Two Books All (White) English Teachers Should Read

The events in Charlottesville, VA have rightly begun crucially important discussions about politics, race, and racism in the classroom. I am still thinking through my own thoughts about this topic, though I am (and have been) firmly of the opinion that responsible discussion of political issues absolutely must be taken up in English classes. A strong democracy depends upon it.

One useful suggestion I can offer right now is that all teachers, especially white teachers, read the following two books, which I reviewed in the March 2017 in English Journal. (NCTE has granted these review FREE ACCESS to all.) Teachers will find in these books extremely valuable information about teaching language more completely and about developing not just non-racist classrooms, but anti-racist classrooms.

  1. Other People’s English: Code-Meshing, Code-Switching, and African
    American Literacy Vershawn Ashanti Young, Rusty Barrett, Y’Shanda Young-Rivera, and Kim Brian Lovejoy. Teachers College, 2014.
  2. Raising Race Questions: Whiteness and Inquiry in Education Ali Michael. Teachers College, 2015.

Thank you for reading and for acting on these important issues. English teachers have a significant responsibility in the USA. Ignorance is rising, and we must rise to defeat it. I welcome additional suggestions for reading and more in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Two Books All (White) English Teachers Should Read”

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