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Delusions of Grandeur
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
August 19, 1991
Young blacks must be taught that sports are not the only avenues of opportunity
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August 19, 1991

Delusions Of Grandeur

Young blacks must be taught that sports are not the only avenues of opportunity

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Standing at the Bar of an All-Black VFW post in my hometown of Piedmont, W.Va., I offered five dollars to anyone who could tell me how many African-American professional athletes were at work today. There are 35 million African-Americans, I said.

"Ten million!" yelled one intrepid soul, too far into his cups.

"No way...more like 500,000," said another.

"You mean all professional sports," someone interjected, "including golf and tennis, but not counting the brothers from Puerto Rico?" Everyone laughed.

"Fifty thousand, minimum," was another guess.

Here are the facts:

There are 1,200 black professional athletes in the U.S.

There are 12 times more black lawyers than black athletes.

There are 2� times more black dentists than black athletes.

There are 15 times more black doctors than black athletes.

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