Did some more thinking about this and read some comments to my initial post. Here is my problem. "Black Anti-Intellectualism" is a broad lazy phrase, that comes from broad lazy thinking. It is of a piece with "The War On Terror," or "The War On Drugs." It's big and abstract, and ducks the hard thinking needed to get our hands around the problem, and thus get to tangible solutions. To accuse black kids of being anti-intellectual, is, in itself, anti-intellectual. It's a charge that results from not pushing yourself to get tot the core of the problem.
Furthermore, I submit that it's foolish to define intellectual curiosity by how you perform in school. That doesn't mean that the achievment gap is a myth, or that it isn't a problem. But I'm very leery of hazy, undefined, sprawling answers. I'm much more apt to believe that this has to do SPECIFIC problems--a chronic level of broken families, a lack of safety in and around schools, the wealth gap etc.
I don't object to people pointing out the achievemnt gap. It's real and deeply problematic. But it's incredibly weak-minded to basically say that black kids just don't care, or they just don't want to know about the wider world. If that's the line we're taking to our children--as opposed to critiquing ourselves as parents--then our kids are in big big trouble. If we--the very people who are supposed to be their guardians--are condemning from day one as "anti-intellectual," I can only imagine what the wider, unsympathetic world has in store.
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