Lawrence Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. His research interests focus on issues of social inequality. Current research examines the relationship between high profile black elected officials and racial inequality. Contrary to common understandings, Lawrence has found that that black elected officials maintain a regular racial discourse that is mainly symbolic. It is problematic that their political rhetoric often downplays systemic inequality to promote and achievement ideology. Developing research supported by the Marilyn Gittell foundation, brings him back to his hometown of Chicago to explore the role of high school football coaches on the South Side. Many of the young men who work with these coaches not only graduate high school, but go on to live successful lives. This investigation seeks to understand how the coaches supplement valuable social resources that are often lacking in an area where there are concentrated disadvantages rooted in poverty.