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It is a perennial question: how should Americans deal with racial and ethnic diversity? More than 400 communities across the country have attempted to answer it by organizing discussions among diverse volunteers in an attempt to improve race relations. In Talking about Race, Katherine Cramer Walsh takes an eye-opening look at this strategy to reveal the reasons behind the method and the effects it has in the cities and towns that undertake it. With extensive observations of community dialogues, interviews with the discussants, and sophisticated analysis of national data, Walsh shows that while meeting organizers usually aim to establish common ground, participants tend to leave their discussions with a heightened awareness of differences in perspective and experience. Drawing readers into these intense conversations between ordinary Americans working to deal with diversity and figure out the meaning of citizenship in our society, she challenges many preconceptions about intergroup relations and organized public talk. Finally disputing the conventional wisdom that unity is the only way forward, Walsh prescribes a practical politics of difference that compels us to reassess the place of face-to-face discussion in civic life and the critical role of conflict in deliberative democracy.
What is it that gives many of us White people a visceral fear about discussing race? Do you realize that being able to not think about or talk about it is a uniquely White experience? Do you warn your children about how people might react to them; find store staff following or watching you; get stopped by the police for no reason? The students of color in your classroom experience discrimination every day, in small and large ways. They don’t often see themselves represented in their textbooks, and encounter hostility in school, and outside. For them race is a constant reality, and an issue they need, and want, to discuss. Failure to do so can inhibit their academic performance. Failure to discuss race prevents White students from getting a real, critical and deep understanding of our society and their place in it. It is essential for the well-being of all students that they learn to have constructive conversations about the history of race in this country, the impact of racism on different ethnic communities, and how those communities and cultures contribute to society. The need to model for our students how to talk openly and comfortably about race is critical in America today, but it is still an issue that is difficult to tackle. To overcome the common fear of discussing race, of saying “something wrong”, this book brings together over thirty contributions by teachers and students of different ethnicities and races who offer their experiences, ideas, and advice. With passion and sensitivity they: cover such topics as the development of racial consciousness and identity in children; admit their failures and continuing struggles; write about creating safe spaces and the climate that promotes thoughtful discussion; model self-reflection; demonstrate the importance of giving voice to students; recount how they responded to racial incidents and used current affairs to discuss oppression; describe courses and strategies they have developed; explain the “n” word; present exercises; and pose questions. For any teacher grappling with addressing race in the classroom, and for pre-service teachers confronting their anxieties about race, this book offers a rich resource of insights, approaches and guidance that will allay fears, and provide the reflective practitioner with the confidence to initiate and respond to discussion of race, from the pre-school and elementary classroom through high school.
Major new reflections on race and schools—by the best-selling author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?“ A Simmons College/Beacon Press Race, Education, and Democracy Series Book Beverly Daniel Tatum emerged on the national scene in 1997 with “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?,“ a book that spoke to a wide audience about the psychological dynamics of race relations in America. Tatum’s unique ability to get people talking about race captured the attention of many, from Oprah Winfrey to President Clinton, who invited her to join him in his nationally televised dialogues on race. In her first book since that pathbreaking success, Tatum starts with a warning call about the increasing but underreported resegregation of America. A selfdescribed “integration baby“—she was born in 1954—Tatum sees our growing isolation from each other as deeply problematic, and she believes that schools can be key institutions for forging connections across the racial divide. In this ambitious, accessible book, Tatum examines some of the most resonant issues in American education and race relations: • The need of African American students to see themselves reflected in curricula and institutions • How unexamined racial attitudes can negatively affect minority-student achievement • The possibilities—and complications—of intimate crossracial friendships Tatum approaches all these topics with the blend of analysis and storytelling that make her one of our most persuasive and engaging commentators on race. Can We Talk About Race? launches a collaborative lecture and book series between Beacon Press and Simmons College, which aims to reinvigorate a crucial national public conversation on race, education and democracy.
Veteran teacher Julie Landsman leads the reader through a day of teaching and reflection about her work with high school students who are from a variety of cultures. She speaks honestly about issues of race, poverty, institutional responsibility, and white privilege by engaging the reader in the experiences of a day in the classroom with some of her remarkable students. Throughout the day, we meet bigotry head-on, struggle with questions of racial identity, and find cultural conflict in the corridors of the school building. Along the way, we come face to face with Tyrone, a young African-American student grappling with the realities of discrimination in suburbia. We encounter Sheila, a teenage mother struggling to raise her baby in poverty, and we get to know Sarah, a white girl living on the streets of Minneapolis. Through the author's eyes, we begin to understand the complexities of teaching in today's society and we learn within the pages of this book, if only just for a moment, what it feels like to be the other.
The interview is one of the most important sources of social scientific data yet there has been relatively little exploration of the way interviews are conducted and interpreted. By asking internationally respected scholars from a range of traditions in discourse studies including conversation analysis, discursive psychology, and sociolinguistics to respond to the same material, this exciting new book sheds light on some key differences in methodology and theoretical perspective. Key topics are addressed such as the forms of knowledge produced in interviews, the interview as social interaction and the foundations for the study of talk and texts in qualitative research. The use of interviews exploring attitudes to race further broadens the scope of the book, enabling the contributors to explore sensitive issues around the construction and interpretation of interviews on controversial topics and specifically on issues for race and ethnicity.
Drawing on over 600 incidents of racetalk among whites, blacks, Latinos, and Asians, this book examines private racism. Using a dialectical analysis, this book examines the ways that everyday people help to reproduce racism through their common interactions. Visit out website for sample chapters!
Raising Race Questions explores the opportunities and challenges that arise when White teachers are willing to deal directly with race and the role it plays in their classrooms. Based on lessons gleaned from experienced White teachers in a variety of settings, it lays out a path for using inquiry to develop sustained, productive engagement with challenging, and common, questions about race. It suggests that guilt and conflict need not be the end point of raising race questions and offers alternative destinations: anti-racist classrooms, positive racial identities, and a restoration of the wholeness that racism undermines. This book features: new insight on race and equity in education; case studies of expert and experienced White teachers who still have questions about race; approaches for talking about race in the K - 12 classroom; strategies for facilitating race conversations among adults; a variety of different resources useful in the teacher inquiry groups described in the book; and research with teachers, not on teachers, including written responses from each teacher whose classroom is featured in the book.

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