Book List

  • Black on White: Black Writers on What it Means to be White
    by David R. Roediger

    Difficulty: Average

    American literature boasts a long history of white authors writing about blacks. From Harriet Beecher Stowe's abolitionist novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, to Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray's controversial study of ethnicity and intelligence, The Bell Curve, the right of white writers to examine the lives of black people is accepted without comment. But where are the commentaries by black writers on white culture? They exist, to be sure--Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Zora Neale Hurston, to name just a few, have all written on the subject of "white folk"--but little if any of this work ever makes it into the consciousness of mainstream America. This new anthology might just change all that.

    Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom
    by Lisa Delpit

    Difficulty: Average

    Children of color, as well as poor children..."other people's children" are often victimized by school administrators and others who see "damaged and dangerous caricatures" instead of able youngsters who are capable of learning in a mainstream setting. This is the observation of Delpit, who has used her varied experience in schools from New Guinea to Alaska to better understand and resolve cultural clashes in American classrooms. In the provocative essays collected here, Delpit unfolds her views on teaching African American children, based on professional research and her own experience of school as an alien environment. Defining the goal of educators as celebration, not merely toleration, of diversity in the classroom, Delpit illustrates ways that teachers, including African Americans, can build on students' home cultures to help prepare them for life after school. The author's vision of alternative perspectives should stimulate rethinking the complexities of multicultural inclusiveness.

    Revealing the Invisible: Confronting Passive Racism in Teacher Education
    by Sherry Marx

    Difficulty: Average

    This book examines and confronts the passive and often unconscious racism of white teacher education students, offering a critical tool in the effort to make education more equitable. Sherry Marx provides a consciousness-raising account of how white teachers must come to recognize their own positions of privilege and work actively to create anti-racist teaching techniques and learning environments for children of color and children learning English as a second language.

    The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children
    by Gloria Ladson-Billings

    Difficulty: Average

    Although statistics paint a harsh picture of the education of African American children, Ladson-Billings (Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin) integrates scholarly research with stories of eight successful teachers in a predominantly African American school district to illustrate that the "dream" of all teachers and parents-academic success for all children-is alive and can be emulated. The presentation of examples from "intellectually rigorous and challenging classrooms" emphasizes the cultural and social aspects of the issues in education as a whole. The author's own experiences as a student and teacher of teachers support the need to make the problems of African American children a central issue in any debate on the American educational system.

    The Mis-Education of the Negro
    by Carter G. Woodson

    Difficulty: Average

    This book ought to be required reading for every teacher, educator, administrator, and parents who interact with children of African descent. Woodson's work helps us understand that African peoples are truly mis-educated. We largely receive an Eurocentric or White middle class, elitist education that by and large does not serve the needs of our communities.

    We Can't Teach What We Don't Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools
    by Gary R. Howard

    Difficulty: Average

    If you've ever been called racist by your students, but you think you're not, than this is a must read for you. Howard takes the reader on a journey of self discovery, helping the reader to understand the subtle and overt elements of racial discrimination that are present in today's schools. While "tools" or quick fixes are not presented, the book efficiently and concretely addresses the underlying assumptions that form the basis of US society and education systems that promote discrimination and maintain the status quo. The author uses his personal and historical experiences to illustrate the nature of white privilege, the assumption of rightness and normalcy.

    We Can't Teach What We Don't Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools
    by Gary R. Howard

    Difficulty: Average

    If you've ever been called racist by your students, but you think you're not, than this is a must read for you. Howard takes the reader on a journey of self discovery, helping the reader to understand the subtle and overt elements of racial discrimination that are present in today's schools. While "tools" or quick fixes are not presented, the book efficiently and concretely addresses the underlying assumptions that form the basis of US society and education systems that promote discrimination and maintain the status quo. The author uses his personal and historical experiences to illustrate the nature of white privilege, the assumption of rightness and normalcy.

    Young, Gifted and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African American Students
    by Theresa Perry, Claude Steele and Asa Hilliard III

    Difficulty: Average

    Young, Gifted, and Black is a unique joint effort by three leading African-American scholars to radically reframe the debates swirling around the achievement of African-American students in school.

    In three separate but allied essays, Theresa Perry, Claude Steele, and Asa Hilliard place students" social identity as African-Americans at the very center of the discussion. They all argue that the unique social and cultural position Black students occupy, in a society which often devalues and stereotypes African American identity, fundamentally shapes students" experience of school and sets up unique obstacles. And they all argue that a proper understanding of the forces at work can lead to practical, powerful methods for promoting high achievement at all levels.