This small study hasn't been replicated but it blew my mind. The resilient gap between black and white test scores is one of the most intractable and debilitating social facts of our age. If any part of it can be erased by a psychological shift in the hearts and minds of African-American students, it's cause for rejoicing.

A small anecdote. I know a neighbor in my hood from walking my beagles. She teaches in a local school and is even more aware than the rest of us in this city how challenging it is to teach and rear a self-confident generation of minority kids. She's African-American and has long bemoaned the ubiquitous use of the n-word by young black teens. But she pointed out to me months ago that there was one man they never used the n-word to describe. It was Obama. If he can help lift eyes to a larger horizon for more generations of minority children, then surely liberals and conservatives and everyone in between can be glad.

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