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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 11, 2005 / 2 Iyar, 5765

Shades of race identity boil down to a doll test

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | NEW YORK CITY — It was a simple test. You give a child two dolls, one white, one dark-colored, and ask the child which one he or she likes best. Which one do they want to play with? Which one is the "nice" doll? Which one looks "bad"? Which one do you like best?

When black psychologist and educator Kenneth Clark asked these questions while researching the impact of segregation in 1951 (with his wife, Mamie Clark) on 16 black children in South Carolina, most of the children preferred the white doll. Ten of the children considered the white doll to be the nice doll. Eleven thought the brown doll looked bad.

Clark's death Sunday in his New York state home at age 90 reminds us of how profoundly the story of his doll test has shaped modern notions of how racism can be internalized in self-destructive ways.

Yet, curiously, few of the obituaries and tributes to him bothered to mention how the doll test was more valuable as symbolism than as science. Its sample group was too small by modern standards. There was little pursuit of why the children preferred one color over another. Nor was there a control group of white children through which we could compare how often they might prefer a black doll.

Nevertheless, the results of the study were startling enough for the U.S. Supreme Court to cite them in its unanimous 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision that ruled racially segregated schools unconstitutional. A half-century later, we can see that the high court's view only scratched the surface of what social scientists already were learning in the early 1950s about the complexities of race in America.

In his 1991 book, "Shades of Black: Diversity in African-American Identity," psychologist William E. Cross Jr. of Cornell University examined "Negro identity" studies from 1936 to 1967 and debunked self-hatred as too simplistic a notion to describe black identity during Clark's era or now. Modern obsessions with proving black pathologies of various sorts have caused us to overlook important adaptive strengths in black culture and psychology, he said.

Indeed, some subsequent tests of white children have found them almost as likely to choose a black doll as black children are likely to choose a white one.

I, for one, discovered this lesson in 1993 when our son, then age 4, came home from pre-school and announced, "I want to be a white policeman when I grow up." I grabbed my handy copy of "Raising Black Children," by noted black psychiatrists James P. Comer of Yale Medical School and Alvin F. Poussaint of Harvard Medical School (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.). Their advice: Relax. It's quite normal, the esteemed doctors said, for children to take full notice of color differences at age 4, but they don't necessarily attach any value to the various colors. They eventually learn color values from us, their parents and other elders, the same as they learn other values.

It is also not unusual for white 4-year-olds to want to be black, Comer and Poussaint point out, if the child's personal heroes are black. I knew this was true, since my little man-child's best friend was a blond-haired 5-year-old Scandinavian-American neighbor whose bedroom was plastered with images of Michael Jordan.

Indeed, self-hatred does not explain why two-thirds of black Americans have escaped poverty while others have not. But it might offer some insight as to why some black teenagers, entranced by hip-hop rebellion, display a self-destructive hostility toward mainstream success as "acting white."

Rather than relax too comfortably with the notion that we Americans have put racism behind us in this era of Oprah, Colin and Condoleezza, we also need to look more deeply into the psychological impact that centuries of racism have had on today's young people.

When I watch rap videos with my son, now a teenager fully enthralled with hip-hop, I marvel at how much has changed since Clark's doll tests. Negative imagery about black folks used to come almost exclusively from white folks. Now black folks cash in on it too. What a country.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

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