The dangerous myth of low black self-esteem.

Asians, not blacks, suffer from the lowest self-esteem

Among the most dangerous racial ideologies in the USA, such as Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality Theory, White Privilege, and Liberation Theology, it is widely claimed that black Americans suffer from low self-esteem. 

These ideologues claim that black short-comings are caused by low black self-esteem. While this low self-esteem is caused both intentionally and non-intentionally by white people. A core component of these conspiratorial worldviews, low black self-esteem, is an absolute disproven falsehood.

Asians tend to have the lowest self-esteem in America. Blacks tend to have the highest, while whites and Latinos fall in the middle. This is the conclusion of scores of academic studies taken over a period of fifty years. This includes studies conducted by researchers of all different races. Even left-leaning media outlets, like the Huffinton Post, have conceded this. Yet, this falsehood of white-inflicted low-black self-esteem is still hammered daily by radical ideologues. Many of these radicals advocate that black children should be subjected to racial praising to elevate their self-esteem and that white child should be subjected to racial scorn, or “white guilt,” to level the playing field.

Professor of Social Work at Indiana State University Portia Adams

The Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan publishes a journal called African American Research Perspectives as part of their Program for Research on Black Americans [PRBA]. The Spring/Summer 2004 edition included a research paper titled Self-Esteem Research in the African American Communities, by Indiana University Professor Portia Adams. This paper looked at past research on black self-esteem spanning a one-hundred-year period.

Adams explains that from the early 1900s to as recently as the 1960s, it was simply assumed that black Americans had lower self-esteem. However, this assumption was rarely tested. When it was tested, Adams says researchers sometimes dismissed their own findings in favor of anecdotal claims. She even talks about Kurt Lewin, a famous German-Jewish Marxist Academic who was connected to The Institute for Social Research at Goethe University Frankfurt. This is the infamous “Frankfurt School” where Critical Theory was originally hatched. Lewin moved from Germany to the United States in 1933, and according to Portia, projected his theories about “Jewish self-hatred” onto American blacks. He argued that American blacks were a worst-case scenario for self-hatred and that white Americans were the cause.

A brief history of self-esteem research provides an illuminating view of the evolution of social science research in African American communities. This article has three aims: First, it presents social science reports that depicted Black low self-esteem (1900s to 1960s) and current empirical findings that have uncovered Black high self-esteem (1970s to the present).

By the 1970s, a majority of empirical studies found that Blacks had high self-esteem (Simmons, 1978; Taylor & Walsh, 1979; Rosenberg & Simmons, 1972; Harris & Stokes, 1978; Porter & Washington, 1979). Cross (1991) also reviewed studies published from 1968 to1980 and found that 74% of the studies reported that Blacks had equal or higher self-esteem than Whites.

Black adolescent girls are confronted with gendered role messages on sexual attractiveness and accommodation as well as racial messages about Black marginality in White America. Despite the effects of negative media images, early puberty onset, and unplanned pregnancies, a plethora of quantitative and qualitative studies have reported that Black adolescent girls consistently present high self-esteem scores (Adams, 2003; Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1999; Brodsky, 1999; Brown et al., 1998; Dukes & Martinez, 1994; Gray-Little & Hafdahl, 2000; Makkar & Strube, 1995; Milkie, 1999; Twenge & Crocker, 2002). In an empirical review of race comparative research published from 1980-2000, Adams (2003) found that 23 of 26 studies reported that Black girls had higher self-esteem than White girls. Black adolescent girls may be facing difficult circumstances but they consistently rate higher on self-esteem than any other racial group (Twenge & Crocker, 2002).

Influential Marxist Theorist Kurt Lewis. Claimed white Americans cause a high level of “self-hatred” in American blacks.

From Social Psychology of Education (2018)

Asian American students often report lower self-esteem than their peers from other racial groups even though they are doing better academically. The current study attempted to explore this paradox from an attributional perspective. Academic achievement, self-esteem and attributions for academic failures (i.e., low ability and low effort) were examined in an ethnically diverse sample of 3546 White, Black, Latino, and Asian American 8th grade students (Mage = 14.03 years) from California. Results showed that Asians had the highest grade point average but the lowest self-esteem among the four major racial/ethnic groups.

From the Journal of Black Psychology (2010)

African American adolescent females possess higher self-esteem than any other racial or ethnic adolescent female group.

To facilitate an investigation of these theories, self-esteem was explored as a bidimensional construct consisting of self-worth and self-deprecation. The sample consisted of 453 Black and 1,902 White adolescent females. Multivariate regression analyses produced the following outcomes: The contingency of self-esteem theory and the locus of control model were not supported. A significant race by social support interaction found that even in low support situations Black adolescent females reported less self-deprecation than White females.

From the Journal of Research in Personality(2011)

Black individuals have been found to report the highest levels of self-esteem of any racial group in the United States. The purpose of the present research was to examine whether Black individuals also report higher levels of narcissism than White individuals. Study 1 (N = 367) found that Black individuals reported higher levels of narcissism than White individuals even when controlling for gender, self-esteem level, and socially desirable response tendencies. Study 2 (= 967) and Study 3 (= 315) found similar results such that Black individuals reported higher levels of narcissism than White individuals on the narcissism measures that captured less pathological facets of this construct. Study 3 also included indicators of psychological adjustment and found that the pathological aspects of narcissism were more strongly associated with maladjustment for Black individuals than for White individuals.

The dangerous myth of low black self-esteem has been used by Newsweek as justification for heaping racial scorn on white children.

The cover story of the September 14th, 2009 issue of Newsweek was titled “Is Your Baby Racist?” This issue became notorious for its dehumanization of white children and is based around Marxist Critical Theory and the falsehood of low black self-esteem. Newsweek claimed that to combat alleged low black self-esteem, black children need to be taught racial pride, while white children should be taught to feel “guilt.”

The following two statements are from the exact same article.

“Black children should be built up with ethnic pride.”

“It’s horrifying to imagine kids being proud to be white.”

Thus we see how dangerous this falsehood really is, as it is explicitly used by Newsweek Magazine, as well as many others, as justification to abuse white children.


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