A Big Win for Black Nerds

Scorn for 'thinking they're white' long an obstacle
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Nov 11, 2008 3:06 PM CST
Obama challenged the myth that holding a book is "acting white" in a speech four years ago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, FILE)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Barack Obama provides a boost for black educational achievement that is much more powerful than any policy. His bookish example may throw a lifeline to black nerds who, scorned for "acting white," feel pressure to slack academically to stay cool, John McWhorter writes in New York. Research shows that the smarter the black student, the fewer friends he has. Now a teased kid can simply retort, "Is Barack Obama white?"

“Those four little words could do more to improve black-student achievement than any number of new charter schools and reading tests," McWhorter writes.