"Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?": And Other Conversations about Race

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Basic Books, 2003 - Social Science - 294 pages
444 Reviews
Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see black youth seated together in the cafeteria. Of course, it's not just the black kids sitting together-the white, Latino, Asian Pacific, and, in some regions, American Indian youth are clustered in their own groups, too. The same phenomenon can be observed in college dining halls, faculty lounges, and corporate cafeterias. What is going on here? Is this self-segregation a problem we should try to fix, or a coping strategy we should support? How can we get past our reluctance to talk about racial issues to even discuss it? And what about all the other questions we and our children have about race? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, asserts that we do not know how to talk about our racial differences: Whites are afraid of using the wrong words and being perceived as "racist" while parents of color are afraid of exposing their children to painful racial realities too soon. Using real-life examples and the latest research, Tatum presents strong evidence that straight talk about our racial identities-whatever they may be-is essential if we are serious about facilitating communication across racial and ethnic divides. We have waited far too long to begin our conversations about race. This remarkable book, infused with great wisdom and humanity, has already helped hundreds of thousands of readers figure out where to start.

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Review: "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?": A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity

User Review  - Goodreads

Finished! And, despite the fact that it took me a while to finish - because, life - I absolutely loved it. Her research and the research she presented by other scholars was so thorough. She not only ... Read full review

Review: "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?": A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity

User Review  - Goodreads

As a white person I obviously can never understand what it is like to be a person of color. In my opinion Tatum does a good job at describing racism and how it affects people. I recommend that ... Read full review

All 6 reviews »


Defining Racism Can we talk?
The Complexity of Identity Who am I?
The Early Years Is my skin brown because I drink chocolate milk?
Identity Development in Adolescence Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?
Racial Identity in Adulthood Still a work in progress
The Development of White Identity Im not ethnic Im just normal
White Identity and Affirmative Action Im in favor of affirmative action except when it comes to my jobs
Critical Issues in Latino American Indian and Asian Pacific American Identity Development Theres more than just Black and White you know
Embracing a CrossRacial Dialogue We were struggling for the words
Continuing the Conversation
Getting Started Resources for the Next Step
Reader Discussion Guide

Identity Development in Multiracial Families But dont the children suffer?

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About the author (2003)

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and dean of Mount Holyoke College as well as a psychologist in private practice. She is the author of?Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”

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