Or will it feel that if we tune it, it just might get picked on
When Stacks says “tune it” he means in the sense of “tune it in”. This is his question: Will this black child be discouraged from learning because of the fact that if he is well-taught, educated and disciplined he will be ostracized by his black peers?
It’s a commentary on the phenomenon of “acting too white”, the idea that black youths consider a formal education to be only for white kids and therefore pick on other black kids that are motivated.
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