Hoop Dreams Film Analysis

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Hoop dreams is an award winning film that follows two African American boys, William Gates and Arthur Agee, throughout their high school basketball careers. Both boys were recruited at a young age by a scout from St. Joseph’s High School in Westchester, Illinois approximately a 90- minute commute from their homes in Chicago. Agee and Gates struggled to succeed in this prestigious program due to issues surrounding race, socioeconomic status, a foreign social environment, education, injury, and values.

This film tied together everything we have learned about how race and social class are not separate dimensions of inequality. Research has shown that race often determines a person’s socioeconomic status (House & Williams, 2000). Therefore, many
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The first of many problems is the lack of education available to people like William and Arthur. When they entered St. Joseph’s they both tested at a fourth or fifth grade level. However, with time and strong educational foundation that a safe, encouraging, properly funded school could provide, William's grades begin to improve and in turn helped his basketball success. The film also focuses on the environment both William and Arthur come home to and how it is a contrast to the school they go to. They live in a city of deindustrialization. For example, Arthur’s father Bo held a good manufacturing job but was laid off. After doing various low paying jobs he finally began using drugs and left his family. In one scene, the Agee family’s utilities are cut off. His mother is carrying a single lamp with no shade through their dark apartment. The violence in these communities is also a harmful result of the poverty stricken area they live in. On week before leaving for college, Arthur is held at gunpoint walking home by a gunman asking for money. Arthur confesses that he is “ready to leave this place, everybody is either on the streets, doin' drugs, goin' to jail, or
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