William Darity, Ph.D. 2003

Lydia Donaldson Tutt-Jones Memorial Research Grant Recipient

When he was Director of the Institute of African American Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. William “Sandy” Darity conducted research titled Effective Schools, Effective Students that “has identified public schools in North Carolina where black students generally have patterns of high achievement and black students in public schools in North Carolina who have attained academic success regardless of the schools they attend. The purpose of the study was to “identify the conditions that produce academic success among black students with the goal of developing strategies for replicating those conditions in other schools and among other black students”.
At AASF’s 2004 Success Summit, Dr. Darity and one of his colleagues, Dr. Karolyn Tyson, presented findings on a portion of their research that concludes that “there is no evidence of the specific racialized form of opposition to high achievement — the burden of acting white — at the elementary level. This suggests that it is not an attitude that is a cultural import from a widely held outlook in black America” though they do find “..limited evidence of racialized peer pressure against academic ahivement at the high school level. The context in which it is most likely to occur is a school where black students are grossly underrepresented in the most demanding courses, e.g. Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors courses.” Read more about this study: Breeding Animosity: The “Burden of Acting White” and Other Problems of Status Group Hierarchies in Schools