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Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School

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Winner, Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award

The groundbreaking book on race in schools that has become an essential handbook for teachers working to create antiracist classrooms In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and nationwide protests against police brutality, it’s never been more important for educators and parents to ensure they’re cultivating antiracist learning environments. For years, teachers who recognized the importance of cultural responsiveness in the classroom have turned to Everyday Antiracism , the essential compendium of advice from some of America’s leading educators. Pathbreaking contributors—among them Beverly Daniel Tatum, Sonia Nieto, and Pedro Noguera—describe concrete ways to analyze classroom interactions that may or may not be “racial,” deal with racial inequality and “diversity,” and teach to high standards across racial lines. Topics range from using racial incidents as teachable moments and responding to the “n-word” to valuing students’ home worlds, dealing daily with achievement gaps, and helping parents fight ethnic and racial misconceptions about their children. Questions following each essay prompt readers to examine and discuss everyday issues of race and opportunity in their own classrooms and schools. Everyday Antiracism is an essential tool for all of the educators and parents who are determined to create not only more just classrooms, but also a more just world. Contributors

389 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2008

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Mica Pollock

6 books3 followers

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5 stars
268 (47%)
4 stars
206 (36%)
3 stars
70 (12%)
2 stars
16 (2%)
1 star
1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews
Profile Image for Ekollon.
475 reviews44 followers
May 9, 2019
I really enjoyed this book a lot. The various chapters are by various authors, so if you don't like one chapter by one author, you may still like the others, but I liked them all (and I think I read them all, although because I was assigned them out of order, it's not impossible I missed one and don't know it). I thought it was incredibly insightful and informative. I would actually read it again, or maybe even (gasp!) buy it instead of borrowing it from the library. I'm thinking about it.
Profile Image for BiblioBrandie.
1,037 reviews27 followers
November 28, 2020
Read this for a book club with other teachers at school. It’s a collection of about 60 short essays and they are all excellent. I really loved how at the end of each chapter there are 3 questions to think about and implement (one is “try tomorrow”) so that you are not just reading theory, you are putting the principles into practice. My copy is all marked up and I know I will refer to it often and reread many of the essays.
Profile Image for Gracie.
357 reviews1 follower
June 13, 2021
This is a great resource for teachers who are looking for background and strategies on antiracist teaching. I loved how each essay was very short, between 3-5 pages, which made it readily consumable even with my busy schedule. Almost every essay offers strategies, some more immediately actionable than others, instead of just theory. Some essays are more specific to working with students of particular cultural groups, but most have wide applicability. As a science teacher, the essays at the beginning were particularly useful. I also appreciate the way this book includes a list of the essays summarized in a few bullet points at the end - this will help me revisit this book throughout my career.
Profile Image for Dana Berglund.
1,077 reviews13 followers
June 21, 2017
An excellent collection of about 60 short essays with different perspectives, theories and applications of anti-racism practices in schools. Easy to pick up and read a few that apply most directly right now, and come back for the rest later.
Profile Image for Emily.
22 reviews2 followers
August 8, 2017
My school chose to read this book as a required staff reading for faculty/staff this summer. It's a compilation of short, powerful essays written by experts who are engaged in the work of antiracism within education everyday. I thoroughly enjoyed each essay, the questions posed at the end of each essay, and the opportunity to shift my own thinking on both a personal and professional level. I highly recommend this book to any educator interested in diving into this messy, complex, but necessary work.
Profile Image for Vincent Cefali.
10 reviews2 followers
December 10, 2018
Educators committed to equity and anti-racist pedagogy MUST read this book. It is a stunning collection with many thought provoking writers.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
15 reviews
June 19, 2020
If you’re an educator, this is the book. I revisit this book every year. It has practical and specific things to reflect on in your teaching practice and strategies you can adopt immediately.
Profile Image for Erin Reilly-Sanders.
1,009 reviews23 followers
June 7, 2011
While I liked this book as a book, I thought that reading it for a class was a little crazy. It has all these little three page chapters with a practical idea of how to consider or confront racism. This makes reading go really fast, but when you're reading 50 or these per week, it also made them un-special and forgettable except for the few which stick out. I would really recommend this book as a sort of weekly devotion- read one idea/chapter and think about it for a bit before going on to read another. That said, the chapters in the book were really good, thoughtful pieces written by teachers and notable academics in the area of multicultural and equity students, i.e. good sources, and are concise and well written.
Profile Image for Sky Robyns.
15 reviews
December 23, 2012

Just when you think you know yourself, this collection of poignant essays pushes you to look a little deeper...
Profile Image for Heidi Maloney.
324 reviews3 followers
November 18, 2022
I’ve been chipping away at this book for the past 11 months. I definitely like to read non-fiction slowly, especially when the book is packed with information like this one. This book is a behemoth. It is broken up into sections and articles written by many contributors, which made it easy to pick up, read, reflect, and come back to. You can easily navigate the sections and read parts that are most applicable to your situation as well. I found this book insightful and helpful and recommend it to all of my teacher friends, especially my white peers. There are SO many topics covered from understanding race as a social construct, handling use of the N word in your classroom, teaching racially charged subject matter, helping students see the humanity in each other, and so much more.
Profile Image for Nathan.
213 reviews15 followers
December 6, 2018
The book gives teachers of all different disciplines tips to incorporate anti-racist/anti-dominant culture and norms' ideals into the classroom whether it is an English class or a science class. The book does a very good job at using examples through case studies in order to illustrate the points, and it is very inclusive of many different groups of people, both racially, ethnically and otherwise. However, if you are looking for a narrative book, this is not the book for you, as it is broken up into many different sections--almost in a "choose your own adventure" style which made it interesting, yet still informative
Profile Image for Tom Wiley.
98 reviews
August 30, 2020
This book addresses a wide-range of antiracism concerns for a classroom teacher. There are many insightful articles on the topic in here, including from Sonia Nieto and Pedro Noguera. Nieto contributes an essay called “Nice Is Not Enough” that makes the case for why a teacher needs to be more than just “nice” on confronting racism in the classroom. My school assigned this as a summer reading for all the teachers. I think it will open up some important conversations. My one concern is that I think the book could use an update. A lot has happened in American race relations and sociology on race since it was published in 2008.
Profile Image for Christopher.
31 reviews2 followers
May 23, 2023
The book covers a variety of topics and while I enjoyed my read I felt like I was window-shopping through content I should have the opportunity to be educated deeper within the book. I understand rating a book like this lower comes with a certain scandal, but I guess my personal take-away is,

"I've read similar books that were far more transformative in less pages and I had high expectations for this book - but since it never really latches on to one topic for long it's hard to capture growth or greater understanding - thus I feel my time (and yours?) is better with books more dedicated towards specific aspects of the topic for you to grapple with."
Profile Image for Katie Rotvold.
3 reviews3 followers
April 21, 2020
This book is a great starting point or stepping stone to become more aware and build up your repertoire of the everyday practices of antiracism in the context of our schools. I have started this as a school wide book study for all staff in our school. The way it is formatted as a collection of very short articles makes it easy to break it up into pieces to read, digest, and act on, then move on to another piece. This has helped us build new habits gradually, yet intentionally. I would love to see an updated edition!
Profile Image for Emily Pickell.
235 reviews22 followers
August 13, 2018
This book does a great job in bringing to light many instances where teachers can combat racism in the classroom. The chapters are short and thought-provoking. There is also a list of resources after each chapter along with discussion questions and action-steps that teachers can do tomorrow to talk to students and create change in their classrooms and school.
It is a lot to take in a read at once, so pace yourself and take time to focus on one section at a time.
Profile Image for Carla.
13 reviews
July 31, 2020
I highly recommend this book to any educator. A small group of colleagues and I read this book together and met weekly to discuss each section. I got so much more out of the book through these discussions. I found that many of the strategies described in the text are more geared toward middle school or high school educators, but as an elementary educator, it was still very useful and informative for me.
Profile Image for Melissa.
585 reviews4 followers
May 28, 2018
This is filled with essays and questions to help adults critically think about their behaviors and the systems we have set up to keep POC out of power. I will be returning to this over and over again as we continue our equity training where I work. This is a book that needs to be read slowly over time so you can process and reflect on each essay.
Profile Image for Nichole Carter.
Author 3 books5 followers
February 10, 2020
Really a rich book with lots of information, written by many great authors in the field. It was a collection of 2-3 pages of short essays so it was really easy to dip into read a little bit and come back to it later. While it is a long and detailed book this format made the book super approachable.
2 reviews14 followers
August 10, 2020
Excellent anti-racist guidance for teachers

This is one of my favorite books I’ve read on anti-racism. For beginners, I’d start somewhere else- this book does give some explanation on more basic anti-racism concepts, but is more focused on how educators can apply anti-racist principles in their classrooms/schools/contexts.
Profile Image for Alicia.
247 reviews4 followers
August 4, 2017
Great collection of essays about how to be an anti-racist teacher. It took me a while to get through because it's important to think about each one before going to the next. I think it's best to read one at a time :)
Profile Image for Ryan.
510 reviews
March 1, 2021
A very detailed and eye-opening read on approaching racism in schools from a variety of sources in essay format, with a recommendation to pull what nuggets you can from a lot of information. A lot of great examples really helped anchor the book.
Profile Image for Jen White.
26 reviews1 follower
July 11, 2022
I read this book for a class, and I am so glad our professor required it. It provides insightful and actionable thoughts about being anti-racist educator. I will apply what I learned in the classroom and in life.
Profile Image for Monica Fugedi.
16 reviews
October 22, 2017
Must read if you are a white educator. The book provides some practical suggestions and insight into how to recognize different races and cultures in the classroom
Profile Image for Carly.
135 reviews2 followers
June 25, 2020
Short chapters with action steps for people who work in education. Focus is on K-12 but many ideas are relevant across all ages and learning environments.
Profile Image for Sally.
704 reviews18 followers
August 31, 2020
This was a book study for work. I think it's a great resource for discussing racial issues with colleagues to learn and have more understanding.
Profile Image for Stevie Dunton.
56 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2021
Great book of very short essays that can be read in just a few minutes but that get your brain thinking of a wealth of ideas.
6 reviews
April 27, 2022
Honestly it feels very out of date even though it is only about a decade old because of the shift in the political climate.

Primarily centered on K-12 education (not a criticism)
Profile Image for Allison Roy.
202 reviews
April 24, 2023
I’ve read a lot of books on anti-racism but this one holds up. Each “chapter” is written by a different author which adds so much to the book. If one story don’t resonate, another one is sure to.

I think this would be a valuable read for anyone in education. A lot of the authors went beyond vague theories to actual things you can do, or how to handle certain discussions or situations.

Never stop fighting the good fight✨
237 reviews5 followers
December 2, 2013
What should an educator do if she sees racial injustice occurs in school? What should you do when you hear the word “nigger” used in the classroom? Everyday Antiracism tackles these complex, often controversial issues. Everyday Antiracism, edited by Mica Pollock, is a compilation of essays written by the most renowned educators in the United States. It identifies pressing issues of racism in school and offers suggestions for educators. The “educators”—in this case are different from those to whom the book refers—are professors, teachers, principals, parents, and most importantly, students, the product of the educational system. Everyday Antiracism is extremely insightful in describing race in the classroom and provides excellent suggestions for everyone.

Everyday Antiracism is ambivalent about the problems in education, educational policy, school reform, and racism in the classroom, and provides thorough analysis of each issue. Each essay is its own entity, and, collectively, the compilation attempts to answer this question: how do teachers promote antiracism in schools? Antiracism, the notion to “counteract racial injustice and racism in society” (Introduction, xvii), is the thesis of each essay. The topics include racial invisibility, achievement gap, positive and negative stereotypes, and much more. The book is a sea of information. In talking about specific issues, however, Everyday Antiracism presents a clear answer for teachers. For example, in one of its essays, “Moving Beyond Quick Cultural Explanation”, the author experiences difficulty in countering stereotypes in education. She states that educators can be “taken aback… [by] the notion that they had contradicted” (258) and that educators can combat racism by analyzing stereotypes in individuals. The book provides specific answers as well as present thinking questions and suggestions for the readers to consider to resolve the issue discussed in each essay.

Everyday Antiracism is not a guidebook or manual for educators, rather a reference book of current case studies and strategies. It offers no clear, concise answer for the big question, but offers every day actions educators take to help he cause. The book tackles the most ambiguous questions through reflection, analysis, and contemplation. Educators (i.e. parents, teachers, principals, professors, academics) who are interested in a comprehensive research about racism in education would definitely find insights in Everyday Antiracism. ~ Student: Zhao C.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,206 reviews123 followers
December 20, 2020
4.5 stars. This is a collection of about 60 essays offering suggestions at both the theoretical and practical levels for being antiracist educators. It moves from some basics for teachers just starting out on this journey, like understanding that different racial groups don't actually have different intellectual abilities, all the way to discouraging white teachers from going on an antiracist crusade that will alienate fellow white teachers and teachers of color alike. There are essays by people from a range of racial and ethnic backgrounds (including white educators) and each one takes only a few minutes to read, so it's easy to imagine that someone could read one essay per day or per week and then use the prompts at the end of each essay to develop actionable plans to apply to their classroom immediately. It seems to be geared primarily toward white educators, so keep that in mind. I thought it was a little odd that, after encouraging white educators not to center themselves in this work, the last essay is from a white guy and includes a long list of all the ways that he's supported people of color, which is only somewhat counterbalanced by him saying he doesn't have it all figured out and there is still work to be done. It was just not the note I expected the book to end on. However, I think this is a good resource overall and could be valuable for many more educators to read.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews

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