Friday, November 19, 2010

Social Costs of Achievement......

The social costs of achievement have now been identified as a result of a new study.

Researchers "...found that for African American and Native American teenagers, the higher their GPAs at the start of the study, the more their feelings of social acceptance decreased over the one-year period. In contrast, for White teens and teens of other races and ethnicities, the higher their GPAs at the start of the research, the more their feelings of being socially accepted increased over the year."

See a report on the study at

John McWhorter in Losing The Race identified what he called a Cult of Anti-Intellectualism operating in the black community. He further states that "...the main reason black students lag behind all others starting in kindergarten and continuing through postgraduate school is that a wariness of books and learning for learning's sake as "white" has become ingrained in black American culture."

The late John Ogbu, as early as 1986, observed the phenomenon he called "acting white" as a primary driver of black peer pressure adversely impacting black achievement.

McWhorter points out that this is not just " inner-city pathology-it is culture-wide."

This site, in its Learn To Learn brochure, argues in favor of building a "learning culture." I know this may be oversimplified and easier said than done.

However, I believe the evidence is clear that much of our lag in achievement is self-imposed.

And, if we are ever to compete successfully in the academic realm, it will be as a result of nothing less than a black cultural academic revolution.

One day (and it will occur one day at a time) we will arrive at a place where achievement at the highest levels will garner respect and will not be viewed as something other than being "black."

Rather it will have become as natural as breathing. And, when that day comes, the achievement gap will no longer exist.

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