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More timely now than ever!
on February 20, 2009
I was halfway through this book when a family health crisis distracted me. A lot has happened since then, including the election of the first African American president. According to many white pundits, January 20 2009 marked the official end of racism in America...making this book all the more critical because now we're even LESS likely to talk openly and honestly about race than we were before.
Each chapter in the book is based on a lecture in the "Race, Education and Democracy" series at Simmons College. In each, the author seamlessly weaves together personal experience, current events, factual data and policy analysis to help us not only understand where we are, but where we need to be and how we might get there.
The first chapter explains that school segregation (or as she puts it, "resegregation") is still very much with us, and what needs to happen if we are to move beyond it. The second chapter examines why this even matters: because race in American classrooms is effecting achievement. The third chapter explores the thorny issue of cross-racial friendships, and questions whether we can have social change if we don't have interpersonal social connection. The final chapter takes us in search of wisdom, providing examples of ways to cultivate leadership.
This book is more timely than ever. In a way, I'm glad I waited to finish it.