Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race - book cover
  • Publisher : Basic Books; Revised edition
  • Published : 05 Sep 2017
  • Pages : 464
  • ISBN-10 : 0465060684
  • ISBN-13 : 9780465060689
  • Language : English

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race

The classic, New York Times-bestselling book on the psychology of racism that shows us how to talk about race in America.

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? How can we get past our reluctance to discuss racial issues?

Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about communicating across racial and ethnic divides and pursuing antiracism. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand dynamics of race and racial inequality in America.

Editorial Reviews

"We don't talk about race in America, but we must start if we are going to heal this broken country--and Beverly Tatum's book is exactly the conversation opener we should be using."―Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

"Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria was a landmark publication when it appeared in 1997. Twenty years later this updated edition is as fresh, poignant and timely as ever."―Earl Lewis, President, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

"An unusually sensitive work about the racial barriers that still divide us in so many areas of life."―Jonathan Kozol

Readers Top Reviews

Sol_AlbeL. WilsonCal
If you didn't ever question yourself that then you should. In a country in which everything is divided by skin color we must have these conversations and understand how all of us contribute to social inequality and division.
amazon userKatherine
Although this book talked about black issues in America. I felt it focused so much on a lot of other groups: Latino, Asian, LGBTQ, agism, gender...which is fine, I guess, it's just not why I bought the book. It honestly just felt really political. I mean to the point that it talked all about Trump/Clinton and how Hillary Clinton should have gotten the nomination. I was hoping for a book that discussed race in a way that would help bring people together but this wasn't it. It was political and very, very far left.
I hope every college student reads this book no matter their race or ethnicity. I wish I had had this book as a racial minority at a predominantly white undergraduate institution. The framework Dr. Tatum utilized to explain racial identity development would have helped me immensely by giving me a language for what I experienced. Decades after its first publication, I still reference this book and often share it as I speak and write publicly about issues of race in PWIs. A must read!
Laura O
When I first picked up this book, I didn’t know what to expect. The first 35 pages alone blew my mind... giving me new information, and confirming some things I’d been observing in society. If you interact with children in ANY way (parent, family member, social worker, teacher, coach, babysitter, nanny, pastor, etc.), I HIGHLY recommend you read this book. It not only talks about race/identity of young black people, but it also delves into the identities of Whites, Latins, Middle Eastern/North Africans, Asians, Native (American) Indians, Asian Indians, biracial children, and transracial adopted children (a family of adopting a child of a different race). I learned SO much!
Charles Heck
If you are looking for a book written from a biblical perspective on the subject of racism, this is NOT that book. The author is a secular author, but there is still value in reading the book for Christians. If you are committed to becoming a “change agent” in your own heart and the community around you as it relates to racial and discrimination issues, this book will be helpful. You may not agree with her examples of why racism is a hot issue in our country (e.g., the election of Pres. Trump, the imprisonment of a high percentage of black people, etc.) but you will still benefit from hearing her reasoning, because our first objective in being “change agents” should be to understand one another. I read this book to understand a segment of our society that sees racism as a bigger issue than I do. The book came recommended to me by numerous people, and the author cities thousands of authors, studies and other articles – thus, this book represents a fair representation of one of the primary sides on the issue of racism in our country. After reading her book, I agree with her last paragraph where she wrote, “Is it better? My answer is: Not yet, but it could be. It’s up to us to make sure it is. I remain hopeful.”

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