Students studying outside the library

Being a Black Student Athlete at a Private College


Mike McCrimon and Qay Bell created "Being a Black Student Athlete at a Private College" in March 2014 as a requirement for the "Ethnographic Film" (SOC 310 with Dr. Cynthia Fowler) course they took at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This short film is a study of life as a Black student-athlete at Wofford College. The film makers follow separate groups of Black athletes who attend the College. The film depicts them in their everyday routines showing, for example, the 20 plus hours they put in each week for their sports as well as the hours they have to study for their classes. It also describes some aspects of their social lives at their institution. Hemmings (2009) found that Black students tend to look for other Blacks with whom they can identify through their African American culture. In many Division 1 schools, "African American student athletes outnumber all other African American students on campus, even though the opportunity structure is greater now than ever for college acceptance..." (Smith 2006 page 127). Many of the subjects in this film echo Smith's point as well as other evidence found in research studies about Black student-athletes (e.g., Beamon 2012; Smith 2006; Gregory 2009; Hemmings 2009; Hubbard 2008). All of the student athletes in this film consented to appearing in the film and sharing their voices with public audiences.