Study: Blacks With White Friends ‘Are Less Black’


A new study of black college students has found that African-Americans don’t like when African-Americans are friends with white people which can have significant social effects.

The study, published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, found what they call “the black code” which the study claims “prompts blacks far more than whites to front on one of their own if they associate with the other race.”

“Having cross-race friends made black examples seem ‘less black,’” the authors of the study wrote. “However, having cross-race friends did not necessarily make white examples seem ‘more black.’”

Leslie Ashburn-Nardo of Indiana University and James D. Johnson of the University of the South Pacific say these findings can truly threaten the efforts of black people to enter the corporate world for fear of how they will be perceived by their friends.

The two professors wrote “Blacks sometimes strategically imply that they have connections to whites in an effort to increase their probability of success in the corporate world. Doing so may be a means of distancing themselves from negative group stereotypes or perhaps a ‘disarming mechanism’ to enhance their acceptability in the eyes of white employers or colleagues. Regardless of motive, such strategic out-group alignment may put blacks at risk for identity denial from fellow in-group members.”

The study was conducted sampling 1,200 black college students to examine “the black code” which the study explains as “relationships with whites must be kept at arm’s length maintaining a silent us against them mindset. Blacks who appear too friendly and comfortable around whites are viewed with suspicion; their blackness in question.”

The authors also wrote that “Having cross-race friends elicited identity denial. Although previous research largely focused on identity denial for multiracial or multinational targets, this research suggests that it can occur more broadly among black Americans who are seen by in-group members to have aligned themselves too closely with the advantaged white out-group.”

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