HBCU Football Blues

Deion Sanders said God called him to coach Jackson State University football. Not anymore.


Episode Notes

Former NFL star Deion Sanders turned the struggling Jackson State University Tigers into a winning team, and brought a national spotlight to football at historically Black colleges and universities. That’s why his decision to take a coaching job at the University of Colorado sparked a debate among HBCU fans. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by University of Houston Professor Billy Hawkins about why Sanders’ time at JSU had such an impact, and whether HBCUs can retain some of the momentum that Sanders helped to build.

Guest: University of Houston Professor Billy Hawkins, author of The New Plantation: Black Athletes, College Sports, and Predominantly White NCAA Institutions.

Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola

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About the Show

America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having … the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock to empty promises to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race—ones that shine a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society. That’s what Slate offers each week on A Word … with Jason Johnson. A veteran political commentator, Johnson will bring his incisive wit to thoughtful discussions with leaders, journalists, and other change-makers who will tell the truth about America’s challenges around race and offer ideas on the way forward.

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