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Blackthink'sTM Acting White Stigma in Education and How it Fosters Academic Paralysis in Black Youth

45 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2012  

Kimberly Jade Norwood

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Date Written: November 13, 2006

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Norwood, Kimberly Jade, Blackthink'sTM Acting White Stigma in Education and How it Fosters Academic Paralysis in Black Youth (November 13, 2006). Howard Law Journal, Vol. 50, 2006-2007; Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-13-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2175308

Kimberly Norwood (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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