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Academic Success Seen as “Gay” by Afro-Carribean Boys

Academic Success Seen as “Gay” by Afro-Carribean Boys

In the education section of the London newspaper, the Daily Telgraph, a new reason why black schoolboys in Britian perform far below their white and Asian counterparts.  According to a new study done by the Jamaican Teachers Association, black schoolboys underachieve in exams due to a cultural misconception that academic success is a sign of homosexuality.

The Head of the Jamaican Teachers Association, Adolph Cameron, claims that many Afro-Carribean boys do not want to appear studious for fear of casting suspicion on their masculinity.  The alternative to academic achievement in Jamaica especially seems to be a hustle culture, relying on the tourism in both Jamaica and inner London to create a life. The boys who do rely on academic success are bullied more and only manage to sustain academics for only so long until peer pressure calls them away.

Afro-Carribean boys are one of England’s worst-performing racial and gender groups in schools. Last year, just 40 percent of Afro-Caribbean boys achieved five good GCSEs that included both English and Mathematics. This is compared with the British national average of 58.5 per cent. In addition, in Jamaica, boys are at least 10 percentage points behind girls in national tests.

Mr. Cameron told the BBC: “The notion of masculinity says that if as a male you aspire to perform highly it means you are feminine, even to the extent of saying you are gay.”

“But in the context of Jamaica, which is so homophobic, male students don’t want to be categorised in that way so that they would deliberately underperform in order that they are not.”

This type of homophobia will affect the later success of both groups, adding to the overall racism and white privilege that Britian’s educational system has tried hard to overcome.  Mr. Cameron argues that misplaced views about masculinity needed to be tackled in schools in order to overcome these views and have academic achievement coexist with concepts of “black masculinity” in modern culture.

He recently gave a talk to educators in Bristol on this topic, and outlines some ideas that he hopes start a conversation within the community that may lead to a curriculum to address these issues.  His hope is that this attitude can change within the next few years.

Related Stories:

Jamaica’s Sodomy Law Gets First Legal Challenge

UK Riots and Cuts to Public Universities: Any Connection?

Will the UK Deny Aid to Anti-LGBT Countries?

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Photo credit:  caribb

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52 comments

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11:14AM PST on Dec 14, 2011

From my experience of British schools, this attitude isn't confined to Afro-Caribbean boys.

1:02PM PST on Nov 6, 2011

As a Univ. of Ga. study showed some years back, the more vehemently anti-gay you are, the more likely you're just another closet case.
Just another way to spell "stupid."

6:47PM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

This is sad. I hope they wake up and see the damage that they are doing to themselves and the society.

6:10PM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

This is bad news. This just helps the involution of society.
To think that only a few years ago being good at school meant you were a top man...
I don't want to be misunderstood with what I'll be saying next, but I believe the trigger to this situation was the ending of educational starvation of women all over the world, and the misinformation campaigns this event was targetted ever since.
When the only ones that ever studied were boys, to be a male could very well be being a successful schollar.

I really do hope this situation can be overturned, because we don't need any more reasons for people not to be educated.

2:58PM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

How sad that anyone thinks it is unacceptable to excel in school- no matter what the reason! I have heard African Americans in the U.S. denigrating each other as "trying to be white" if they tried to excel in school. Pathetic reasoning.....

12:57PM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

We have this in America too.

"Stupid" has long been glorified as "cool," and it doesn't help that most teenagers, and people in general are stupid to begin with.

5:41AM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

This is sooo ridiculous! Trying to excuse one's academic failures by straight orientation. Really, it seems to me that gays are at least not as shallow as their homophobic counterparts, which accounts for their studiousness. Is this the right way to explain it?

10:37PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

The children, from an early age, need to be assessed for their academic desire, ability, and enthusiasm and "culled" from the herd of bulling underachievers, so as to not be influenced by their rotten attitudes and warped anti-social hateful viewpoints of the world. These hopeful students should be educated separately from the dregs of their clans. Then separately, though fraught with social resistance, I'm sure, those dregs whom offer the bullying and detriment to all those hopeful students, should be at first counseled, and analysed, and if possible, treated. If not feasible for treatment, then lobotomize the offenders, so that the anti-social, pathological behavior and bullying will stop, and the salvageable students can get on with a life with opportunities and potential. All of our "politically correct" countries (societies) need to stop subjecting our citizens and students to lives determined by citizens (legal and illegal) of the lowest common denominators. When you throw a rotten apple into a barrel of fresh apples, the fresh apples do not turn the rotten apple fresh, the rotten apple turns the fresh apples rotten....it works the same way with people, as much as most would like to argue to the contrary. Through peer pressure, bullying, domination, "coolness', stupidity, what ever works, is used. Some resist, many don't or can't, or for their own reasons find the wrong side to be intriguing and compelling when offered. Drastic times and situations call for drastic meas

10:05PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

The Catholic, Christian and Muslim religions are responsible for GAY BASHING and HOMOPHOBIA around the world!! Hatred of gays is an INTEGRAL part of ALL THESE RELIGIONS. You will never stamp out homophobia until you stamp out these hateful, violent
religions. They are all a DISEASE on the PLANET! They have brought nothing but death and
destruction. Muslims hang gays on a daily basis. The Pope gay bashes in EVERY ONE of
his speeches. The Christians have Michelle Bachmann and her dorky pray away the gay husband spreading her hateful bigotry over in China. These people are all CRIMINALS hiding behind religious doctrine written by some ignorant old sand dudes 2,000 years ago. All these religions have fairy tale "gods" and pie heavens and wage wars to steal other peoples' land
and oil. These religious lunatics make me puke.

7:56PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

noted.

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