Short Essay: Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights, written by H.G. Bissinger, is a true story about a high school football team in the football crazed West Texas town of Odessa. Bissinger, a journalist from Philadelphia, spent a year living in Odessa following this team around finding out for himself why there is such an obsession for the football team in this town. The book has been quite successful and with that has drawn controversy from some people apart of this book, and the town of Odessa, blaming him for portraying them as highly racist. Even with the controversies, you are able to see that through his points of view to mention the truth and facts, collected in order to write the book, that Bissinger painted a fair picture of the different kind’s racism going on during that time in Odessa.
Odessa had segregated schools up until the early 1980’s. In 1982 when the desegregation law passed it allowed for the black people in the town of Odessa to move wherever they wanted which caused problems in Odessa. He talks about Dwaine Cox, who was raised in Odessa and graduate from Permian. Bissinger talks about how Cox was “proud of his son, who had started at defensive tackle for Permian in 1987…fearless off the field as well getting into frequent fights with students from Odessa High” (Bissinger 93). The people of Odessa with their very conservative values couldn’t handle the fact that their town would be home to the lazy, do-nothing people who lived in the south side. Bissinger explains how common the “N” word was used in Odessa and its meaning saying “in their minds it didn’t imply anything, didn’t indicated they were racist, didn’t necessarily mean they dislike blacks at all…there were actually two types of races of blacks. The hard working ones who were easy to get along, didn’t cut corners, and melded in quite nicely were called black…the loud ones, the lazy ones, the ones who stole or lived off welfare or spent their whole lives trying to get...
Bissinger, H.G. Friday Night Lights. Cambridge,MA: De Capo Press, 2000. Print.
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