Much of the shifting that Black women do is motivated by a wish, sometimes conscious, sometimes not, to confront, transcend, and hopefully defeat the ugly myths and stereotypes that so many in society continue to hold about them. Many women have developed ways of acting, talking, and dressing that conform to White middle-class norms of behavior and thus may help debunk and unravel discriminatory myths. Many feel pressure not just to meet White cultural codes but to exceed them. A number of women, for instance, talk about how educational achievement is a way of reversing the myths of inferiority. They say that they constantly emphasize their academic and professional achievements in order to be taken seriously by White people.
—Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America, pp. 67-68; Charisse Jones & Kumea Shorter-Gooden, PhD