Welcome to The Culture Effect

12 May

The Atlanta-based W.E.B. Du Bois Society is pleased to host The Culture Effect blog–a forum for dialogue, debate and sharing regarding the sensitive topic of African-American students and academic excellence.

It is our belief (supported by mounds of research) that one of the key culprits behind the widening academic achievement gap between African-American students and their white and Asian peers is culture—the experiences and values that are perpetuated before black youth in their homes, in their neighborhoods and in their schools.  These are the experiences and values that say, sadly, more times than not:

  • Intelligence is innate–you’re either born with it or you’re not;
  • Excellence in athletics and entertainment is more desirable, and therefore to be more celebrated, than excellence in academics;
  • Being committed to academic excellence and intellectual engagement is not the “black” thing to do, it’s the “white” or “Asian” thing to do;
  • The connection between dedicated, hard work and academic outcomes is one that is understated; and
  • Just getting by is good enough.

Whether you agree or not, we look forward to sharing the insights, research, examples and stories that reinforce this point of view.  And, we welcome any challenging insights, research, examples and stories.  After all, the goal to which we aspire is a noble one…the most noble: a day in which academic excellence, indeed academic ambition, is the norm rather than the exception among African-American youth.


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