From Library Journal
Many readers will have difficulty appreciating a book that comes to the conclusion that "all white people are infected with racism." Relying heavily on opinion and often falling into overgeneralization, the authors (a university professor and an elementary school teacher) present a cautionary tale for teacher educators hoping to introduce their students to the tenets of "critical multiculturalism," i.e., an approach that "is structured to convey that the entire social order is shaped by institutions that tend to preserve and reproduce prevailing racial, gender, and class inequities." Hoping to find a place in the curriculum alongside the works of Jonathan Kozol (e.g., Savage Inequalities, LJ 9/15/91) and Lisa Delpit (Other People's Children, New Pr., 1995), the authors demonstrate that children of color are the victims of an institutionalized racism that affects the teaching they receive at every academic level. Unfortunately, this important message is obscured by the angry, self-righteous, and occasionally self-indulgent tone of this work. Recommended only for the most comprehensive academic collections related to multicultural education or teacher education. [With this title Temple University inaugurates their "Teaching and Learning Social Justice" series, which highlights educational practices that promote equality in multicultural societies. Ed.] Scott Walter, Washington State Univ., Pullman Fisher, Anne.- Scott Walter, Washington State Univ., Pullman Fisher, Anne.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Taking It Personally needs a warning label: DANGER, it should announce, IDEAS UNDER INTENSE PRESSURE. OPEN AT YOUR OWN RISK. Berlak and Moyenda guide us into the depths of racism, peeling away layer after layer, revealing the pervasive American devil in all its complexity. If you start the journey, you may want to turn back, you may want to look away, you will certainly want them to lighten up. But stay to the end and you will never be the same. This is a brave, embracing book--honest and unrestrained, filled with pain and grief, but never despair. In the end it is about transformation and redemption and the possibility of a more just and joyful world. Take the risk." --William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of A Kind and Just Parent "For those who contend that racism is all but dead in the United States, this book gives us a laser-focused look at real multiethnic relationships in new millennium classrooms. Through the eyes of two thoughtful, hones, and compellingly articulate educators--one black, one white--we learn that there is yet much work to be done." --Lisa Delpit, Benjamin E. Mays Professor of Urban Educational Leadership, Georgia State University, and author of Other People's Children "This is one of the best, if not the best, book about the microdynamics of racism in the classroom that I have ever read. I think it will become a classic. It is well conceptualized--a cross-racial teachers' dialogue framed by the two authors' race-awareness autobiographies, beautifully written, and absolutely riveting. I truly couldn't put it down." --Dr. Maurianne Adams, Chair, Social Justice Education Program, School of Education, University of Massachusetts at Amherst "A moving chronicle of two teachers' journey confronting racism in education. ...the two authors skillfully dissect racism and its manifestations in today's classroom. ... A great book for teachers and teacher educators alike. --Rethinking Schools "[T]his book reveals the possibilities for fighting racism in our schools. Berlak and Moyenda meditate not only on their own ideas of teaching and learning, but also redefine the obligation a teacher has to his or her students." --New York Review of Books