Journal Article: Perceptions of "Acting Black" Among African American Teens: Implications of Racial Dramaturgy for Academic and Social Achievement


Academic Achievement, Blacks, Racial and Ethnic Attitudes, Racial, and Ethnic Differences, Social Behavior, Adolescent Attitudes


Peterson-Lewis, Sonja; Bratton, Lisa M.


2004, Jun


Content analysis of 56 African American high school students' descriptions of the meaning of "acting Black" revealed five underlying content dimensions: (1) academic/scholastic, (2) aesthetic/stylistic, (3) behavioral, (4) dispositional, and (5) impressionistic. With the exception of the qualities in the aesthetic/stylistic category, the respondents attributed primarily negative qualities to "acting Black." Although Black youths' perspectives on "acting White" has been a topic of great interest among those concerned about the academic achievement gap between Black and White youths, results of the present study suggest that the quest to improve academic and social achievement among African American youths will need to focus on altering youths' definitions of "acting Black." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA ) (journal abstract)


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