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

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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.

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

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

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  1. Ryan Restauro

    B.D. Tatum has written one of the most phenomenal books on race that I have ever read. Not only is it accessible to anyone, regardless if you’re educated on race or just beginning, but as a person of color (POC), this book was also empowering. Helping to name feelings and situations that I don’t often engage in dialogue with others about, I felt seen and validated through the experiences and stories shared throughout the book. As a non-Black, lighter-skinned, biracial POC, I also learned of ways in which I can be a better ally to other POC communities. I highly recommend this book as it will change the way you see yourself and society.

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  2. Ryan B.

    As an educator in my 20th year, I believe this book should be in the collegiate curriculum of all future educators. This is a must read book for all people of color as well as anyone who has any interaction with people of color…some should read it twice just for good measure.

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  3. B MAX DUBROFF

    Beverly is a fabulous writer and her book has the perfect balance of development and flow. I never skimmed or lost focus, because she provided insightful points and wasted no words. Even more, this book was a vehicle for self-awareness and action-planning.

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  4. Amazon Customer

    We started a book club at work selected this book as our first read to initiate discussions amongst a diverse group to share their feelings on issues of the day.

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  5. June R. Britt

    Excellent book!! I have enjoyed reading it. I recommended it to all the college students in my church. In light of recent event in South Carolina, this book will help us try to understand why people think as they do. We would all be better off if we try to know and understand each other, why we act and do the things we do.

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  6. Tiff

    Just started this book and it excellent. A must read!

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  7. Jimmeka

    Very interesting. If you’re thinking about buying it, DO IT!

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  8. Kelly

    Must-read for all white people. The majority culture needs to read and understand our black brothers and sisters so that we can all live in unity together

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  9. Maddi Romeo

    I got this book for my Learning Ecologies class in my Masters program. It is a poignant and eloquent read that is also approachable and digestible for readers. The author does an amazing job of expressing the psychology of racism without “other”-ing the audience. It is inclusive and a must-read for everyone.

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  10. K.M. Lake

    Excellent book on a difficult subject. It reads like a classroom presentation. The subject matter is present with excellent references. I will not look on racism the same way again, nor can I turn away from it. My eyes were opened.

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  11. Vicki J. Elder

    I read this book with the aid of a class facilitator … five weeks was hardly enough time to examine all that was unearthed in each of us. The lessons and concepts that Dr. Tatum presents lay an amazing framework so that people of all races can understand why we still deal with racial discord in this country and how each of us can become part of an ongoing solution to break down the systemic, institutionalized racism that plagues our country. Read it if you dare to open your eyes.

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  12. Davey P

    Very good. I learned a lot and it got me thinking. I hope Dr. Tatum’s hopeful outlook isn’t empty – the world could use more awareness and this book is a good start.

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  13. Colleen E. Cunningham

    Tatum clearly explains the process of self-awareness that youth of color go through as they assimilate into the wider society. In simple direct language, she shows how Black youth grow into their identity, not just as people but as people of color who are not reacted to the same way as Whites. As you watch any marginalized group in this country, you can see the same processes being followed by members of those groups as well. This is a must read for any teacher with students that don’t quite fit into the “norm” of society, meaning white, straight and middle class. Understanding is have the battle when teaching and this book will easily bring a greater understanding to teachers who are interested in truly knowing their students.

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  14. LC

    Excellent book and I think the updates in this version are terrific. Must ready for anyone working in schools (and really every white person).

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  15. Nate FullerNate Fuller

    This book is in fantastic condition and I got it at such a great price. My bookstore charged five times as much for the same book and the quality of this one is basically like new!! When it comes down to it, buying used books off of amazon for college is the much better option, i saved a ton of hard earned cash!

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  16. Liz

    This book is enlightening and powerful. As a cis, heterosexual, able bodied, educated white woman, I found that this book really helped me to gain a better understanding of institutional racism, privilege, adolescent psychological development for children in marginalized populations, and my role as an advocate for anti-racism. This book should be required reading for all everyone sitting from a position of privilege.

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  17. J

    I’ll be honest, I’ve only read a little over a third of the book so far. I wanted to quickly write my initial thoughts about it, though.It’s an outstanding text that causes one to really examine racism through a critical lens. At first, I was taken aback by Tatum’s definition of racism as being a systemic issue whereby all White people would be classified as racist in either an active or passive way. Reading further, though, it makes sense, especially to me, a White Southerner who lives among many active racists. Tatum beautifully articulates issues with racism using quite accessible language. This book is making me reflect on my own passive racism and how I don’t really do much to improve the situation.She also briefly covers other isms in the book including classism. I am from a poor family and dragged myself out in ways. I have to say that were I not a White, heterosexual male, I might not have been able to do this. I am sure I benefitted from passive racism and capitalized on affordances made possible by a dominant White society. In a way, though, I’ll always be seen as poor by some affluent members of the White class. This mirrors racism in our society to a degree.I don’t want to belabor things here. I’ll simply say that this is a book everyone should read. It can cause you to interrogate your own position in society and begin to see how the issue truly is a systemic issue governed by a successful White society.

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  18. Erin Beintema

    I loved reading this book and will read it again in the future. It is incredibly informative and motivates me to do more as an anti-racist educator.

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  19. Erica Hartman

    I hardly ever write reviews and I’m not even finished with the book yet, but I had to come here and say that this book is amazing. If you are considering buying it, do it! I’m about a third of the way through, and I think the author does such a great job balancing the research side versus the practical understanding side. I appreciate the statistics as well as the personal stories from her teaching career. I also think she has a gift for explaining more complex ideas in ways her readers can understand. I am hooked. As a previous reviewer stated, this book may be more difficult for anyone who is just starting their journey to understanding racism, but everyone should read it. It doesn’t matter if you’re an educator or not.

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  20. LABB

    (this is the husband speaking)I purchased this book as it was suggested in one of my courses on group dynamics and I am absolutely glad I did. I feel the book is straightforward in getting to the heart of issues. The author does not shy away from putting in the perspectives of black and white men and women who have taken her classes along with the questions they have that stem from their own curiosity and the private conversations that we (if you are black or white) may not get to hear if we aren’t in that circle. I am a black male and while that may seem like I come with a bias already, I am learning more about group dynamics and reasons for searching out people who can identify with you lived experience(s).I would suggest anyone read this book. I have not been disappointed yet.

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  21. 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!

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  22. BJV

    Everyone should be required to read this book, it is excellent and extreme opening. Dr. Tatum is spot on in her writing

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  23. David Larson

    Dr Tatum gives a thoughtful and insightful look at the racial challenges facing America. I really enjoyed the prologue which captured the 20 year span since the book was originally published. I found this book helpful for gaining a better understanding of racial-ethnic-cultural identify formation as well as some encouragement for actions needed to bridge America’s racial divide.

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  24. Barb Hegreberg

    Bought for my daughter who teaches in the inner-city!

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  25. TedTed

    This book is a must have for everyone interested in education. Nice and easy reading for a life long learner.

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  26. Zaid

    Perfectly written book. Extremely well researched and educational. The personal anecdotes and the updated version make this new edition even better than the first.

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  27. Caty Reeves

    Have absolutely loved this book! Research based and experience based, it is impossible to read this book without revising your thoughts on racism, it’s affect on society and individuals, and what to do about it. Everyone can benefit from this book if you open it with the intent to LISTEN.

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  28. Pam Gerrish Nelson

    This is an interesting book on race and how generation younger than me are feeling.

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  29. JJ P.

    I loved the history and knowledge that Beverly added in the book to explain why really we were in the revolutionary war. I learned something new and also loved the new information to know about what to teach my children in the future. I loved her resources and the book was such an easy read. I loved every detail of how she incorporated her material and history! Great read! I loved her writting!

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  30. Anthony B. Elia

    On time! Great book!

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  31. gmom

    Fast, prompt delivery. Book in excellent condition.

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  32. Steve B

    This is such an incredibly informative book. It should be required reading in school. I learned so much about race identity, empathy, contradictory perspectives, and more in this book. I rarely re-read books, but there is so much important information in here, that I’m certain I’ll re-read this book in the next couple of years in order to help me remember and understand its lessons. FYI, this report comes from an old, white male’s perspective.

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  33. Shaquasia Simmons

    A must read for black people. Very informative and enlightening.

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  34. Tia Roberts

    Had so many people tell me about this book and they weren’t wrong!

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  35. Melvin Talbert

    Though it’s been around for a decade, I find this book quite relevant for parents of Black or Multi-cultural kids. It’s a stark reminder that racism is still alive and well in every aspect of our society. With the election of Barack Obama as our first African American President, it seems that right-wings conservatives have become more mean spirited. They say and do things that I thought would never happen again in my life-time.The tragic death/murder of Trayvon Martin makes is very clear that Black and Multi-racial young men are targets. This book helps parents prepare them for staying alive in these difficult times.

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  36. John R

    This book should be a high school textbook. She imparts a great deal of the history of racism in America.

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  37. L. Wilson

    An excellent resource. I use this with my students and they always get a lot from it. It breaks down race in a way that’s intellectually honest and accessible. I’d recommend this to anyone but especially to anyone who needs a primer on racism from an academic perspective.

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  38. Caryn Witherell

    Dr.Tatum’s discussion of the psychology of racism is insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking. This book has been so important to me in my development towards an anti-racist mindset.

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  39. Gerri Jackson

    My kids read this book, 20 years ago. Now it is my turn. As a white grandmother, I want to see all people treated equally. I am doing my best to educate myself on race relations.

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  40. A.W.

    I read this primarily for work development as I am involved in DE&I initiatives and also for my own personal growth. This book surprised me in how thorough it was. By that I mean that it included a lot of data, including on recent events as of 2017, and really helped me to understand racial identity development and how that has played out in my friends’ and my own life, as well as how that works for white people. Because of the strong basis in data, deep insights on development, and inclusive approach to examine how this works for different groups, it seemed like it would appear less “divisive” and be easier for readers to approach. It certainly helped me to begin to revise some of my own judgmental thinking and guilt in relation to these topics. I think it’ll prove helpful in thinking about my children’s development, who are mixed race. The straightforward writing style enabled me to intake and digest a lot of information, though I’ll probably need to go back and reread this one again. And again. It was also very helpful to understand how things were defined by the author, what the limitations were, and the approach taken. Finally, there were a lot of sources cited and other resources mentioned that I have begun checking out and that will be helpful for further exploration. I really appreciated this book.

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  41. Kimberly Nurse

    Got to see the author in person and her message is just as relevant today as it was when she wrote this book!

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  42. Sol_Albe

    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.

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  43. Shaun Paul

    I swear, this woman must have visited my High School cafeteria, because everything she writes hits home. I haven’t read this in a few years, but it still rings home to me. Whenever I see it, I give the same reaction that I would get when other people who read it saw me with the book- “Oh, you’re reading that!” It’s not just about the black kids sitting into the cafeteria, it goes well beyond that. The stories shared are excellent. I recommend this book to everyone and anyone.

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  44. Kelly in MI

    This book was fascinating to read. I read the updated version, which she updated after the 2016 election. The amount of studies, references, and quotes she has from others was impressive. She ties it together very neatly and creates an easily understood “racial cultural identity” that we should all be familiar with. She underlines the subtleties of racism very well and this was very interesting to read overall.

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  45. gracie

    As a college junior and future special educators of at risk students this book has greatly educated me on how to facilitate positive.psychological and.sociological growth in the classroom environment. Beverly Daniel Tatum is amazing and so humble– I want her to speak at my colleges graduation!!! 💛🌸

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  46. Savvy Girl

    Although this is an academic book, it’s written also for the lay person. It provided me with needed information on many topics. For example, I thought I knew about redlining, but I learned even more. Tatum also gives us well-written anecdotes to illustrate her points. I haven’t finished the book yet, but glances at upcoming chapters show me that I’m going to learn a lot in way that will keep me turning the pages and also make the information memorable.

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  47. Emma

    The book is required reading. Tatum vocalizes and provides explanations for the social phenomena that so often go unnoticed in U.S. society, such as why interracial friendships fade away once kids hit puberty, why white people are so afraid to talk about race, and obviously…why all the black kids are sitting together in the cafeteria.As a white woman, I never felt lost in this book. Tatum assumes almost no prior knowledge about race in the U.S., and walks the reader through clear explanations of how race and identity intertwine in the U.S. Though Tatum organizes her arguments to be understandable to just about anyone, I believe her analysis is helpful for just about anyone in the process of sorting out how race factors into her identity.My one criticism is that the book doesn’t devote much time to racial identity development for latinos, first people, and asian pacific americans. Tatum has clearly devoted most of her research to studying racial development among white and black people in the U.S., and I wish she were more explicit about this. The book is most helpful for white, black, and biracial (black+white) people in the U.S.

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  48. Kindle Customer

    This book is challenging in a good way and Tatum has really done her research and shares it in an easy to understand format.

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  49. Heidi Abdelhady

    As the saying goes about learning all that you need to know in kindergarten – that doesn’t just apply to reading, writing, arithmetic, and social skills! The sad truth is that bias is taught and reinforced. This book tells a story and shares the research and data on race, racism, and systemic racism.

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  50. M Summers

    I have ready many books on anti racism and I very passionate about helping to eradicate racism. This book is on the top of the list for me because it was so INFORMATIVE. So much info, history, psychology, sociology, wisdom, compassion…I learned so much and I’m better for having read it. Thank you!

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  51. Terreca

    Great book from a psychologist perspective!

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  52. Ruth Burton

    So eye opening and now I know why it’s a classic.

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  53. Pattycake

    As a high school teacher in a school district that is multicultural, I found this book to be thought provoking. How we develop our identities is based on our experiences and those of us who are Caucasian have a different experience set than people of color. I grew up in a neighborhood where my family was one of just a very few Caucasian families around, but I still can’t say I had the same experiences as my friends. This book opened my eyes to some of my own biases and I am glad about that. Considering the ugly, scary tone that some people have openly taken in this country, especially in light of the election of our first African-American president, I think this book should be required reading for anyone who deals with people of different races in any capacity.

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  54. Badger

    If you find yourself annoyed by talk about race in America, and you care about the country, you really should read this book. We need the kind of understanding and communication that distinguishes this book,And yes, the book helps explain why so many people get so angry. But it’s not an angry book.Together with “Don’t Shoot” by David Kennedy, it gave me a whole new way to look at the problems facing our country.

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  55. irishgirl

    This is a book that all of America should be reading. Professor Tatum has dedicated her life to teaching others to understand a world they may not have had the chance to be a part of. Thank you!

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  56. Jemar

    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!

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  57. Jennifer D

    Being a white female in America, I’ve never understood the psychological impact racism can have on ones health and lifestyles.This book opened doors to new ways I can help shed some more light on systemic racism. It’s also brought me to realize I need to help educate people (children differently than adults of course).Being a white female, I have a different perspective than a majority of those fighting for racial justice. I do feel it’s my obligation to use my unique perspective to help expand the educational understanding of racial injustice. Hoping to trigger another active person to push for further change.If that makes any sense! All I know, this book gave me tools and understanding behind racism, that I’ve never had before in my 37 years on earth.

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  58. stkyrce

    Daughter needed this book for school. That’s it.

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  59. Db

    Great book that defines the layers within one’s identities along with one’s racial identity development. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about racial identity and the answer to the question, Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?

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  60. Troy Deckert

    This book covers all races and ethnicities, in great detail, although you may not realize that from the title. You can take her explanations to find patterns in place in Europe, South America, or Asia for example, just as much as in a U.S. high school cafeteria.And, paradoxically, it turns out that everyone of all races are more like each other than not, even specifically about ethnic identity, even when it’s different. That’s why this book should receive continued and expanded reading. As people may embrace identity politics and their own ethnic identity, they mistakenly think they are being unique, which Tatum explains, they are not. Tatum explains the varied scales of ethnic identity that humans go through in stages by human and social nature.Tatum shows that in all races, some of us embrace ethnic identity a lot, or more so, while others don’t at all, or less so. And the cycles are similar, for all races, around the world, depending on social situations, like depending upon which ethnicity is in a large majority in a given situation. For example, Ms. Tatum, while black herself, identifies blacks who care not at all about embracing a black identity. That is like my family, which was all ethnic German, but didn’t care at all about our ethnic identity, like cooking German food, or having clothing from the old country. I still feel that way, while my wife, who is African American, continues to stress her ethnic identity, embracing African history, African-American cooking, and art and items from the old country. We were both born in the U.S., in similar working-class backgrounds.Ms. Tatum is refreshingly frank, for, example, as she describes herself in her college youth as being so enthusiastically into her own race, that she can’t even remember one person’s name, outside of her race, from her first four years of college. But she points out, that many others of her own race don’t feel that way at all, and don’t stress an ethnic identity as being important to them. Some people use ethnic pride for self-confidence, while others do not, or in varying degrees, and it all depends on social situations as well.This is based on some serious research, not just anecdotes, and it covers every different situation that the multitude of us in all these ethnic backgrounds in the United States are in, as we all have an ethnicity. This book explains results, covering all ethnic groups, all social situations, and the lifetime patterns people take around the world in their identities.This book helps explain why by human nature how we often think of ourselves, and others, in the ways that we do, as we go through life in various stages. Might I suggest that Ms. Tatum, or others, look further into how or if ethnic identity stages are affected by class status, from the lower working class up to the wealthy. That’s a lot of variables, but Ms. Tatum shows that a lot of variables can be indeed be covered.

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  61. Amazon Customer

    This book is dense with info. I grew up not knowing or seeing many black people, and this book is helping me understand the issues black people face. It has affected how i will vote and has corrected my frame of thought on some things.

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  62. Rachel McElhany

    This is an excellent book on racism and racial identity. It’s very readable and would a great first book for someone just learning about the concepts of white privilege and institutional racism.The author walks the reader through the development of one’s racial identity (both black and white) from pre-school through adulthood, with every point backed up with research. I think her section on “white identity” will be truly eye-opening to a lot of white people who read it. I’ve taken quite a few workshops related to white privilege and racism and the author did a nice job of compiling everything I’ve learned all into one book. She writes objectively, without anger and without trying to make the white reader feel guilty about being white.Although most of the book deals with black people and white people, there is a chapter that deals with other people of color. However, this book was written pre-9/11 – I think the section on people of Middle Eastern descent would have been different and perhaps longer if she had written it post-9/11.I wish I could make this book required reading for just about everyone. I originally bought it because I thought it would help me in raising my daughter (who is African American) but actually this book has valuable information that I can use with ALL of my kids to help them grow up to be conscientious citizens of the world.

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  63. Bob Snodgrass

    Instructive for me as an elderly privileged white male serving as head of inclusivity/diversity committee of my village organization.

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  64. Amazon Customer

    Everyone should read. This book is eye opening and an important read.

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  65. Harris

    Great Purchase

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  66. Ildiko S. SpenceIldiko S. Spence

    I’m thorough enjoying the book but I don’t understand how this is now the second page that has just come loose from the binding. I could see if I had pushed forcefully on the pages or even tucked the cover of the book and pages I’ve read behind what I’m currently reading, then I would have caused the damage. But I’ve done none of that. If I wanted to share this book with others there’s a good chance additional pages would get damaged or even worse, lost.

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  67. Marcus E. Sharpe

    A seminal work that I first read as an undergraduate back in the 1990’s. Much of the anecdotal information presented by Dr. Tatum remains relevant even today. Funny, I can remember a time in the 1990’s when the PC and the world wide web were heralded as the tools that were going to make the world a smaller place and bring us all together. In many respects, that adage has given way to truth while also shining a sometimes brighter light on the many ways in which we (as human beings, Americans, persons of faith, etc.) may always engage in a process of self-segregation. This book delves most aptly into all the psychological and sociological reasons why this behavior remains important. I’ve recently given a copy to my nephew who is an active duty enlisted member of the US military as he struggles to come to terms with some of the experiences he has had as an African-American millennial.

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  68. Brandy

    So good!! Great for teachers, but also any parent or person that works with youth.

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  69. Heidi

    I purchased this book after taking a master’s level cultural diversity class. The book covered most of the same material as the text for the class. It was good to have a different perspective, and her discussion of personal life experiences with her own son gave me inspiration for having discussions with my son regarding discrimination, and racism. I wish I could have been taught these things in grade school and read the book in junior high. I think this would be a great book for junior high students to read guided by their teacher with a lot of class discussion.

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  70. SheShe

    THIS AUTHOR HAS HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD. MOST OF THE THINGS SHE SAYS, I HAVE LIVED! THIS BOOK IS FOR EVERYONE…EVERYONE WHO TRULY WANTS TO UNDERSTAND…THEMSELVES AND OTHERS. ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE WHEN IT COMES TO TALKING ABOUT RACISM. I PARTICULARLY LIKE THE WAY THIS AUTHOR DEFINES THE WORD….”RACISM: A SYSTEM OF ADVANTAGE BASED ON RACE”….FOR ALL OF THOSE WHO WANT TO CONTINUE TO LIE TO THEMSELVES AND DODGE THE BULLET BY SIMPLY CALLING THIS COLLECTION OF INFORMATIVE ENLIGHTENMENT GARBAGE, DON’T EVEN BOTHER…JUST GO AND VOTE…AND DO EVERYTHING ELSE YOU DO…BASED ON RACE…AS USUAL. WHEN YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND, YOU DO NOT TEND TO CARE.

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  71. Karla R. Russell

    Book arrived quickly and in pristine condition. Price was decent for the quality because the book looked brand new. I will buy more books from them.

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  72. Michelle Silva

    This was the first book I have read about race, and I think it was a great foundation to work from. I feel a lot more prepared to delve into other books, resources, and conversations on the same topic. Tatum spoke to my heart as a white woman that doesn’t know what to make of her identity amidst so much racial tension in our country. I feel a lot more at peace about who I am and what to do going forward, especially as someone going into education.Another aspect of the book I really like is that Tatum does not just talk about black and white race relations. She acknowledges people of all racial-ethnic-cultural identities and delves into the immigration history of some of the larger minorities in the US. She also discusses the process of REC identity development for biracial kids and adopted kids who have a different REC identity than their parents.The book is great for educators and anyone getting started with educating themselves on race, especially white people who feel any anxiety, fear, or guilt. She speaks to these feelings and normalizes them for white people who are not used to engaging in conversations about race and explains that there is hope for anyone feeling that way that they can move beyond that stage and find a sense of peace while still learning and working towards ridding racism from our communities. 🙂

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  73. Amazon Customer

    Amazing! Well written. Thought provoking and impactful… specially for those working with kids. Bought it for class… but really enjoyed reading it.

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  74. Amazon Customer

    This is my first year in the US, and I want to learn more about race issues here. This book is a great source of information, not only for race issues but also human rights in general. Easy to read and many fun examples. Her psychologist perspective is especially refreshing for me.

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  75. Alexis J McKinnie

    Excellent book and very easy to read on Kindle.

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  76. Alexandra

    Really well written, full of excellent data. I donated my copy to my public library after reading it, and now they have ordered more! This book helped me see at an even deeper level the source and continuation of racial divide in America. Would love to see this in every high school curriculum in America.

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  77. Ilana Ruskay-kidd

    Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” provides insight into not only the question posed in the title, but also into the importance of creating dialogue about race. In the opening chapter, Tatum describes how from a young age, children are exposed to language, imagery, and behavior that teaches prejudice and contributes to the racist “smog” that we breathe in daily. She argues that although not all white people are overtly prejudice, collectively we assert our advantage through access to better schools, housing, jobs, and other opportunities. She explains that racism refers to the system based on this advantage, not simply an individual’s views on racism. Racism permeates the corporate, legal, educational, and commercial world. By describing the shaping of black and white identity throughout each phase of life, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, Tatum is effective in demonstrating the impact of racism on how we view ourselves and those around us. Her book is a call for action and discussion about privilege. Tatum argues that we should engage in both cross-racial and intra-racial dialogue because each has its own benefits and is constructive in its own way. Overall, I’d highly recommend this book if you want to learn more about the importance of creating meaningful conversation about race. I think her book is a must-read if you work with kids or have kids of your own because it is children who are really shaped by the way they see the topic of race discussed or avoided.

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  78. Kimberly Lasssiter

    I am a teacher and I bought this book for insight on identity development. Very interesting, though be prepared for academic work. Lots of research and studies presented. Also, I appreciated the suggestions for how to help young people as they go through this stage of life.

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  79. Timothy Haugh

    Considering the impact this book has had, it needs no plaudits from me to add to its history of success. Let me just say that I found much of interest in Dr. Tatum’s book. Her introduction to this 20th anniversary addition (not to mention the events in the years since) reminds us of why her research is important (and stronger, I think, than what is found in Caste, for example).As a teacher, I was especially struck by her tracing the changing needs of people of color as they move through a predominantly white system. For example, the need for even students who appear to have found a place in that system to seek out others of color as they get older. (Thus, the title of the book.) It’s something those of us who are immersed in a culture that already reflects us find easy to forget—that others will have a need to engage with those whose experiences more closely mirror their own.I could go on, but I will resist the temptation. I learned a lot from this book and I encourage others to read it.

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  80. Katherine

    The book has been thoroughly updated with references to new research and current events woven into it. It includes chapters on Black racial identity development in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, which I have found extremely insightful and practical. Dr. Tatum brings in examples from raising her own sons and tidbits of the conversations she had with them, modeling parent-child interactions around race for parents who may be faced with similar problems. Another part that I found very useful is the discussion of Affirmative Action and some arguments against it that are frequently brought up. That section helped me articulate my own position better and be more prepared for times when such conversations arise spontaneously with students or colleagues. Overall, this is a classic and a highly recommended read for anyone interested in issues of social justice, equal opportunity, democracy, and the psychological underpinnings of prejudice.

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  81. bebe

    I’m a White woman who made it a personal project to read a LOT of books on race and culture. Going on seven years now. Basically, they were all good in one way or another and I’ve learned so much. This book is one of the best, in my humble opinion. Tatum does a masterful job of combing research with story, personal experience with teaching experience, insight, emotion and intellectual challenge. Read it if you want to understand the many facets of race, racism and equity in this culture.

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  82. Badgrlroro

    Amazing book, Tatum eloquently expresses important themes within Black and Other minority communities that give the context to behavioral patterns and susceptibilities. As a young biracial Latina woman, this helped me construct a firmer foundation to how I perceive myself and others within my demographic. Tatum touched on a broad spectrum of cause and effects, and did an amazing job in conveying conflicts that arise due to such cause and effects. Although I enjoyed this book, I wish Tatum would elaborate more on the correlation in Afro-Latino behavior to that of African Americans; I also wished she had touched more on the image of other races perpetuated in the modern media, because i believe that is something that needs to also be analyzed as a contributing problem to the conflicts in such demographic.

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  83. Amazon Customer

    An excellent perspective for someone eager to understand race identity, how it develops, and how it affects people of color. Understanding is the first step for change. I bought this for my teenage sons, but I read it first. The edition has been updated, and the message is unfortunately very much on point.

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  84. S. Isola

    We need to have difficult, respectful dialogue on so many issues, and this book helps to shine a light on some of those areas.

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  85. Hannah M

    I’m not even finished reading and this book has blown me away. Every educator needs to read this book, it is so important.

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  86. Eugie

    I have 3 books to read ahead of this one.

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  87. P. Daniels

    I wish I would have read this book when I first started teaching 19 years ago. Dr. Tatum is brilliant, so clearly explaining identity development and the importance of peers, mentors, and teachers with shared experiences and understanding. Each chapter left me breathless and impatiently waiting to learn more. I recommend accompanying the text with the audiobook read by Dr. Tatum herself. This is truly a must read for any adult in contact with youth and anyone with a passion for advocacy and social justice. It is especially important for White educators of racially and ethnically diverse students. She brilliantly weaves history and developmental psychology to provide a comprehensive understanding of how adults can facilitate healthy identity development for all children. I am a more compassionate and effective educator after reading this book and am deeply grateful for Dr. Tatum’s work.

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  88. Sarah

    I started my study of race by reading James Baldwin and Michelle Alexander, but I became overwhelmed by the seeming hopelessness of the situations they presented. It is important for everyone to be aware and sad and angry, but just like any struggle in this world, if it engulfs you entirely, you can easily drown. I needed something to read that was more reflective, challenging to my practice as a teacher, helpful and instructive. I started reading the forward of this book to uplift me from some of my other reads. I haven’t finished it yet, but everything I’ve read so far tells me this is the book I was looking for.

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  89. CLARA V. DAWKINS

    The book was a very interesting read. Although many of the things I had guessed. To have someone who had verified it was all the more enlightening. The book enunciates the climate within our society today. We as black Americans need recognize what is going on around us and take a stand.

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

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