Monday, September 10, 2012

1st And 2nd Generation Immigrant African And Caribbean Blacks More Likely To Be College Educated Than Other US Born Black Americans Or Even US Born White Americans Due To Their Culture And Beliefs

From The Washington Post, The Root DC Live, "Rethinking the achievement gap: Lessons from the African diaspora" by Curtis Valentine:
There is a subgroup of black Americans in this country who continue to achieve at high levels, results that might provide some clues to solving one of our most persistent educational problems. First- and second-generation immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, though only 13 percent of the nation’s blacks as a whole, represent 41 percent of all those of African descent at 28 selective universities and 23 percent of the black population at all public universities.

Meanwhile, census data show that the children of these immigrants were more likely to be college-educated than any other immigrant or U.S.-born ethnic group, including white Americans.
This is largely because they lack a connection to predominantly U.S.-born black communities and they trust white institutions more than non-immigrant blacks. This leads them them to make housing choices based on the potential for greatest opportunity in education and employment, which tend to be in more diverse communities.

In his study, [John] Ogbu [then a professor of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley] outlines the factors that created this environment where first- and second-generation blacks are succeeding. There are three we can learn from. First, first- and second-generation immigrant blacks rarely internalize the "oppositional culture" that rejects characteristics deemed "white." Research has shown that internalizing oppositional culture affects U.S.-born African Americans already at high educational levels because it reduces motivation to surpass their peers.

Also, first- and second-generation immigrant blacks have high academic standards because of a belief in the relationship between education and the American Dream but from a recognition of sacrifices by family in their home country. Last, African and Caribbean blacks have a strong belief in their ability to succeed because they had firsthand examples of black professionals in their native lands.

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