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The Academic Success of Negermischlinge ["Mixed-race Negroes"]. Study by the Institute for Natural and Humanistic Anthropology (1956)

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What is advantageous for the mixed-race children in their integration into the classroom community is their liveliness, a quality that can be observed almost without exception. Added to this, for the most part, is physical dexterity, which, in girls, often manifests itself in gracefulness. Something like this almost always ensures a leadership role among the classmates. Of course, to adults, this energetic behavior often seems like misbehaving; in children, especially boys, who experience little domestication at home, it is at times even a little rowdyish. There is no doubt that in later years this could lead to problems. [ . . . ]

Behind the liveliness of the mixed-race children lies an animated emotional life. Fits of anger are immediately followed by demonstrations of affection; selflessness stands next to willfulness. It is inevitable that the impression of moodiness arises, and one often finds the same child very different today than yesterday. What is evident here is that the mixed-race children are generally more likely to respond spontaneously than to process things internally. In this context, it should also be said that the children are more affected by their experiences than their white classmates, or at least feel a stronger urge to communicate – to virtually reenact with facial expressions or play-acting – these things.

It cannot come as a surprise that these qualities of character have an effect on the academic intelligence/performance of the mixed-race children. Thus, one often hears complaints from teachers that the children lack concentration, are careless and inattentive in the classroom. They show fleeting interest only in those tasks that appeal to them somehow, but here, too, their persistence quickly slackens. However, the inability of students to concentrate, in particular, is something that people generally complain about today. For all that, one can by no means speak of a below-average intellectual ability of the mixed-race children, as all teachers emphasize. If one considers all those factors that come under the umbrella of “domestic environment,” and also what, in most cases, is the – at best – average aptitude of the mothers, one can readily register a good, or at least normal, overall impression of the children’s intelligence. [ . . . ]

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