Signithia Fordham presents an analysis of the tensions high-achieving Black students feel when they strive for academic success. Students are pulled by their dual relationships to the indigenous Black fictive-kinship system and the individualistic, competitive ideology of American schools. By analyzing ethnographic data on six high-achieving Black high school students, the author finds that the characteristics required for success in society contradict an identification and solidarity with Black culture. Students who feel the conflict between"making it" and group identification develop the particular strategy of racelessness.

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