In my spare time as a second grader, I spent my time perfecting the drawing of the Chicago Bulls’ emblem. My favorite number was 23 and my favorite pastime was basketball. Like many others, Michael Jordan was my hero. Not only does he represent the pinnacle of the African-American athlete, but also the pinnacle of the African American citizen. He, moreover, represents just how far African Americans have come since they sat out on their journey for equality.
“Jordan's role as an American and black cultural icon reaches far beyond simply his basketball prowess, primarily because of his remarkable business skills and careful image cultivation. He has become the image, not only of the greatest basketball player of all time, but of a family man, a black man, a businessman and ultimately a modern American hero that transcends cultural boundaries.” Operating off this, we see that Jordan is involved in many diverse areas of American life. Not only is he involved in a number of areas, but he excels in every department. He surpasses the barrier of color, and has become a role model among many different cultures in countries all over the world.
“Despite his representation of culture, however, still some have criticized him for foregoing his true black culture and forgetting his "blackness" in his cultivated image.” Some critics claim that Jordan and Nike have downplayed Jordan’s blackness throughout years of advertisements. I, however, disagree. I think because Jordan became famous after the Civil Rights Movement, he had the responsibility of representing America rather than his African-American heritage. Because Jordan became such a household hero and role model, he blurred the lines of color. Fans looked at Jordan as an icon for humanity, not merely for African Americans. It was not his color that brought him success; it was his character. At the same time, nevertheless, Jordan did represent how far African Americans had come in their quest for equality. Jordan has holds in nearly every part of the world, and is still looked upon as an iconic hero. I think that the power and prominence he has attained is a symbol of just how far African Americans have risen in the social, economic, and political spectrums of America and the world.
What are your thoughts on the concept of Jordan “surpassing his color?” Is it fair to say that Jordan is a representation of how far African American have come? I think this Michael Jordan quote has a lot of hold in the Civil Rights Movement: “I can accept failure. I cannot, however, accept not trying.”