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Whiteness and Antiracism

Beyond White Privilege Pedagogy

Kevin Lally Samuel Jaye Tanner

192 pages
Teachers College Press

Based on the author’s teaching experience, this book examines why and how many progressive White people are stuck when it comes to race. By locating contemporary Whiteness in its historical context, this book rethinks some of the foundational aspects of White attitudes and approaches to antiracism, including empathy, resistance, and privilege. Lally argues that the antiracism of most liberal White educators is bound within notions of White privilege that leave them caught up in feelings of guilt and shame. As one of those White liberal teachers, the author explores Whiteness with 10 of his White high school students in an effort to make sense of and move beyond unhelpful and counterproductive models of White privilege pedagogy. Using classroom examples and the insightful language of today’s students, this text challenges common assumptions about antiracism and interpretations of White anxiety and inaction. By working through critical histories of race in the United States, decades of classroom teaching, and the lived experiences of White students, Whiteness and Antiracism proposes new ways of fostering White engagement with a commitment to antiracism.

Book Features:

  • Applies critical histories of Whiteness and racism to the problems of Whiteness in education.
  • Offers a unique access to the unguarded frustrations and insights of White high school students.
  • Addresses how White people’s thinking about racism has been unhelpful and offers better ways of addressing racism in personal, classroom, and institutional contexts.
  • Suggests powerful and accessible new ways of practicing antiracist education by rethinking the function of privilege and empathy in common classroom settings.
Author Bio

Kevin Lally is a Whiteness scholar and educator. He has presented his work on Whiteness nationally and conducts workshops on Whiteness in education for teachers through the Minnesota Writing Project. Kevin is currently a teacher educator and high school English teacher in the Twin Cities area.