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Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race 5th Anniv., Revised Edition
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The main strength of the book, to me, is in fact the redefinition of racism. You don't have to agree with it, but you do now need to examine whether a "system of advantage" exists and if it does, whether it should be included in the definition of racism. I am neither white nor black, so I cannot speak of black/white issues in first-person. But I come from a family with four generations of academics. The system of school, academia, and education benefits me greatly, and I suit the system particularly through my upbringing. By analogy, I am open to the idea that past explicit systems of racial inequality do not lose its effect in a mere generation or two, especially for the black race. (Sorry to be imprudent, but Comedian Louis C.K. had this great line about, "White people want to add 100 years to every year it has been since slavery.Read more ›
Because Tatum herself is a black woman, she predominantly addresses the identity development of black individuals. She cites psychologist William Cross in describing the stages of development: pre-encounter, when young children simply absorb the messages they receive from those around them, not yet having reason to question them; encounter, when an individual first becomes aware of racism through some "event or series of events that force the young person to acknowledge [its] personal impact" (55); immersion/emersion, when the individual works actively to learn about and affirm their own racial identity; and internalization/commitment, when the individual has established a positive personal identity for him/herself. Throughout, Tatum offers explanations for the behaviors many black adolescents may engage in which may puzzle their white counterparts, including the reason for student self-segregation along racial lines.Read more ›
In a perfect world, this book would be required reading for all Americans and should be assigned to every high school student in this country. I don't remember the last time I was as moved by a book and I can't wait for her next one! Thank you, thank you, thank you Dr. Tatum! Each of us who is ready to take a look inside ourselves and be completely honest about our own biases needs to read this book! It will make us better Americans, better humans and better friends.
However, Dr. Tatum has masterfully tackled a controversial topic, explained it in a perfect blend of academic and common-sense language, and put forth a pro-active plan for thinking which is innovative and exciting.
This book starts us from the beginning by deconstructing the very ideas of "white" and "black," and by discussing the terminology itself. From there, she begins to talk about social models of behavior and more complex ideas, but she never loses the "essential" nature of her subject.
Dr. Tatum's book is perfect for anyone who ever plans to have children or who works with them, because it deals with the effects that race relations have on kids. This under-studied field is, in my opinion, one of the most important because it is children who are harmed the most by polarized race relationships. Dr. Tatum discusses tools for dealing with children throughout the book, citing practical examples and giving the reader a place to go from the last page of the book into real life application.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing. Should be required reading for EVERYONE, teaches, employees, students, clergymen, all US Citizens.Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
My daughter, age 19, asked for this book and read it over one weekend. She really enjoyed it. Since I haven't read it, I can't speak for the content but she told me that I should... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tracy J.
This book is a must read. It provides the best breakdown of cultural identity development I have ever encountered, and it has changed the way I think about racial identity... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sc
Fantastic insight of ethnicities. I was challenged to think critically of my own heritage and how I respond to others. It's easy to read and reflect on too.Published 2 months ago by ben
I have to tell you, I think if I had this book five years ago it would have helped me on many of my false starts and premature conclusions as I've struggled to understand myself,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stephen Matlock
Honestly, I was already really excited to read this book when I bought it. Once received I spent every moment I could with my nose in this book. Read morePublished 2 months ago by michele