Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

Can We Talk About Race?


Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

The classic, bestselling book on the psychology of racism--now fully revised and updated 

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? 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 enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. 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 the dynamics of race in America.


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

 - Jonathan Kozol

"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

Can We Talk about Race? And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation

In this ambitious, accessible book, Beverly Daniel Tatum examines some of the most resonant issues in American education and race relations:

• The need of African American students to see themselves reflected in curricula and institutions
• How unexamined racial attitudes can negatively affect minority student achievement
• The possibilities—and complications—of intimate crossracial friendships
Tatum approaches all these topics with the blend of analysis and storytelling that make her one of our most persuasive and engaging commentators on race.

Can We Talk About Race? launches a collaborative lecture and book series between Beacon Press and Simmons College, which aims to reinvigorate a crucial national public conversation on race, education and democracy.


"What Tatum seeks to do above all is trigger sometimes challenging discussions about race, and infuse those discussions with a reality-based focus on how race affects us all. Her latest book does that beautifully, asking tough questions, and patiently, inclusively seeking answers."

 - Boston Globe


Assimilation Blues: Black Families In White Communities, Who Succeeds And Why

What does it mean to be Black in a white, middle-class community? Is it the ultimate symbol of success? Or will one pay in isolation, alienation, rootlessness? What price must one pay for paradise? Is the price too high? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, interviewed Black families in depth to identify the sacrifices and achievements necessary to survive and prosper in a white community. For the Black citizens of “Sun Beach,” dual-income households, religious affiliation, and extended families help maintain stability. But with assimilation comes an insidious “hidden racism,” subtly communicated when Black children aren't called on in class and revealed more fully in incidents of racial name-calling. By listening to the individual voices of these children and their parents, Dr. Tatum skillfully probes the complex questions of identity that arise for a visible people rendered invisible by their surroundings.



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