Blackthink'sTM Acting White Stigma in Education and How it Fosters Academic Paralysis in Black Youth
45 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 13, 2006
Black students who attend school regularly, participate in the classroom experience — by either participating in class and/or turning in homework, take “AP” classes, and who perform well on tests are, not uncommonly, accused of “acting white.” This happened to me as a child, it has happened to my children and it has happened to black youth I have interviewed throughout the country. This Article explores the practice within the black community of blacks who attack — verbally and sometimes physically — other blacks simply because the latter perform well in school. The Article explores the ironies of this attack given the history of slaves in America who were mutilated and/or murdered for trying to learn how to read and write; the incredibly high drop-out statistics illiteracy rates among black youth in public schools; and the connection between the uneducated and incarceration rates. It calls on civil rights organizations to put education at the front of its civil rights agenda. Otherwise, there soon will be precious few black, brown or poor children to educate. They mostly will be in jail.
Keywords: black, education, “acting white”, youth, drop-out, slaves, freedom
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