Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Study: Black Students Who Are Taught Racial Pride Do Better In School

Remember how good you felt when Black History Month rolled around and you finally got to learn and talk about significant African American historical figures in school? Well, according to new research published in the Journal of Child Development, affirming a black child’s desire to learn about their race does more than just give them a personal boost, it helps them academically as well.

The study, conducted by Ming-Te Wang and James P. Huguley of the University of Pittsburg and Harvard University respectively, found that “racial socialization”—teaching kids about their culture and involving them in activities that promote racial pride and connection—helps to offset the discrimination and racial prejudices children face by the outside world.
Wang explains:
“Our findings challenge the notion that ‘race blindness’ is a universally ideal parenting approach, especially since previous research has shown that racially conscious parenting strategies at either extreme—either ‘race blindness’ or promoting mistrust of other races—are associated with negative outcomes for African American youth.
“When African American parents instill a proud, informed, and sober perspective of race in their sons and daughters, these children are more likely to experience increased academic success.”
Read complete story here.

Reprint from, 01/29/13

Commentary: Black Kids Like Science, Too

At a Silicon Valley science fair for African-American children, Black kids show their scientific expertise. It’s well known by now that many African-American schoolchildren lag when it comes to science and math education. In an article about the racial achievement gap from late 2010, The New York Times noted, “[O]nly 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.”

Some people think poverty is to blame for the achievement gap, though that’s not necessarily the case, as poor white boys generally perform as well as Black boys who aren’t poor. Others — racists — say that Blacks can’t do as well as whites in the fields of science and math because they’re biologically inferior. But a science fair in Silicon Valley is attempting to show that not only can Black children succeed in math and science, but that they’re wildly excited to show their skills to those requesting to see them. Read the entire article here.

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