The athletic/academic paradox for black males is historically rooted in rank-and-file notions of black people primarily as workers rather than thinkers. Policymakers, educators, and administrators should think more deeply about how societal perceptions of black males as "natural" athletes, rather than intelligent students adversely influences how educators view black males academically. This paradox can be instructive in developing new models for black male academic excellence. We should cultivate black male students' academic talents as vigorously as black males are prepared to become athletes. With the same support, opportunities and expectations, much needed progress could occur.
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