Saturday, February 03, 2007

Being Black affects your education

Researchers from Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that first or second generation immigrants comprise a disproportionately high percentage of the Black student population at U.S. universities--especially private universities.

"In the Ivy League, more than 40 percent of the Black population is of immigrant origin, despite comprising just 13 percent of the Black population overall."

The percentage of immigrant Black students is also shown to be higher at the more selective schools.

In their study, there were few differences between Black immigrants and Black natives in regard to social and economic origins. However, "Black immigrant fathers were far more likely to have graduated from college than native fathers, reflecting the fact that Africans and Afro-Caribbeans are the most educated immigrant group, with many originally coming to the Unites States to pursue a degree." ...which leads one to assume that the immigrant children may have had more access to a higher quality of education and environment to begin with.

Knowing this, and thinking about it in terms of affirmative action, is affirmative action really benefitting the people it was originally designed for?

More importantly, though, once Black immigrants were enrolled at the college or university, they performed no better than their native counterparts, "implying that the factors influencing the performance of Black students in higher education affect immigrants and natives alike."

Although it is somewhat disconcerting that affirmative action may not be benefitting the people it was set out for, more troublesome is the fact that if you are Black, whether you are native or of immigrant origin, something is happening that depresses Black academic performance below that of Whites with similar characteristics.

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