Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Krystal Beamon

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If anyone understands the sociology of sports, it’s Krystal Beamon. The sociology assistant professor and Service Learning Faculty Member of the Year was an All-American track star at Oklahoma State, while her two brothers were elite athletes in basketball and baseball. “Throughout my childhood, my household was structured around sports,” she says. So it’s little wonder that sports continue to shape her career as a sociologist. A faculty fellow in the Center for African American Studies, Dr. Beamon has focused of late on the social significance of sport in America and its connection to race and race relations. “My research examines the two divergent perspectives employed to understand the role of competitive sports in the development of African-American males,” she says. “Athletics provides educational opportunities to African-Americans from underprivileged backgrounds, but athletics also exploits the majority of African-American athletes at the expense of academics.” Her book, The Enduring Color Line in U.S. Athletics, is due this fall.

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