Friday, January 26, 2007



Let's rewind to 1989:Crack in the streets & HH in the ears. I was a twelve year old seventh grader trying to take it all in. I attended a junior high for "Gifted" and/or high-performing students. As I look back it was a good experience due to the diversity of the group. You had white kids, black kids, rich kids, poor kids, puerto rican kids, gay kids & everything in between. Now, at that time there was a unspoken ranking as far as academics in my school. The list looked something like this:

1) Asians
2) Upper - Class White Folks
3) Weird White Kids (Dungeons & Dragons Types)
4) Poor Whites & Middle Class Blacks (Tie)
5) Smart Black Kids who didnt want to appear smart (For reference, see Jawanza Kunjufu)

It was basically an accepted "fact" that asian kids would have the best grades & test scores*. On the rare occasion they failed a test, you'd see them having a fit in the hall ways. I remember a kid that scored 1000 on the SAT in the 7th grade. Being kids, we just thought that they were naturally smarter & thus deserved better grades.

Now with the benefit of age & experience, I know that culture (in this case, the culture of many asian families regarding education). was the primary factor in the disparity. At that time, widespread hustling had only recently become in vogue, so the anti-school sentiment wa s not as large as it is today among black babies, b.u.t. yet and still, the difference in attitude was obvious.
A couple of weeks ago, I happened upon a book written by an asian man regarding the secrets of asians in school. I'll share them here so that you can use them however they see fit.

1) Instill a love & need for learning & education

2) Instill a sense of family pride & loyalty

3) Instill a respect for delayed gratification & sacrifice

4) Define your child's role as a student

5) Cultivate a respect for elders & people in positions of authority

6) Play a active role in your child's education

7) Determine & develop your child's individual talents

8) Set clearly defined short-term & long-term goals

9) Teach your child to value academic success over social status or popularity

10) Reward positive school performances & devise a plan of attack for poor school performances

11) Forget the "Do whatever makes you happy" mentality & focus on professions with financial security & intellectual fufillment

12) Keep your money in perspective

13) Limit activities that interfere with schoolwork

14) Promote an environment of healthy competition

15) Surround your child with similar minded children & role models

16) Help your children view America as an land of opportunity

All of the abovementioned points aid in developing basic civilization (Knowledge, Wisdom, Understanding, Culture, Refinement, & not being a savage in pursuit of happiness), and should be taking place in families where the parents are aware of the way that this country's economy works. Additionally, we must seek to provide a safety net for the children in our communities that do not have the "luxury" if you will, of having parents who are as aware.

I acknowledge that some of you may take issue with #16, b.u.t. it is important to recognize that we are in a place to acquire resources (Knowledge, Money, etc..) to spread across the original diaspora, and that can be looked upon as opportunity. Something that was once the "poor part" of the planet could now be seen as the "best part", and vice versa (See 1st & 3rd degrees in the 1-14 for those in the NGE).

1 comment:

Ash Tha God said...

Good article. Blacks and Hispanics should try to follow these steps in getting our children to become more successful academically. Many of our young people suffer in adulthood because of an anti-intellectual, anti-academic youth culture. Also, we need to let young black and brown kids know that academic success is expected from them and happiness is connected to success.