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Talking About Race: A Conversation with Beverly Tatum and Sonja Santelises

Beverly Tatum on Race in School Environments


In her landmark 1997 book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, Beverly Tatum urged frank conversations about race and racism in the education system and beyond, and warned of the psychological impact of denying the role of racial identity in social settings. Twenty years later, Tatum has released an expanded, updated edition of the book in which she explores the impact of changing demographics, persistent school and neighborhood segregation, the affirmative action backlash, the election of Barack Obama and subsequent “postracial” narratives, the emergence of Black Lives Matter, and the early days of the Trump presidency.

At this Talking About Race event, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Santelises will talk with Tatum about the role race plays in schools today, where we have made progress in discussing race, where we haven’t, and the relevance of Tatum’s work in a majority African-American district like Baltimore.


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    Beverly Tatum


    Beverly Tatum, PhD, is the president of Spelman College and is a licensed clinical psychologist.

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    Sonja Santelises


    Sonja Santelises, PhD, is the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.

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