesiology, with a specialization in sport psychology, Humphrey hopes to be able to combine his graduate degrees to develop policies, procedures and/or programs that can be used to assist athletes transitioning to life after sport.

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Sep 29th, 2:15 PM Sep 29th, 3:45 PM

The Performativity of race for Black Canadian male student-athletes

Room 306, School of Social Work

Abstract

According to Fordham and Ogbu (1986), the acting White hypothesis stems from White Americans’ refusal to acknowledge Black Americans’ intellect, leading to stereotypes of Black intellectual inferiority. This results in Blacks American youth doubting themselves and their intellectual ability, defining academic success as a White person’s privilege, as well as discouraging their Black peers, whether consciously or unconsciously, from emulating the academic pursuits of White people (Fordham & Ogbu, 1986). With academic success considered a characteristic of Whiteness, many Black American students suppress their academic potential by doing poorly in school, as a means of rejecting accusations of acting White, even though they are intellectually capable (Fordham & Ogbu, 1986).

Drawing on data from 20 qualitative interviews of former and current Black Canadian student-athletes, this research addresses the acting White hypothesis from a Canadian perspective. Using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a guide, this analysis found that although Black American culture and the acting White mindset have permeated Black Canadian communities, many of the Black Canadian youth in this study did not suppress their academic potential out of fear of being characterized as “acting White”. Rather, in the Canadian university sport system that emphasizes education, their pursuit of academic success challenged the stereotype that Blacks are intellectually inferior, while simultaneously reproducing the acting White hypothesis.