The public is invited to join Dr. Onaje X. O. Woodbine, a religious studies teacher at Phillips Academy (MA) and author of Black Gods of the Asphalt for a thought-provoking conversation about race, education, and athletics on Thursday, January 25 at Gilman School. The 6:00 p.m. event is free, a light supper will be served, and childcare will be available with advance registration. Register for the lecture here.
An All-Ivy League basketball player at Yale, Dr. Woodbine decided to leave the team in his sophomore year to focus on his studies. He then received a racist letter from his coaches suggesting that he was only at Yale to “entertain the Yale community,” not because of his intellect and academic prowess.
View this video for an quick overview of Dr. Woodbine’s beliefs about athletics as a way of storytelling about a school and its values, and his message to bring “the mind and body together more consciously in these spaces, so that athletes are not isolated from the rest of campus.” The divide between athletics and academics is especially challenging for black athletes, who already carry a racial stigma.
To learn more about Black Gods of the Asphalt, read the New York Times article “A Philosophical Journey Leads Back to Basketball,” or visit the Columbia University Press website.