In Peoria, whatever the extracurricular, whatever the educational venture, you will more often than not see an "only"...
Throughout my life I have often had the distinction of the being “the only” (the only black girl/woman in attendance). As a girl in ballet, gymnastics, archery; certain courses as I matriculated in college; as an adult on the job – every job; as a happily married, stay at home mom and volunteer. And the only life continues as my children excel educationally and I take them to music, swimming, chess club, tennis, gymnastics, ballet or volleyball.
I think that if the child can manage to be aware of the multifaceted life in which they live, they can thrive off of the diversity (or lack thereof). But for the child without a strong sense of family and identity, being the only can be a very isolating experience.
Facing Identity Conflicts, Black Students Fall Behind
By Nancy Solomon, NPR
The identity issues facing middle-class black and Latino teenagers might be a clue as to why they don't do as well academically as their white and Asian counterparts, some researchers and educators say. The teens often live in dual worlds: the suburban one they live in, and the rougher street life they see glorified in the media.
Known as the "minority achievement gap," the lower average test scores, grades and college attendance by black and Latino students have long perplexed researchers. Many have focused on the values and attitudes of students and whether black students think doing well in school is "acting white."
Read the entire article here.