Does the negro need separate schools? A retrospective analysis of the racial composition of schools and black adult academic and economic success
W.E.B. Du Bois asserted that black students are better served by attending predominantly black schools than hostile integrated schools in a context of racial discrimination. The conventional assumption is that black students benefit educationally by attending schools with more white peers, which have access to greater resources. However, the theory of the functionality of discrimination advances the idea that black students may face greater discrimination in school settings with numerous white peers as a result of a competitive process and white appropriation of preferred resources. Using the National Survey of Black Americans, we find evidence of a nonmonotonic relationship between high school racial composition and years of schooling completed, high school graduation, likelihood of being employed, and likelihood of owning a home. We conclude, contrary to conventional belief, that it is not unambiguously the case that black students gain from attending schools with more white peers.
Diette, TM; Hamilton, D; Goldsmith, AH; Darity, WA
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