RELIGST 2EE3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Cardinal Direction, Hoop Dreams, Arthur Agee

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November 2, 2017
Onaje Woodbine
teaches philosophy in religious studies
grew up in a poor African American neighbourhood in Boston
he was exposed to poverty, violence, intimidation by gangs, exposure to drug trade, primarily
because there aren't other economic opportunities besides the drug trade
lots of young black men died before their time because of gun violence, police violence,
Onaje's father was absent from the family
he was recruited to Yale and was voted one of the top 10 players and led the Yale team to scoring
he ended up quitting the time to focus on studies
white players belonged to a fraternity that none of the black guys belonged to
he felt compared to these street basketballs, Yale basketball lacked passion
Hoop Dreams (Documentary)
it's wealthy white academic institutions who rely on black athletes
1994 film
the film follows William Gates and Arthur Agee, two African-American teenagers who are
recruited by a scout from St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois, a predominantly white
high school with an outstanding basketball program, whose alumni include NBA great Isiah
Black Gods of the Asphalt
study of street basketball in Boston neighbourhoods
"urban lived religion"
focused on ethnography
participant observation fieldwork
argues that it's impossible to do scholarly work if you don't care about your subject and you don't
realize you're always studying yourself
1. this approach is called autoethnography
2. the researcher is using his or her experience as a compliment to the observations he or she
makes about other peoples experiences and statements/narratives he/she collects from
other people
he observed that the young men who play basketball on the streets of Boston, go to the courts to
discover their humanity
1. that they represent something intangible
2. these men turn themselves into choreographers of the court; it's like they're dancing on
the court
3. expresses grief, solidarity to the community, and seeks to find hope
in his book he explores 3 main facets:
1. grieving
2. desire for healing
3. celebration and transcendence
Boston Neighbourhoods
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