By Karolyn Tyson
An all-too-popular cause of why black scholars usually are not doing larger at school is their very own use of the "acting white" slur to ridicule fellow blacks for taking complex periods, doing schoolwork, and striving to earn excessive grades. rigorously reconsidering how and why black scholars have come to equate university luck with whiteness, Integration Interrupted argues that after scholars comprehend race to be attached with success, it's a strong lesson conveyed by way of colleges, now not their friends. Drawing on over ten years of ethnographic study, Karolyn Tyson exhibits how equating institution luck with "acting white" arose within the aftermath of Brown v. Board of schooling during the perform of curriculum monitoring, which separates scholars for guide, ostensibly through skill and earlier fulfillment. in basic terms in very particular conditions, whilst black scholars are significantly underrepresented in complicated and proficient periods, do anxieties approximately "the burden of performing white" emerge. Racialized monitoring keeps to outline the common American secondary university, however it is going unremarked, other than by means of the teenagers who event its expenses and effects day-by-day. the wealthy narratives in Integration Interrupted throw gentle at the complicated relationships underlying university behaviors and convincingly reveal that the matter lies now not with scholars, yet as an alternative with how we manage our faculties.
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Additional resources for Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students, and Acting White after Brown
The dilemma is not, however, simply one of being both black and American. There is also a tension borne of the task of nurturing an individual self within a society in which persons with black skin, like your own, are viewed and judged as a single, undifferentiated group. In post-desegregation America, that means living one’s individual life with hopes and dreams similar to those of other Americans, until something happens to remind you of your difference. Since desegregation, African American youth have been socialized to believe in the ideal of meritocracy.
34 | integration interrupted Two On Becoming A Cultural Object Academic Achievement and Acting White among Black Students And, the guy—the black guy—made a comment: “She thinks she’s white. She thinks she’s something, something, something. ” I’m like, “How do I act white? Just because I don’t act ignorant like you, doesn’t mean I’m any less black. ” Yvette, black female, Massey High School (79% white; 13% black) I t is rare to pick up a book or an article about black students today and not ﬁnd some reference to acting white.
In the next chapter, I closely examine the schooling experiences of a group of sixty-ﬁve high-achieving black students in nineteen high schools in North Carolina in order to document when and where students’ casting achievement as acting white emerges. The evidence shows that by paying particular attention to the local school context and individual experience, and by understanding culture as a tool for making and expressing meaning, we gain a clearer picture of how and why some black students associate whiteness with academic success.
Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students, and Acting White after Brown by Karolyn Tyson