Facing Racism in Education

Facing Racism in Education


Edited by Sonya L. Anderson, Polly F. Attwood, and Lionel C. Howard

About Facing Racism in Education

This third edition of Facing Racism in Education continues the work begun in the first and second editions of this widely acclaimed book: breaking the silence about the experiences of people of color in education. The new volume features equal measures of classic essays from the previous two editions and new essays written since 1996. Together they offer a complex and compelling view of race in today’s education world.

At a time when many in public life and public education are inclined to argue that racial issues and problems belong to a bygone era, this third edition of Facing Racism in Education makes clear the need for continued attention to and open discussion of race and education.

From the Editors’ Introduction:
Although conversations about the importance of and need for "diversity" are occurring in some schools and public discourse, many politicians and educators fail to recognize the equally prevalent social and educational inequities that continue to plague our communities. Moreover, they resist challenging the structures of privilege and power that perpetuate the daily impact of racism on the lives and learning of students of color in contemporary American society. The contributors to this third volume of Facing Racism in Education address the many forms of racism still present in today's schools and classrooms, yet they also bear witness to the courage and conviction of communities, students, and teachers who work to deconstruct the logic of racism in education and dismantle its structures. They remind us that, as we question how far we have come since Brown, we must also recommit ourselves to the daily work of undoing racism through antiracist practice. While some might ask, "Aren't we done with this yet?" we maintain that, like democracy, diversity and commitment to educational equity represent more than an "outcome"; they are part of a process that each generation must take up, reinvent, and reinvigorate to ensure its continuation for generations to come. We hope these essays will support this process and challenge educators to continue to do this important and essential work.


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Table of Contents for Facing Racism in Education

Part One: Experiences of Racism

Building 860
Christian Neira
Navajo Youth and Anglo Racism: Cultural Integrity and Resistance
Donna Deyhle
Reading the World of School Literacy: Contextualizing the Experience of a Young African American Male
Arlette Ingram Willis
Why the "Monkeys Passage" Bombed: Tests, Genres, and Teaching
Bonny Norton and Pippa Stein
More than "Model Minorities" or "Delinquents": A Look at Hmong American High School Students
Stacey J. Lee

Part Two: (De)Constructing Racism

The Silenced Diaglogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children
Lisa D. Delpit
The Politics of Culture: Understanding Local Policitical Resistance to Detracking in Racially Mixed Schools
Amy Stuart Wells and Irene Serna
Bilingual Education for Puerto Ricans in New York City: From Hope to Compromise
Sandra Del Valle

Part Three: The Practice of Anti-Racism

Talking about Race, Learning about Racism: The Application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom
Beverly Daniel Tatum
Beyond the Methods Fetish: Toward a Humanizing Pedagogy
Lilia I. Bartolomeé
Violence, Nonviolence, and the Lessons of History: Project HIP-HOP Journeys South
Nancy Uhlar Murray and Marco Garrido
Blind Vision: Unlearning Racism in Teacher Education
Marilyn Cochran-Smith

Click here to read the Tables of Contents of previous editions of Facing Racism in Education

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Online Resources

Recent HER articles of interest:

Experiences of Racism

"Staging Encounters": The Educational Decline of U.S. Puerto Ricans in [Post]-Colonial Perspective by Catherine E. Walsh (Summer 1998)
In this article, Catherine Walsh presents and analyzes the colonial "push-and-pull" of education in a White-run, northeastern school system where Puerto Rican students are the numerical majority. Using school department data, court reports, interviews, and field notes collected over the last five years, Walsh provides a case study of the condition and experience of Puerto Rican students in these schools, making central the present-day manifestations of colonialism in the workings of schools and highlighting the opposition that emerges in response. This opposition includes racially/ethnically positioned tensions that shape administrative policy- and decisionmaking. Walsh suggests that students, parents, and others working for the improvement of conditions for Puerto Ricans must come to better understand the push-and-pull of colonial relations in the schools, make connections between the need and strategies for educational change and for change in other social institutional contexts, and establish alliances across groups, contexts, and other boundaries. (Volume 68:2, pp. 218-243)
Subscribers, click here to read the full-text of this article at http://web.archive.org/web/20040703090855/http://www.edreview.org/.
here to subscribe.

Why Roma Do Not Like Mainstream Schools: Voices of a People without Territory by Julio Vargas Claveria and Jesús Gómez Alonso (Winter 2003)
In this article, Julio Vargas Clavería and Jesús Gómez Alonso argue that educational researchers have long ignored the Romà people and that this lack of attention has contributed to the persistence of educational inequity that the Romà endure throughout the world. The authors propose a new approach to Romaní educational research based on intersubjective dialogue, and the emergence of an egalitarian relationship between the researcher and the researched. This communicative approach considers the reflections of those researched and safeguards the voices of those studied. The authors contextualize their methodological and ideological discussion within a framework of Romaní history. (Volume 73:4, pp. 559–590)
Subscribers, click here to read the full-text of this article at http://web.archive.org/web/20040703090855/http://www.edreview.org/.
here to subscribe.

Deconstructing Racism

What Do We Know about the Motivation of African American Students? Challenging the “Anti-Intellectual” Myth by Kevin O. Cokley (Winter 2003)
In this article, Kevin Cokley challenges conventional wisdom about African American college students and the factors underlying their academic underachievement. In this quantitative study of students attending three historically Black colleges and universities and one predominantly White university, Cokley reviews and integrates existing research on the academic motivation and academic self-concept of African American students. He then introduces self-determination theory as an additional motivational framework to understand African American students’ motivation. While Cokley finds that African American students are intrinsically highly motivated, this motivation is not related to how they perform academically or to their academic self-concept. (Volume 73:4, pp. 524–558)
Subscribers, click here to read the full-text of this article at http://web.archive.org/web/20040703090855/http://www.edreview.org/.
here to subscribe.

“Halal-ing” the Child: Reframing Identities of Resistance in an Urban Muslim School by Na'ilah Suad Nasir (Summer 2004)
In this article, Na’ilah Suad Nasir expands the literature on resistance theory by exploring the institutional response to classic “resistant” or “oppositional” student behavior. Using the case of one boy in an urban Muslim school who displays these resistant behaviors, she shows how the ideational artifacts of family and spirituality are enacted within the school context to support his growth. Nasir draws on data from extensive interviews and observations at the school site to paint a rich and complex picture of the dynamics at play when students appear to resist school. Rather than framing resistance as the property of the child, Nasir looks at how resistance can be cocreated in cultural settings and offers a potentially helpful perspective on how to construct schools in which resistant behavior does not become the norm. (Volume 74:2, pp. 153–174)
Subscribers, click here to read the full-text of this article at http://web.archive.org/web/20040703090855/http://www.edreview.org/.
here to subscribe.

Antiracist Practice
Against Repetition: Addressing Resistance to Anti-Oppressive Change in the Practices of Learning, Teaching, Supervising, and Researching by Kevin K. Kumashiro (Spring 2002)
In this article, Kevin K. Kumashiro draws on his experience as a teacher, teacher educator, and education researcher to analyze how anti-oppressive educators may operate in ways that challenge some forms of oppression yet unintentionally comply with others. Drawing on Butler’s work, which views oppression in society as being characterized by harmful repetitions of certain privileged knowledge and practices, the author examines how theories of anti-oppressive education can help educators learn, teach, and supervise student teachers, and conduct educational research in ways that work against such harmful repetitions. Kumashiro describes incidents in which his students sought knowledge that confirmed what they already knew, and when he as the teacher unintentionally missed opportunities to resist this repetition and guide his students through an emotional crisis. Using the framework of repetition, Kumashiro challenges anti-oppressive activists and educators to disrupt some of their own unconscious commonsense discourses that serve as barriers to social change. (Volume 72:1, pp. 67-92)
Subscribers, click here to read the full-text of this article at http://web.archive.org/web/20040703090855/http://www.edreview.org/.
here to subscribe.

Skinning the Drum: Teaching about Diversity as “Other” by Leswin Laubscher and Susan Powell (Summer 2003)
In this article, Leswin Laubscher and Susan Powell explore their experiences as professors who teach about difference and are themselves considered “different” or “other.” The authors describe how society and their students perceive them, and illustrate the unique pedagogical opportunities that their course offers them and their primarily White, able-bodied, and socioeconomically advantaged students to struggle not only with the theory, but also with the experience, of “difference.” The authors proceed from the premise that the professor marked by difference, and who teaches about that difference, is not just teaching an academic course but is also articulating his or her life experience and self. The authors emphasize how difference is embodied in the classroom, how students respond to this difference, and the costs and benefits to educators marked as other who strive to facilitate students’ self-exploration, growth, and commitment to social justice. (Volume 73:2, pp. 203–224)
Subscribers, click here to read the full-text of this article at http://web.archive.org/web/20040703090855/http://www.edreview.org/.
here to subscribe.

Topics of interest:

Antiracist Classroom Practice

Center for Anti-Oppressive Education
"The Center for Anti-Oppressive Education (CAOE) recognizes that the quality of education cannot improve unless we commit to challenging the racism, classism, sexism, and other oppressions that permeate our schools and societies. Through its projects on research, curriculum, professional development, and local advocacy, CAOE develops and provides innovative resources for educators, leaders, students, and advocates throughout the United States and the world who are interested in creating and engaging in anti-oppressive forms of education. CAOE was founded in August 2002 in California, and in February 2004, relocated to Washington, DC and began restructuring its projects." Click here to learn more about Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, Director of the Center.

Center for Multicultural Education
"The Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, Seattle WA, focuses on research projects and activities designed to improve practice related to equity issues, intergroup relations, and the achievement of students of color. The Center also engages in services and teaching related to its research mission."
here to read more about Professor James A. Banks, Director of the Center for Multicultural Education.

Center for Urban Learning/Teaching and Urban Research in Education and Schools
"The program's mission is to enhance the success of elementary and middle schools in educating culturally diverse students by providing professional development for teachers. CULTURES offers forty hours of professional-development services to sixty teachers annually. The teachers take classes at Emory University and also make visits to culturally diverse communities--meeting Hispanic-immigrant mothers, African-American children enrolled in an after school program, and Vietnamese social workers, among others." Click here to read more about Dr. Jacqueline Jordan Irvine, Director of CULTURES.

Culture, Difference, & Power
A groundbreaking, interactive CD-ROM from
Teachers College Press.
"In usual Christine Sleeter fashion, Culture, Difference, & Power combines complex critical theory with examples from the field, woven into layers of personal and systemic challenge equally valuable to teacher preparation students and veterans of the multicultural education field. She covers every contemporary educational issue across a variety of dimensions of difference (including race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, and language), from standards to school funding, in a style relevant to theorists and applicable to teachers." Click
here to read the rest of this helpful review of the CD-ROM at the wonderful Multicultural Pavillion at http://web.archive.org/web/20040703090855/http://www.edchange.org/.
here to read more about Professor Christine Sleeter.

REACH Center
"Over the past 23 years the REACH Center, a nationally-recognized non-profit organization, has positioned itself as one of the most respected establishments to provide cultural diversity services. The Center specializes in providing these services to agencies throughout the United States, Canada and Australia."
here to read more about Gary Howard, founder and President of the REACH Center.

Social Justice Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
"Social Justice Education is an interdisciplinary program of study with a focus on social diversity and social justice education particularly as they apply to formal educational systems, kindergarten through higher education. The masters concentration focuses on reflective practice; the doctoral concentration focuses on research informed by reflective practice. Our goals are to generate knowledge about social justice education and to apply new knowledge to the design and delivery of effective social justice educational programs. "

More key figures in the field:

Professor Geneva Gay
Professor Carl A. Grant
Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

Critical Race Theory

Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

Richard Delgado

Gloria Ladson-Billings

Ian F. Haney Lopez

Language and Literacy

Bilingual Education, Bilingualism, Multilingualism and Multiculturalism
Serafin Colonel-Molina's wonderful page of links covering many sites relevant to the topic.

Consortium for Language Policy and Planning
"The objectives of the Consortium are to enhance the quality of research, teaching, and information dissemination on the subject of language policy formation and study; to strengthen similarly-oriented programs of its member institutions, and to foster dialogue on the process of language policy formation in situations of ethnic and linguistic conflict in the modern world."

Harvard Language Diversity Project
"The Harvard Language Diversity Project (Catherine E. Snow, Principal Investigator) is a sub-project of the New England Quality Research Center on Head Start (NEQRC)....In 1996, in response to the growing diversity of the families being served by Head Start, the NEQRC developed a multi-faceted program of research with a particular focus on bilingual children and their families. One major strand of work in the NEQRC involved the development and administration of measures of preparation for literacy in English and Spanish appropriate for use with three and four year old children." Click here to read more about Catherine E. Snow.

Language Policy Research Unit
"LPRU, directed by Professor Terrence Wiley, promotes research and policy analysis on the challenges and opportunities posed by national and global multilingualism. LPRU priorities include: a) interdisciplinary studies to promote equitable language policies in education and society; b) demographic studies with policy implications for language rights and preservation; c) historical and contemporary studies on language contact, conflict, and minority language accommodation and promotion; d) and media, legal and legislative analyses to inform public discourse and policy making in state, national, and international contexts." Click here to read more about Professor Terrence Wiley.

More key figures in the field:

Professor Lilia Bartolomé
Professor Donaldo Macedo
Professor Sonia Nieto

Whiteness/Antiracist Allies

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Peggy McIntosh's seminal work on White privilege which includes her reflection on what her privileges are--provocative article. Click here to read more on Dr. Peggy McIntosh, associate director of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women.

White Privilege Conference

Whites in Multicultural Education: Rethinking Our Role

More key figures in the field:

Professor Audrey Thompson
Becky Thompson


Rethinking Schools

Multicultural Perspectives

Equity and Excellence in Education

Journal of Teacher Education

Theory Into Practice

Organizations and Conferences:

Anti-Bias Education Conference

Curriculum and Pedagogy

National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME)

National Coalition of Education Activists (NCEA)

Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed

White Privilege Conference


July 11th, 2004


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