In High Schools, Race, and America’s Future, Lawrence Blum offers a lively account of a rigorous high school course on race and racism.
Set in a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse high school, the book chronicles students’ engagement with one another, with a rich and challenging academic curriculum, and with questions that relate powerfully to their daily lives.
Blum, an acclaimed moral philosopher whose work focuses on issues of race, reflects with candor, insight, and humor on the challenges and surprises encountered in teaching—the unexpected turns in conversation, the refreshing directness of students’ questions, the “aha” moments and the awkward ones, and the paradoxes of his own role as a white college professor teaching in a multiracial high school classroom. High Schools, Race, and America’s Future provides an invaluable resource for those who want to teach students to think deeply and talk productively about race.
How can we talk honestly about race? How can we make a classroom rigorous and exciting? There’s no better answer to both questions than this account of philosopher and college professor Larry Blum’s gutsy foray into teaching a public high school course on race and racism. There is much to learn from this book. — Martha Minow, dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor, Harvard Law School
It is a formidable task to write a book about the fraught issue of race that both scholars and the general public will be engaged and inspired by. In this sophisticated yet accessible book, the distinguished philosopher Lawrence Blum has more than met the challenge. — Tommie Shelby, professor of philosophy and African and African American studies, Harvard University
Blum is a sensitive and thoughtful author who has written a fascinating book. He clearly knows a lot about the history of race and how to talk and write about it. The combination of rich intellectual material and his description of life in the classroom is unique. High Schools, Race, and America’s Future will inspire a wide range of readers and serve as a model for those interested in teaching—or learning—about race. — Ronald F. Ferguson, senior lecturer on education and public policy and faculty director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University
Blum has given us a rich description of an educational approach that contributes to the moral growth of students and positive social relations in larger society. Reading this impressive account of young people talking generously with each other about race—across racial lines—should renew our hope for a more genuinely democratic future. — Nel Noddings, professor emerita, Stanford University
If the United States is to live up to its potential as the most racially and ethnically diverse democracy on the planet, we will need more classes like the one described in this book. — Amy Stuart Wells, professor of sociology and education, Teachers College, Columbia University