Why are so many African American and Latino students performing less well than their Asian and White peers in classes and on exams? Researchers have argued that African American and Latino students who rebel against "acting white" doom themselves to lower levels of scholastic, economic, and social achievement. In Keepin' It Real: School Success beyond Black and White, Prudence Carter turns the conventional wisdom on its head arguing that what is needed is a broader recognition of the unique cultural styles and practices that non-white students bring to the classroom. Based on extensive interviews and surveys of students in New York, she demonstrates that the most successful negotiators of our school systems are the multicultural navigators, culturally savvy teens who draw from multiple traditions, whether it be knowledge of hip hop or of classical music, to achieve their high ambitions. Keepin' it Real refutes the common wisdom about teenage behavior and racial difference, and shows how intercultural communication, rather than assimilation, can help close the black-white gap.