May 15, 2005

Finding New ways to explain Black Poverty and Black Disadvantage.....

New studies, experts in various fields and the majority of white conservative think tanks continue to search for and find new ways to explain Black poverty and disadvantage in America. Any reason beyond the most obvious reason; “America’s structural racist system” is explored and accepted as the reason to explain the condition of Black men and women in America. I do not think there is any other issue, circumstance or reality in America that have more explanations as to why it is than the condition of Black men and women in America. We have heard, the personal responsibility explanations, we have heard the lack of parenting explanation, we have heard the genetically inferior explanation, and of course the victim mentality explanation. Well, we have a new explanation to add to the list of reason why our condition continue to be what it is, this reason deals with educating our children and the complete failure of the public school system to educate our children.

A new study done by the University of Florida “suggests” that Black students with “exotic” names don’t do as well in school as Black students with more “common” (read: white) names.

“The University of Florida study found that students with names such as Da'Quan or Damarcus are more likely to score lower on reading and math tests.”

“Researchers said that black students with unusual (read: non-white) names are also less likely to meet teacher expectations and be referred to gifted programs than black students with more common (read: white) names, such as Dwayne.”

"This study suggests that the names parents give their children play an important role in explaining why African-American families on average do worse because African-American families are more inclined than whites or Hispanics to give their children names that are associated with low socio-economic status,”

This is the first I heard of names being associated with low socio-economic status. This also must mean there are names associated with being rich, I wonder if my name is a name associated with low social-economic status. Doesn’t it make sense that people will give their children a name that not only reflect the culture of their people but in many instances the condition of their people? Are we to believe that a particular name a child is giving will determine how a child will do in school, rather or not that child will be a criminal? The study answers this question by making a simple truth known; Black children with non-white names do not suffer because of their name, they suffer because of the racism that exist in the hearts and mind of white teachers. The study states;

“boys and girls with exotic names suffer in terms of the quality of attention and instruction they get in the classroom because teachers expect less from children with names that sound like they were given by parents with lower education levels”

Oh, so this is not a naming issue, this is a problem with our children being educated by folk who think less of them based on their name and the assumed relationship it has with the education and class status of their parents. One thing we should understand is that this mentality and thinking stretches beyond the classroom, it is present in the criminal justice system and as study after study have shown it is present in the job market. The number of ways in which Black upward mobility is being stifled by racism in America is innumerable. The study found that siblings with the exact same scores but with different names one being “Dwayne” and the other being “Damarcus” results in “Dwanye” being recommended for a gifted program while his brother “Damarcus” is not.

The extent to which this problem has hurt black children is immeasurable, the overall effect this has had on our community is equally immeasurable. The study also found that children with “Asian” sounding names were more likely to be recommended for gifted programs, which means that if we want our children to be treated fairly if not better than they currently are, we would be better off given them “Asian-sounding” names than white names. So maybe I should change my son “Faheem” name to “Yin” if I want him to be thought of us smart. Maybe you should do the same with your children. No more “Condoleezza’s and Oprah’s, we need more “Jennifer’s” and “Chi’s.


At 9:58 PM, Blogger KryptonBornSon said...

I agree. However I was in a gifted and talented program from 4-7 grade. I was most often a clown in clas, but still had good reputations with my teachers. It was mainly a black school, say slightly more than half, so I only had maybe a few hispanic guys, an Asian, and an Indian dude in my class. I know it's off topic, but that Indian guy was a chess master, he could kill anybody with 3-4 moves!

So far, the main problem I've had with my name has come from other black students. Even the ones with "traditional black" (that's what others say) sounding names would clown me. Like if it was a diss to be African. I'm proud that my father is from Nigeria. I got hell on a regular until high school when people thought it was cool. I never used a nickname though.

Now, I can't say whether or not it's a factor of whether I've been called back for a job or not. I wish I knew. I never have to check the race boxes, they can tell just by looking. I'm not changing my name though.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Faheem said...

Ashiedu we both know how cruel children can be, you were lucky to have only been picked on because of your name, imagine if you were the child with the abnormal size head, or the fat child or the child with the funny ears and lord forbid you were the darkest child in the class (that was me). The cruelty of children is nothing compared to the cruelty inflicted by teachers when they treat a child differently or with indifference in regards to their education.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger KryptonBornSon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:26 AM, Blogger KryptonBornSon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:26 AM, Blogger KryptonBornSon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger KryptonBornSon said...

I meant to reply once, I deleted it because of the errors.

Yeah, it's only truly bad when it's the greater people of the society that hold you down. I'm sure there are many people that go through worse trials in school. I was clowned about my African head though and I was fat. I survived though.


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