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



How To Talk To Kids About Racism, Police Violence And George Floyd’s Death

June 15, 2020

Two experts offer advice on how to tackle these tough conversations with the young people in your life. Listen here. By Stephanie Kim June 2, 4:30 PM EDT

Rise and Shine: Talking to Your Kids About Race

June 15, 2020

Rise and Shine: Interview with host Tami Rumfelt (93.1 The Wolf, Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, NC), aired 6/14/2020 Listen here.

Talking With Relatives Across the Political Divide, New York Times, 6/13/2020

June 15, 2020

Read full article here


March 20, 2020

NPR in Kansas City | KCUR podcast | Steve Kraske | March 2020 Listen here – segment 2


January 31, 2020

Code Switch: Cross-Racial Relationships January 27, 20205:05 AM ETHeard on Morning Edition Listen here.

Together and Alone? The Challenge of Talking about Racism on Campus

September 19, 2019

The MIT PressJournals | Beverly Daniel Tatum | September 2019 Read here.

‘Can We Talk About Race?’ Psychologist, Author Has Tips On How To Discuss Racism In America

August 1, 2019

GPB Radio | August 2019 Listen here.

Talking Race With Young Children

April 26, 2019

NPR Podcast | February 2019 Listen here.

Why All the Black Kids Are Still Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (Q&A) Author revisits her bestselling work on racial identity

February 27, 2019

November 1, 2017    (Article in Education Week) https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/11/01/why-all-the-black-kids-are-still.html

20 years later, Beverly Daniel Tatum asks again: ‘Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?’

February 27, 2019

Education MPR News Staff , Tom Weber · Dec 28, 2017 https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/10/10/why-are-all-the-black-kids-sitting-together-in-the-cafeteria   (An article about the interview is online along with a link to the Minnesota Public Radio broadcast)