While the sneaker may no longer be "the universal icon for the culture of consumption" Dyson described -- at least, not in the white imagination -- in a lot of ways, the argument about the aura of the shoe holds true.
But there's a difference between the two -- and even today, it's the difference between a harmless lace-up and a paycheck-obliterating, riot-causing fetish object.
Like Jordans, it was about athletic performance and cultural performance in equal measure, frequently accompanied as it was by lank sun-blond hair and a Cali drawl.
But it operated in a totally different economy from Jordans.
Once again, it all comes down to who companies are marketing to -- and how they choose to treat the consumer.
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He continued: For Adidas to promote the athleticism and contributions of a variety of African-American sports legends -- especially Olympic heroes Wilma Rudolph and Jesse Owens and boxing great Muhammad Ali -- and then allow such a degrading symbol of African-American history to pass through its corporate channels and move toward actual production and advertisement, is insensitive and corporately irresponsible...
This is exactly the kind of mindless commercialism our children need less of - especially in young urban America where 55 percent unemployment, 50 percent graduation rates, drugs and violence have them chained to uncertain futures already.
All this time -- as basketball took dunks in one direction -- white kids had their own sneakers.
The Chuck Taylors of the white hipster continued on, but the white-dominated skate culture of the 80s and 90s brought a new kind of sneaker to parking lots and stair railings.