Acting White

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  • So, this whole ‘acting white’ thing has been in the news again. The theory started in the 1980s that African-American youth equate academic success or high achievement with quote-unquote “acting white”

    Howard University professor, Dr. Ivory Toldson, recently published a paper arguing that this “acting white” theory was hollow or not supported by findings or fact.

    Now I know some of you might be thinking ‘well I do know or have heard some children taunt their studious peers for “acting white”

    Many of us likely have, but the point of the study is not to suggest this doesn’t happen, but to show that African-American children have a much healthier attitude toward academic achievement than is commonly reported.

    Toldson studied the numbers from a CBS survey of over 1,000 high school students of various racial backgrounds on their opinions about smart students and being smart.

    Now check this out; black males, more so than any other group ―white males and females included ―were the most likely to consider such high-achieving students as “cool”.

    Toldson also shows that black females were the most likely to take pride in doing well in school, while white males were the most likely to be “embarrassed” by strong academic performance.

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    2 thoughts on “Acting White

    1. If this article’s premise is true, that black students value high academic achievement at the same level as whites, then please explain the low academic performance stats for black children in every state in the U.S. In fact, Florida and Virginia have lowered their academic standards in an effort to help black children.



      In the Wayne County Mississippi Newspaper Front page continues 8A February 14,2013 addition.

      KKK threat to kill my child four children continous violations. We need representation. But, Sheriff office said they cannot get involved with this, they have a contract with the school.I called 911 they couldn’t help us.

      Rayar Johnnson

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