A bold and impassioned meditation on injustice in our country that punctures the illusion of a postracial America and reveals it as a place where authoritarianism looms large.
Whether the issues are protest, labor, patriotism, or class division, it is clear that professional sports are no longer simply fun and games. Rather, the industry is a hotbed of fractures and inequities that reflect and even drive some of the most divisive issues in our country. The nine provocative and deeply personal essays in Full Dissidence confront the dangerous narratives that are shaping the current dialogue in sports and mainstream culture. The book is a reflection on a culture where African Americans continue to navigate the sharp edges of whiteness—as citizens who are always at risk of being told, often directly from the White House, to go back to where they came from. The topics Howard Bryant takes on include the player-owner relationship, the militarization of sports, the myth of integration, the erasure of black identity as a condition of success, and the kleptocracy that has forced America to ask itself if its beliefs of freedom and democracy are more than just words.
In a time when authoritarianism is creeping into our lives and is being embraced in our politics, Full Dissidence will make us question the strength of the bonds we think we have with our fellow citizens, and it shows us why we must break from the malignant behaviors that have become normalized in everyday life.
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About the Author
Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN the Magazine and is a correspondent for NPR’s Weekend Edition. He has won several awards for his commentary writing. His books include The Heritage, Juicing the Game, and The Last Hero. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. Connect with him at howardbryant.net and on Twitter (@hbryant42).
Table of Contents
1. FULL DISSIDENCE
What Colin Kaepernick Taught Us
It’s OK to Criticize the Military
The Lost Tribe of Integration
The Worst Thing in the World
3. OPEN SEASON
The Mediocre White Boy
The Hero Game
The Joke’s on You
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As someone who has played and watched sports for most of my life, I often use sports references to analyze life beyond sports and consider myself a healthy critic of the sports industry. Howard Bryant’s journalism is hard-hitting and unapologetic about critiquing the uglier parts of sports, so I expected Full Dissidence to feel similar. It actually goes much, much further in exploring our country’s deep inequities and the wounds it causes all of us. While Bryant’s personal anecdotes are rooted in his experiences of anti-black racism, the brilliance of his essays is that there’s a place for any reader to find a theme that connects to their own experiences. This is not a sports book. It is a book that invites sports fans to use what they know about sports to be more critical of our society (and themselves), and invites sports-averse readers to explore the themes that are important to them through the lens of one of the most powerful industries in our society – sports. This book is eye-opening. If you are serious about understanding the current state of America and trying to find your place in it, Full Dissidence is a must-read.