Morgan Christie’s forthcoming autobiographical essay collection, Boolean Logic, unearths the often-unfavorable realities that college athletes deal with, shedding light on the less glamorous aspects of their lives. An essay within this collection, “Goodfellas,” draws from her experiences with her father, who was a college athlete, the characters in the Goodfellas movie, and one of his teammates. In “Goodfellas,” Christie astutely explores the hardships of poverty, hunger, and the other challenges that everyday college athletes faced, and how these difficulties may have affected their decision-making.

The journey through “Goodfellas” begins with Christie recounting her first encounter with the iconic film during her teenage years. She skillfully dissects the film’s scenes and characters, initially finding a connection with their anti-law enforcement sentiments, reflecting her own cultural experiences. However, as she grew older and matured, she realized the prevalence of misogyny, racism, homophobia, violence, and other offenses in the film, dispelling its glamorized facade.

Christie’s awakening to the connection between her own life and the characters in Goodfellas through her father and his teammate, Jim, infuses the essay with a fresh perspective. While attending a tournament frequented by her father, she uncovers Jim’s past, which had even attracted the attention of the 30 for 30 production team. It is in this context that she draws a parallel between Jim and the character of Jimmy Burke, portrayed by Robert De Niro in the film, who was convicted in a point-shaving scandal during the ’79 season at Boston College.

Christie proposes that Jim and other college athletes might have been ensnared in similar scandals due to the hardships stemming from poverty and desperation. The essay presents her father and Jim as “Goodfellas,” lending a softer tone to the harsh realities of their college years, implying that they, too, may have been victims of their circumstances.

“Goodfellas” acts as a poignant reminder that we must become more socially aware and proactive in addressing the challenges faced by college athletes, particularly those who are black. Christie’s Boolean Logic embodies these themes while delving into various other societal issues, including racism, politics, gender inequality, and discrimination.

With Boolean Logic scheduled for release in November, readers can anticipate a thought-provoking collection that challenges our perspectives and demands action. Morgan Christie’s work serves as a signal of awareness and a rallying call for change, inspiring a brighter future for college athletes and society at large.

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