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09 February 2012

I'm Black, But According to Some, I Act White

I know this may come as a shocker to those reading this site. I'm black.

I know. I know. Jaws just hit the floor across the state of Georgia.

Here's an even bigger shocker: I act white!

According to some black folks, since I enjoy reading; since I enjoy writing; since I enjoy golf; since I enjoy tennis; since I listen to Jimmy Buffett; since I am a Republican, I act white. I am the counter-stereotype to blackness everywhere and for that, I frequently face ridicule from other blacks for A.) "trying to be white;" or B.) "acting white."

This is the culture that permeates the black community.

Comedian Chris Rock hit the ball out of the park when he said, "If you're black, you get more respect coming out of jail than you do coming out of college."

For some insane reason, the fear of "acting white" limits success in the black community. It is completely mental.

University of Georgia researcher Bantu Gross talks about the black fear of "acting white" extensively in the Athens Banner-Herald this morning.

"Acting white” can be a powerful accusation against someone who considers themselves black, Gross notes. That’s especially true for young people, such as high school students, who face significant peer pressure, said Gross.

Other researchers have shown that black people who make high grades, score high on the SAT or read a lot may be subjected to the accusation of acting white, Gross said.

“You’re an alien in your own territory,” said Gross.

Shearer, Lee (2012-2-9). Fear of "acting white" can limit black kids' activities. Athens Banner-Herald. Retrieved on 2012-2-9.

Being an alien in your own territory is the reality of not adhering to black stereotypes in the black community. Peer pressure is the reality in the black community. The fear of "acting white" is the reality in the black community. And that reality is the biggest stumbling block existing in the black community today.