Beverly Daniel Tatum| Nonfiction, 1997/2017
Oh my, I thought I was in real trouble when I started reading this book. The first many pages were statistics and I kept falling asleep. Most of these statistics I already knew, but more important, they were boring to read. I finally wised up on page 44 of the 73(really?) page prologue to the new edition and flipped to the book itself.
I breathed a great sigh of relief. Here was the psychologist, the educator, the writer, the woman with a sociological perspective who wrote about people. Now I could engage with what she was saying. Beginning with differentiating between (individual) prejudice and (systemic) racism, Tatum sheds light on many nuances of racism, from how do you explain slavery to a four-year-old and an analysis of the voices in The Lion King to racial identity, Affirmative Action, and White Supremacy.
In the end, I went back and finished the prologue. The only reason to read the prologue first is if you are uncertain systemic racism exists and you need to be informed and convinced before you would care to read the book itself. Otherwise, save it for last.
I don’t want to recommend this book specifically. There is a plethora of books to read on this topic of racism, activism, identity, history. A library full. And I suspect you will find what I found. On a topic I feel I know something about, there is much, much, much more for me to learn. I don't care what you read. But if you do choose to read something, inspired perhaps by the murder of George Floyd and protests in most every town in our country and beyond, please tell us about it here.