NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ812048
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0161-7761
Beyond Capital High: On Dual Citizenship and the Strange Career of "Acting White"
Fordham, Signithia
Anthropology & Education Quarterly, v39 n3 p227-246 Sep 2008
In this article, I reflect on the strange career of the "burden of "acting White"" since it attracted widespread popular and academic attention over 20 years ago. I begin by noting that my original definition of "the burden of "acting White"" should not be confused with a prominent misconception of the problem as the "fear" of "acting White." I then offer a revised definition that has emerged in the wake of the collision of meanings attributed to the Capital High study. At the core of the twists and turns this concept has taken is attempted identity theft: In exchange for what is conventionally identified as success, racially defined Black bodies are compelled to perform a White identity by mimicking the cultural, linguistic, and economic practices historically affiliated with the hegemonic rule of Euro-Americans. Third, drawing on recent work on the impact of gender-specific racial performances on Black males' and Black females' academic success, I analyze quantitative data from Capital High to explain the gender-specific response patterns of male and female students to the dilemmas implicit in academic success. Finally, I suggest possible implications of the centrality of the burden of "acting White" for the academic performance of Black students and the identity of African Americans more generally.
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A