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Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?

Tue, 11/29/2005 - 1:23pm by Tim

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An important discussion of the development of racial identity in America by a renowned psychologist and President of Spelman College:

Beverly Daniel Tatum, "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?" And Other Conversations About Race, rev. ed., New York: Basic Books, 1997.

From the introduction by the author:

"All of the conversations in this book are drawn from my own life experience and in the context of my own teaching about racism and racial identity, as well as from my research on Black children and families in predominately White settings. Because I am a Black woman, these conversations are often framed in the context of Black-White relations. However, one of the lessons I have learned in the years that I have been teaching about racism is that racism is a live issue for other groups of color as well."

From Karen Schulte, Facilitator for Professional Growth and Development, Ann Arbor Public Schools:

"This is an important book for all educators, or for anyone who works with kids, for that matter. Not only is it an important book in that it offers a clear explanation concerning how racial identities develop, but it also makes it clear that this process varies depending on one's ethnicity. The book begins the conversation about how schools, classrooms and teachers can either positively support or negatively impact racial identity and the critical role that schools as an institution play in this process."

From David Pimentel, Director of Libraries and Learning Centers, University Housing, University of Michigan:

"Tatum's book is like a beginner's manual for understanding the multiple ways race affects our daily lives. She illustrates her many topics with personal anecdotes that are not only engaging but also authentic. I often found myself in her discussion of white identity development, and realized that, like me, many whites don't often have the opportunity to reflect and dissect their race in this way. I think everyone in our community -- not to mention our country -- could benefit from Tatum's insights on the impact of race on our (simultaneously) most private and most public selves."

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