News & Information

Black Ink, Race and Sport Panel

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jun 13, 2018 11:00 pm

Black Ink: The Power of Reading and Writing Guest: Stephanie Stokes Oliver, Author, Editor, “Black Ink: Literary Legends on the Peril, Power and Pleasure of Reading and Writing” Throughout American history, black people are the only group of people to have been forbidden by law to learn to read. An enslaved person caught reading, in certain states, could be put to death. So, learning to read and write became an act of resistance for enslaved people. And, in many ways, it has remained so for African Americans.  That theme runs through the new book, “Black Ink,” which is a compilation of essays and excerpts by 25 black writers spanning two and a half centuries. They include Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Colson Whitehead. Race and Sport Panel Guests: William Mitchell, Retired College Football Coach, USAF pilot; Cameron McCoy, PhD, Assistant Professor, History, Brigham Young University; Mikaela Dufur, Associate Professor, Sociology, Brigham Young University Between the Super Bowl last weekend and the Winter Olympics starting this weekend, it’s a big moment in sports. When we watch elite athletes, I suspect most of us think we’re “color-blind.” We don’t care about the athlete’s skin; we care that they win.  But how do you explain the fact that 70 percent of NFL players are black, but quarterbacks, coaches and owners in the league are overwhelmingly white? And why is it that of the 242 members of Team USA in Pyeongchang, South Korea, only ten are black and 11 Asian American? That, by the way, is a record level of the diversity for Americans at the Winter Olympics.