Assessing the Effects of Experiencing the Acting White Accusation
- 461 Downloads
Adolescence is a period when many youth are subjected to close scrutiny by peers. Acting white is one of the most negative accusations one African American adolescent can hurl at another. The accusation has been documented as early as elementary school; however, the research indicates it is most salient and first likely to occur during early adolescence. In this paper, the assessment of adolescents’ experience of the acting white accusation is sought. A series of studies are presented that explore both qualitative and quantitative approaches to assessing the acting white accusation wherein the qualitative data and findings guide the formation of a quantitative assessment of the acting white accusation experience. Based on the results, a mixed methods approach is recommended to facilitate further understanding of the accusation.
KeywordsActing white accusation Mixed methods approach Racial identity
- African American Racial Identity Research Lab. (2008). The multidimensional inventory of black identity. Retrieved June 30, 2008 from www.lsa.umich.edu/aari/mibi.htm.
- Bolton, W., & Moniz, D. (1993). Some teens deliberately fail school for the fear of “acting white”. Columbia, SC: The State.Google Scholar
- Carter, P. (2005). Keepin it real: School success beyond black and white. New York: Oxford Press.Google Scholar
- Cook, P. J., & Ludwig, J. (1998). The burden of acting white: Do black adolescents disparage academic achievement? In C. Jencks & M. Phillips (Eds.), The black-white test score gap (pp. 375–393). Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
- Ferguson, R. F. (2002). Ed-excel assessment of secondary school culture tabulations by school district and race/ethnicity. Retrived November 21, 2002 from http://msannetwork.org/pub/edexcel.pdf.
- Fordham, S. (1996). Blacked out: Dilemmas of race, identity, and success at capital high. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Fryer, R. G. & Torelli, P. (2005). An empirical analysis of acting white. NSBER working paper No. W11334. Available at SSRN http://ssm.com.
- Kunjufu, J. (1988). To be popular or smart. Chicago: African American Images.Google Scholar
- Marcia, J. E. (1980). Identity in adolescence. In J. Adelson (Ed.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (pp. 159–187). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- McDermott, P. A., & Spencer, M. B. (1996). Measurement properties of revised racial identity scale (Interim Research Rep. No. 21). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, Center for Health, Achievement, Neighborhood, Growth and Ethnic Studies.Google Scholar
- Neal-Barnett, A. M. (2001). Being black: New thoughts on the old phenomenon of acting white. In A. M. Neal-Barnett, J. M. Contreras, & K. Kerns (Eds.), Forging links: African American children clinical developmental perspectives. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
- Neal-Barnett, A. M. (2005). Authentically Black. Invited Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
- Parham, T. A., & Helms, J. E. (1985). Attitudes of racial identity and self-esteem of black students: An exploratory investigation. Journal of College Student Personnel, 26, 143–147.Google Scholar
- Phinney, J. S., & Alipuria, L. (2006). Multiple social categorization and identity among multiethnic, and multicultural individuals: Processes and implications. In R. Crisp & M. Hewstone (Eds.), Multiple social categorization: Processes, models and applications (pp. 211–238). New York, NY: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Sellers, R. M., Morgan, L., & Brown, T. (2001). A multidimensional approach to racial identity: Implications for African American children. In A. Neal-Barnett, J. Contreras, & K. Kerns (Eds.), Forging links: African American children clinical developmental perspectives (pp. 23–56). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.Google Scholar
- Steele, C. (1992). Race and the schooling of Black Americans. The Atlantic Monthly, 68–78.Google Scholar
- Tough, P. (2004). The “acting white” myth [Electronic Version]. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved December 15, 2004 from http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/12/magazine/12ACTING.html.
- Ward, J. V. (1990). Racial identity formation and transformation. In C. Gilligan, N. P. Lyons, & T. J. Hamner (Eds.), Making connections: The relational worlds of adolescent girls at Emma Willard School (pp. 215–231). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar