Does poverty perpetuate racism in education?

In a recent article, researchers from Brandeis University and Ohio State University report that living in a disadvantage neighborhood is the primary contributing factor to racism in education for Blacks. The conducted study compared disadvantaged neighborhoods in Honolulu Hawaii and Albany New York. The researchers have made a serious error in thinking that racism in education has a correlation to living in a disadvantaged neighborhood.

According to their research, roughly 40 percent of Black children live in the lowest-opportunity neighborhoods across the nation’s largest 100 metro areas.

This is in stark contrast to the less than 10 percent of white children who faced the same fate.

The researchers used information provided by and a Child Opportunity Index to identify which areas would qualify as low-opportunity areas.

They also considered socioeconomic indicators such as foreclosure rates and access to efficient educational resources and basic health care needs.

So while the vast majority of white children have access to top-notch educational facilities and early childhood centers, many Black children in disadvantaged neighborhoods didn’t even have access to well-maintained parks, never mind quality health care facilities.

For the roughly 9 percent of white children who were considered to be in disadvantaged neighborhoods, they were robbed of nearly as many opportunities as Black children, the researchers suggest.

The low-opportunity neighborhood with the greatest amount of white children was Honolulu, Hawaii, with 23 percent of white children. This neighborhood was where the disadvantage problem was the most pervasive for white youths.

For Black youths, on the other hand, more than 60 percent of the Black children in Albany, New York, lived in the worst neighborhoods, where they had limited access to the types of resources that could prepare them to continue their education and compete in the job market.

Researchers believe the study proves that a disproportionately greater number of Black youths are being raised in low-income neighborhoods that immediately leave them playing a brutal game of catch-up with white children who never had to face the same obstacles.

The researchers should know that living in a disadvantaged neighborhood is not the primary contributing factor for racism in education.    For example, the following persons came from humble beginnings to become billionaires and millionaires.

Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to an unmarried teenage mother. Her mother, Vernita Lee (born c. 1935), was a housemaid. After Winfrey’s birth, her mother traveled north and Winfrey spent her first six years living in rural poverty with her maternal grandmother, Hattie Mae (Presley) Lee (April 15, 1900 – February 27, 1963), who was so poor that Winfrey often wore dresses made of potato sacks, for which the local children made fun of her.

Johnson was born in 1946 in Hickory, Mississippi, the ninth out of ten children to Edna and Archie Johnson. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father a farmer. His parents moved the family to Freeport, Illinois when he was a child. He attended Freeport High School, where he was an honors student. Johnson graduated from the University of Illinois in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in social studies.[3][4] While at the University of Illinois, Johnson was a member of the Beta chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He received a master’s degree in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University in 1972.

Earvin Johnson Jr. was born in Lansing, Michigan to Earvin Sr., a General Motors assembly worker, and Christine, a school custodian. Johnson, who had six siblings, was influenced by his parents’ strong work ethic. Johnson’s mother spent many hours after work each night cleaning their home and preparing the next day’s meals, while his father did janitorial work at a used car lot and collected garbage, all while never missing a day at General Motors. Earvin Jr. would often help his father on the garbage route, and he was teased by neighborhood children who called him “Garbage Man.”

Cosby was born on July 12, 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is one of four sons born to Anna Pearl (née Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby Sr., who served as a cook in the U.S. Navy. During much of Cosby’s early childhood, his father was away in the U.S. armed forces, spending several years fighting in World War II.

Peebles was born in Washington, D.C. to Ruth Yvonne Willoughby and Roy Donahue Peebles Sr. His grandfather was a doorman at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington D.C. Peebles has said that assisting his father as car mechanic while still a child contributed to his strong work ethic.

Shawn Carter was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in Marcy Houses, a housing project in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.[23] He and his three siblings were raised by their mother, Gloria Carter, after their father abandoned the family.

This does not include the many professional athletes and a host of others who started in humble beginnings to become millionaires. Many professional athletes reach that status not only due to their talents, but also due to the many coaches that have taught them the skills necessary to reach a professional arena.

Coaches are teachers. Teachers are the most important person in a child’s life. The only way to offset racism in education is to eliminate classroom racism (Elcloomism) by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

Related Articles

Effects of Systemic Racism Leaving Black Youths Facing Severe Disadvantages in the Classroom and Beyond

Physics Teacher Develops Unit about Racism, White Privilege, Social Justice

California’s school suspensions show racial disparity


Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012


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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships


“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.

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~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President


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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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11 Responses to Does poverty perpetuate racism in education?

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