Beyond Acting White broadens the extant conversation on the Black-White achievement gap that has been dominated by the notion that Blacks underperform in school because they fear (being accused of) "acting white." The authors elucidate the limitations of this explanation by presenting new research that theorizes race as a social phenomenon, unmasks the heterogeneity of the Black experience, and contends with the specifics of social context in the culture and organization of schools and communities.
Erin McNamara Horvat is Associate Professor of Urban Education at Temple University in Philadelphia PA. Professor Horvat's research agenda has explored how race and class shape access throughout the educational pipeline. She has used the work of Pierre Bourdieu extensively as a theoretical frame for her work and is interested in applying and extending Bourdieu's theoretical concepts. She has written recently on the role of social capital in shaping families' interactions with schools. Other recent work with YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School and YouthBuild USA has explored how to move students who have left school prematurely back into the educational pipeline. Her work has been published in Sociology of Education, Anthropology and Education Quarterly and American Educational Research Journal. Carla O'Connor is Associate Professor of Education, University of Michigan. She conducts research on the educational experience and outcomes of Blacks in the U.S., particularly Black students' experience with academic success. Amongst other studies, she has examined how social narratives and historically dynamic opportunity structures shape the processes by which Blacks experience success in school despite race-, class-, and gender- based constraints. She is currently conducting a qualitative longitudinal examination of how Black students negotiate their racial identity in relation to achievement performance as they transition to life after high school. She has published her work in the American Educational Research Journal, Sociology of Education, and the journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies.
Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Introduction: Framing the Field: Past and Future Research On the Historic Underachievement of Black Students 3 Bring it On! Diverse Responses to "Acting White" among Academically Able Black Adolescents 4 The Making of a "Burden": Tracing the Development of a "Burden of Acting White" in Schools 5 Shifting Images of Blackness: Coming of Age as Black Students in Urban and Suburban High Schools 6 Intersecting Identities: "Acting White," Gender, and Academic Achievement 7 To Be Young, Gifted, and Somewhat Foreign: The Role of Ethnicity in Black Student Achievement 8 Reconsidering "Material Conditions": How Neigborhood Context Can Shape Educational Outcomes across Racial Groups 9 Whiteness in School: How Race Shapes Black Students' Opportunities 10 Afterward