Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Forward and Introduction

Book Study: Courageous Conversations About Race…Forward and Introduction

I’m reading a great book about how to talk about race. It’s called Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools, Second Edition, by Glenn E. Singleton. I always jot down key points when I read a book like this, so I thought I’d share them here rather than just keeping them to myself. I tend to note things that resonate with me, clarify previous thoughts, contradict my current thinking, or just seem worthy of noting for some reason or another. ¬†Without further adieu, here are the notes I’ve jotted down from the Forward and Introduction.

  • Forward, by Gloria Ladson-Billings, UW Madison
    • Some say we are a “colorblind” society and others that we are “postracial.” “…both perspectives are incorrect. We are deeply divided by race…”
    • “…we have to find ways to live our lives and participate in society with one aspect of our identity that seems to enter the room before we do.”
    • “…often we are told, ‘We wouldn’t have these problems if we would just stop talking about race!’ Nothing could be further from the truth.”
    • We need to challenge our assumptions and inherent biases that are “grounded in anecdotal experiences, not evidentiary knowledge.”
    • “The data are clear that low- and working-class families start with aspirations for their children that are similar to those of middle-class families.” After coming “face to face with lowered expectations from school personnel . . . they adjust those aspirations down.”
    • Courageous conversations “help us develop ‘informed empathy’ rather than sympathy toward our students.”
  • Introduction
    • “…we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society.” -Honorable Sonya Sotomayor, Supreme Court Justice
    • “…our society is not advancing toward an end to racial injustice.”
    • “The court ruled that race could be considered in the admissions process when other factors were being evaluated…”
    • “…race matters, and racism is alive and well in 2014 just as it was in 2006.”
    • Need to “…create a culture and provide structures that encourage ALL educators to discuss race openly, honestly, and as safely as possible…”
    • This book is about a “…strategy for having conversations about race.”
    • “I urge my readers to maintain an unwavering focus on race, rather than income level or other variables of difference that may be more comfortable topics of discussion.”
    • “Closing the teaching and learning gap requires that teachers think about their craft differently.”
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