Acting White Vs. Acting Black


Acting White Vs. Acting Black


R.E. Prindle

     I’ve been hearing things about ‘acting White.’  Mysterious at first blush, it appears to be an African phrase describing something abhorrent.  As such it implies that there is something called ‘acting Black.’  Thus we have a negative and positive.

     I feel compelled to compare the two states of mind.  Acting White appears to be graduating from high school then either going to college or trying to find steady gainful employment, other that selling crack,  showing up for work on time once and a while.  Acting White involves staying out of jail. 

     Acting Black on the other hand is the negative of acting White.  One drops out of school somewhere between the seventh and eleventh grade, reads nothing, hangs out on street corners eventually, if not immediately, finding one’s way into the penal system.

     It should be clear to even the most bigoted that acting White and acting Black have nothing to do with color.  Black people as well as White people ‘act White’ while White people as well as Black ‘act Black.’  Nevertheless ‘acting White’ as a phrase originated in Black neighborhoods and more Blacks reject acting White than Whites while more Whites act White than Black.

     For me it’s a no brainer.  On one account alone, not being fond of prison cells, I choose to act White.  It would seem that on comparing the results of acting White and acting Black everyone would choose acting White, but it is not so.  Like I say, a no brainer.  It shouldn’t take a lot of education to make that clear but, hey, I guess that’s just me.


One comment on “Acting White Vs. Acting Black

  1. Just Beacause you choose to stay out of jail and get an education doesn’t mean that you are “acting white”. It simply means you are choosing to make a positive decision in your life.

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