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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectCultural Advantage
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=23178&mesg_id=23188
23188, Cultural Advantage
Posted by k_orr, Mon Jul-31-00 03:58 AM

First, let me dispel the myth that Afrikan and Caribbean immigrants, and their children always do better than their Amerikkkan counterparts. It's not true. I've known plenty of cats from both sides of the atlantic and gulf of mexico that are not participating in the immigrant dream. My Uncle was deported. Even though his mother was a registered nurse and a land lord. My father was a hardcore rastafarai, but didn't do anything for years with his 2 degrees. His mother went back to college @ 50 and got her degree.

But there is a numerical disparity btw American Blacks and Non-American Blacks when it comes to education and business achievement.

Often NBA's come from educated families. There is a strong correlation between education of parents and children. When the parent's aren't formally educated they still have other resources that can propel their children. This is not always the case.

On the mental tip, NAB's come from environments with real role models. In their native country, the black man was the athlete, the singer, and the criminal. But the black man was also the engineer, the attorney, the doctor, the good for nothing politician. A good # of American Black children (even though 66% of Af-Am's are in the middle and upper class), do not see these things in their lives. I think it has a major effect. Even in suburban and upper middle class neighborhoods, the Black kids don't look to the black professionals and see that anything is possible. I will never understand how black folks from the burbs will identify more with ghetto struggles as opposed to the struggle of their parents to move into the burbs. Maybe I do understand it, but don't agree with it.

NAB's also have their own cultural economy. A black man will try BBQ from the other side of the tracks. A Jamaican can only get curry goat or callaloo from a Jamaican Store. There is a lot of long time customers at Afrikan and Caribbean culture shops. You don't see the same kind of loyalty for AB's businesses. In this case, the white man's ice isn't colder, in fact it will never be. This is very much like other Ethnic groups and their own economies (the Jews, the Chinese, the Russians)

NAB's are treated differently by both black and whites. Jamaican's have patois, which is percieved as cool and different. AB's have African American Vernacular English, a system that has its own rules and grammar. AAVE is considered dumb and shameful by the others and ourselves. How many of you can switch between the King's English and how your family talks at the drop of a dime?

The question I wonder, is how long does this generational affect last as immigrants become more Americanized? Some cultures have strong barriers, like language, to slow the progress. Others do not.

k. orr