Analysis Of Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s Delusion Of Grandeur

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While reading Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s, essay, Delusions of Grandeur, It became clear that there is in fact an awful truth which takes place within the United States today. Throughout the essay Gates accurately depicts the truth that young African American students are being drawn towards success in sports, rather than success in school. The essay emphasizes that African American students are not the only group that needs to be aware of this issue, but all Americans as well. Although Gates has made strong points in his essay about African Americans attraction to professional sports, he is lacking in supportive text and a few key sources to really give his essay the persuasive strength it needs.
The paper begins with Gates standing at a bar in
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Gates says that the truth is society only shows African American kids the hero’s of their favorite sports and not the notable names of African American doctors and lawyers. As a result of this “too many African American youngsters still believe that they have a much better chance of becoming another Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan than they do of matching the achievements of Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke or neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, both of whom, like Johnson and Jordan are black”(Gates, 382). African American kids are only shown their sports hero’s for guidance and as a result believe athletics is their only true calling. Gates does a great job demonstrating that African American kids’ minds are brainwashed into thinking that sports are their future simply because society does not show them that they can anything else. Something else Gates does well in his essay is show the non African American readers that the way they depict the African American stereotype as athletic, is wrong and unfair to their effnictiy. He is able to convince the reader that the way we look at African Americans in sports is wrong and it is primarily our own faults. At the end of the reading Gates finally says that, “society as a whole bears responsibility—Until colleges stop using blacks as cannon fodder in the big-business wars of …show more content…
For instance something that strongly stood out in the essay were the statistics from the Sports Illustrated article, which Gates lectures bar mates about early on in the essay. Gates informed the bar that in the United States there are “1,200 black professional athletes in the U.S. There are 12 times more black lawyers than black Athletes. There are 2½ times more black dentists than black athletes. There are 15 times more black doctors than black athletes”(Gates, 382). Even though this part of the essay is very informative and holds important data, it makes the reader question if the statistics are truly accurate. Gates never mentions where Sports Illustrated receives this information or any other details as to where the numbers come from. For all the reader knows the information listed could be entirely false. In addition, another crucial piece of material that was lacking from the essay was information regarding the inner-city school systems, specifically the schools that are primarily made up of African American student body’s. The essay mentions that these schools are pushing kids through the educational system without meeting the proper requirements. For instance a survey of the Philadelphia school system stated that, “more than half of all students in the third, fifth and eighth grades cannot perform minimum math and language tasks”(Gates,

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