Black People : Acting White

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Istari, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Istari

    Istari Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    African American Students and Education By Edward Rhymes Ph.D.

    I have heard a lot of static concerning African Americans and their supposed disregard for education. “Our black kids look down on education” say many of the black pundits, “they tease the black kids who are doing well school and say they are acting white.” I’ve heard this repeated over and over again by African-American personalities and celebrities (none of which, by the way, have any extensive, classroom teaching experience). Let me also add, that in all my years as an educator and youth program specialist, I have never heard any student equating scholastic achievement with whiteness. Nevertheless, this assertion is usually made without challenge, rebuttal or explanation. This is yet another sign of the reactionary times that we now live in, here in America – with a pit bull-like tenacity we lock on to what is being said without examining why it’s being said. I, in the course of this writing, will endeavor to unmask this widely-held misconception.

    I would like to outline, briefly, my experience in education and youth development:

    1. I have taught high school social studies, history, sociology and special needs.

    2. I have taught college sociology, philosophy and history.

    3. I have taught graduate courses in education (my students were k-12 teachers & guidance counselors – in other words I’ve taught teachers).

    4. I have served on the Board of Directors of a teachers’ union.
    5. I create and develop educational curriculum and programs.

    6. I have worked for a number of years, in fields of education and social youth development programs.

    I’m not flaunting or bragging about my qualifications, but I am merely pointing out that I do have a basis (rooted in experience) for forming my views on this particular subject. There are four areas that I will be focusing on: 1. Popular Culture, 2. Curriculum, 3. Honors/Advance Placement classes and 4. Ethnicity of Teachers.


    Dr. Edward Rhymes, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, is a consultant in the areas racism, equity & diversity, education and adolescent development. He is also a Visiting Asst. Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Be sure to check out the Rhymes Reasons page on his website, http://mysite.verizon.net/vze48hqr/rhymesworld

    http://www.blackcommentator.com/100/100_cover_acting_white.html

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  2. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I remember being told that I acted white for the first time when I was in the 5th grade by this classmate...I was in private school and when she told me this I felt really hurt and confused because I thought I was just being myself...I knew I was black but I never thought I acted different from anyone else other than being myself.
    It was crazy, because to the white kids I was too black and they would say things like "Oh you're from the ghetto..." But I never was and then the black children would say the opposite and would try and make me feel bad for where I came from and how I lived...
    I literally lost my identity when I was 14 and thought I was supposed to a certain way to be accepted by my peers who were black...And what I perceived from them was defiance. I had to be this tough person with this rough exterior...My grades dropped, I was locked up, and kicked out of school...For what? The wrong acceptance for not being "black".....
     
  3. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    yeah, i know this song - it's the total reason that i come off sounding like i do. seen as "showing off" or being something other than what i was supposed to be (spent most of my life trying to accommodate that, but it never worked) - or shunned because of wanting to read all the time (put them books down and go out and play! - can't spend all your time in the library!)

    spotted the "alternative" you chose and decided that i'd just spend my life without friends rather than get locked up and stuff. totally frustrating; catch flak for trying to use my intelligence in/of/for myself, but catch even more if i don't drop everything i'm doing right now and solve everybody else's silly little problem ... and, of course, since i do solve their problems for them, every time, it's "you just think you're so smart". and the other one: "why you gotta be right all the time?!" ... duh! because i don't open my mouth unless i have something useful to add.

    being intelligent ain't "acting white" - "acting white" is being an animal that can't/won't avoid making messes in it's own nest - which, when one looks around this planet, obviously ain't the smartest move on the board, now is it?

    (touched a nerve - sorry for the mini-vent)
     
  4. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    When I was coming up, for the most part, we (around my way) did not
    necessarily equate being smart or having a broad vocab with "acting white".

    If you were smart, we'd just called you a nerd, which really didn't have
    much of a negative connotation, for if you were cool and or down, then
    it was all good, nerd and all. Perhaps the movie "revenge of the nerds" may
    have helped in that regard, lol.

    For some of us, "acting white", had much to do with your mannerisms and
    quite possibly interest. Generally, many black folks do things/have interests
    that are different from many white folks. Nothing wrong with that. For much
    of it has to do with exposure and opportunity. For example, if black folks had
    as much exposure to hockey as we do a basketball court, we'd most likely
    see more black folks playing and taking an interest in hockey.

    Culturally and socially we have many differences and interest.
    It's not negative. Its not positive. It just is...
     
  5. abstract219

    abstract219 ...standing on the shoulders of giants MEMBER

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    I can identify.

    What's really sad is when you see adults doing this to their children, and to each other.
     
  6. Reniassance Man

    Reniassance Man Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    wow

    Yea alot of crap like this has happened to me all of my life. This is like the story of my life. they trippin and what not when im jus being me. but yea, didnt expect this topic to come up at all. glad to see people who can relate.
     
  7. TXDiamond

    TXDiamond Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks for sharing.:grouphug:

    When I was a teenager, I was told that I spoke like a white girl. It hurt me, also. However, I began to question what my friends were really stating. I came to the conclusion that they had no idea that they were actually putting our race down. What they were stating is that African-Americans do not sound educated. That in order to be accepted as Black, we must "Jive" talk all the time.
     
  8. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'd like to know what does "educated" sound like?

    Many of us can agree that james small is educated, yet we
    wouldn't mistake him for sounding white. Marimbi ani
    is educated but we wouldn't mistake her for sounding
    white.

    For those who don't know small and ani:
    Youtube'm both close your eyes and listen to them talk.
    Then ask oneself:

    Do they sound educated?

    Do they sound white?
     
  9. Da Flash

    Da Flash going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very good points!! Alot of people Blacks and non-Blacks equate articulation with being intelligent and or educated. While this may be true a portion of the time, I've known plenty of articulate idiots and, I've known my share of people that are sharp as a tack but not very articulate. To me, articulation is by far more of a product of environment/peers than it is a sign of level of education.

    As far as acting yt, while I doubt that we could all come up with a commonly agreed upon definition of exactly what that is, I don't believe that it has much to do with education or the manner in which one speaks. My own very personal opinion on "acting yt" has more to do with what one does in their leisure time and with whom they do it.......................but that's just me!!!
     
  10. TXDiamond

    TXDiamond Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Exactly!
     
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