Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

Can We Talk About Race?


Dr Tatum headshot 2018 #2-min

Meet Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College and recent interim president of Mount Holyoke College, is the author of the best-selling book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race, now in its 20th anniversary edition.

A thought-leader in higher education, she was the 2013 recipient of the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award and the 2014 recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology. Dr. Tatum holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Wesleyan University, a M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of Michigan, and a M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary.

At a time when our country feels ever more divided and at odds, yours was a measured, thoughtful, and quietly powerful voice we all needed to hear. Indeed, when your session ended, my first thought was, ‘If everyone in the country just sat down and listened to Dr. Tatum for an hour or two, everything would be so much better.’”

 - Jen Shakeshaft,
Director of Strategic Initiatives & Professional Development

National Coalition of Girls' Schools

Your talk at our conference was exceptional by any standard. I heard much praise for it after you left. Your perspective, your ability to work in humor on the most serious of topics, and your use of poetry and literature -- they all combined for a perfect keynote.

- Scott Jaschik,
CEO and Editor,
Inside Higher Ed

Wow -  you really hit this one out of the park!! It is difficult to even start to fully express our deep appreciation to you for your marvelous presentation!! Plus everyone loved the opportunity to probe such an important topic via the provocative questions you asked!! You are a master teacher!!”

 - Anne W. Cramer,
former IBM executive and community leader

You were spectacular, as always.  The presidents loved learning from you, as did I.”

 - Judith Block McLaughlin, Faculty Chair,
Harvard Seminar for New Presidents,
Harvard Graduate School of Education



Mount Holyoke Names Former Dean Interim President

April 5, 2022

Mount Holyoke College has named a higher education veteran who is well-versed with the institution to be the college’s interim president for the 2022-23 academic year. Beverly Daniel Tatum actually served as acting president of Mount Holyoke in 2002, and was also dean of the college from 1998 to 2002, as well as a faculty member in the psychology and education department from 1989 to…

United Kingdom Book Tour

November 10, 2021

Download Book Tour Flyer here

#NightlyKids: Talking to Kids About Racial Injustice with Lester Holt

June 16, 2021

How to talk to our kids about the nationwide George Floyd protests: Lester Holt interviews Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum for #NightlyKids.

A Conversation with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

September 23, 2020

This episode is a recording of an August 20, 2020, event hosted by the Kroc Institute. It features Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, and Dr. David Anderson Hooker, associate professor of the practice of conflict transformation and peacebuilding, discussing race, higher education, and movements for justice.  Listen to podcast here.

How to Talk to Your Toddler About Race

July 5, 2020

Race and racism are complex topics. Here’s how (and why) to address them in a toddler-friendly way. We know what you’re thinking: Isn’t my baby too young to learn about heavy topics like race and racism? They won’t start to notice people’s differences until they start school? Aren’t children “color blind”? Between six and nine months old, babies can actually show preference for people who…

A 23-Year-Old Book About Race Landed on the Best-Seller List Because It’s Still Relevant

June 18, 2020

In “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria,” Beverly Daniel Tatum asks hard — and timeless — questions. Read full article here.

Coming Together, Standing Up to Racism: CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families

June 15, 2020

Please note that the Town Hall has 3 parts. Link for entire Town Hall https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/06/06/entire-june-6-cnn-sesame-street-racism-town-hall-part-2-vpx.cnnLink for Part 2 featuring Beverly Daniel Tatum.

Into an American Uprising: Talking to Kids about Racism

June 15, 2020

Into an American Uprising: Talking to Kids about Racism| Into America Podcast – Ep. 23 | NBC News and MSNBC (aired June 6, 2020) Listen here.

How To Talk About Race And Protests With Your Kids, Explained By A Child Psychologist

June 15, 2020

Listen here. (NPR, Here and Now, aired 6/10/2020)

George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. What do we tell our children

June 15, 2020

Read full article here. Alia E. Dastagir USA TODAY, May 31, 2020.