Let’s talk about race. Let’s talk about race as a public health issue. Right now, let’s talk about it via the 1997 book “Why are all the Black Kits Sitting Together in the Cafeteria”.
My interest in social justice extends to and includes an interest in race and racism. So, when a colleague recommended “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria” to me, I picked it up right away.
Quick Summary of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria”
The author wrote the book 20+ years ago. Yet, aside from the absence of technology in the cafeteria, it reads as if it could have been written yesterday.
The author, Beverly Daniel Tatum, recently published an updated version of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria which I am eager to read (anyone out there read it already?).
Tatum initially wrote the book with an eye towards helping parents and teachers as they grapple with race and identity in their children and students. She wanted to arm the adults with the information and guidance that they’d need to help the kids disrupt racism.
With that audience in mind, Tatum walks the readers through the development of identity from preschool through adulthood. This nerd is grateful that the author backs up her assertions with research. If you’ve read this blog, you know that I hate baseless claims that make their ways into books!
Tatum outlines the exposure to language, imagery, and behavior that teaches prejudice and contributes to the racism around all of us. She argues for a dismantling of systemic racism and the obvious differences in housing, schooling, opportunities based on our race.
The book calls us to action. It encourages tough conversations with people like you and people different than you. And with this book in your back pocket, you will be ready for these spontaneous conversations that come up.
Watch more about “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria”
If you’d like the Cliff Notes version, Dr. Tatum gave a talk at TedEx in 2017. It is worth a watch!