If you were interested, challenged or otherwise engaged by my Note to My Fellow White People, I have come across a bunch of other things recently you will be interested in:
Here is the other video he refers to in the video:
Also a propos is this recent opinion piece in the NYT by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
I was talking in general about white people receiving feedback about race, but several people who commented took it (very reasonably) in the direction of how to have conversations about race in the classroom. In which case I have the following strong book recommendation:
High Schools, Race, and America’s Future: What Students Can Teach Us About Morality, Community, and Diversity
I am cross-posting my review of this book on goodreads.com:
Full disclosure: the author of the book is my dad. The high school featured in the book is the one I both attended and taught at.
This is a beautiful book. The author is a (white, Jewish) professor of philosophy at a university. The book chronicles his venture into teaching a class about race and racism at his local racially diverse public high school. It offers a model of what a functioning, productive cross-race conversation about race and racism can look like, in an era where (depressingly) this is still a rarity. It makes a case for the civic value of integrated public education in an era where we seem to be forgetting that education even has a civic purpose.
It belongs broadly to the genre of teaching memoirs, along with books like Holler if You Hear Me. But two related features distinguish it in this genre:
(1) The author is a serious scholar. Unsurprisingly, then, the content of the course he taught features heavily in the book. So this teaching memoir also functions, with no cost to readability, as a scholarly book about race. (As an aside, I am very proud of him on the readability front. It was a real stretch for him to write a book whose style didn’t place a technical burden on the reader, and it took a lot of rewrites, and help from his editor, but he totally pulled it off!)
(2) The genre is characterized by taking students seriously as moral and psychological beings. That’s one of its strengths as a genre as a whole. But this is the first book I’ve read that takes students equally seriously as intellects. The author often writes with plain admiration for his students’ ideas. This may be my favorite feature of all. Developing students as minds is, after all, the point of education. So it strikes me as surprising that it’s so rare for a memoir about the lived experience of teaching to give such loving attention to what those minds produce.
6 thoughts on “Some Followup on “A Note to My Fellow White People””
Thanks for this and the parent post. Have you seen this? http://www.stcloudstate.edu/affirmativeaction/resources/insights/pdf/28ToolsChange.pdf
Right before I started teaching, as I was (nervously) contemplating my move from a my homogeneous life into a setting with very different demographics, I found Everyday Antiracism reassuring and helpful. Now that I’ve been teaching a short time, what I’ve found is that my students are way ahead of me on this topic in wisdom, tolerance, interest, humor, and grace. Not universally, not everyday, but nearly always. Really looking forward to your dad’s book.
Oh – @Jason – that’s awesome (and from my home state, which makes it extra-awesome)
That’s a really beautiful shout out, Benny. I’m really touched.
Now we’re all going to call you Benny. 🙂