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Integration InterruptedTracking, Black Students, and Acting White after Brown$
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Karolyn Tyson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199736447

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199736447.001.0001

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On Becoming A Cultural Object

On Becoming A Cultural Object

Academic Achievement and Acting White among Black Students

(p.35) Two On Becoming A Cultural Object
Integration Interrupted

Karolyn Tyson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the way in which racialized tracking creates racial distinctions among students that lead to the interpretation of academic achievement as acting white. It begins with a short discussion of two topics: the meaning and use of the broad concept of acting white among African Americans; and the issue of racial disparities in elementary school gifted programs and race talk among pre-adolescents. The chapter then looks at the experiences of high-achieving black adolescents at nineteen public high schools in North Carolina. Finally, it investigates why some high-achieving black youth are targeted with the acting white slur while many others, including peers at the same school, are not.

Keywords:   African Americans, acting white, high schools, North Carolina, racialized tracking, academic achievement, racial disparities, gifted programs, race, black youth

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