The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom

The New Press
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The Skin That We Speak takes the discussion of language in the classroom beyond the highly charged war of idioms and presents today’s teachers with a thoughtful exploration of the varieties of English that we speak, in what Black Issues Book Review calls “an essential text.”

Edited by bestselling author Lisa Delpit and education professor Joanne Kilgour Dowdy, the book includes an extended new piece by Delpit herself, as well as groundbreaking work by Herbert Kohl, Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Victoria Purcell-Gates, as well as classic texts by Geneva Smitherman and Asa Hilliard.

At a time when children are written off in our schools because they do not speak formal English, and when the class- and race-biased language used to describe those children determines their fate, The Skin That We Speak offers a cutting-edge look at crucial educational issues.
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About the author

Lisa Delpit is an African American and a lifelong teacher who promotes the idea of having "visions of success for poor children and children of color." Her 1995 book, Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom, discusses how to better train teachers by using nine specific factors, among them understanding the brilliance of the children, recognizing and building on the children's strengths, using familiar metaphors and experiences from the children's world, and nurturing a sense of connection to a greater community, of which they are a part. Delpit's father owned a restaurant and her mother taught high school. Her parents set an example by providing free meals for local elementary school children who could not afford to buy lunch. This fostered in Delpit a commitment to helping others. Delpit was one of the first African Americans to attend desegregated Catholic schools in Louisiana. She also attended Antioch College in Ohio and Harvard University. She has worked at the University of Alaska, Morgan State University's Urban Institute for Urban Research, and Georgia State University, holding the Benjamin E. Mays Chair of Urban Educational Leadership. Delpit received a MacArthur Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1993.

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Additional Information

Publisher
The New Press
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Published on
May 1, 2008
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781595585844
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Essays
Education / Multicultural Education
Education / Urban
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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In this inspiring collection for these times, the award-winning, bestselling author—and MacArthur genius—gathers all-star advice for K–12 teachers on engaging students around today's toughest issues

Is it okay to discuss politics in class? How can teachers talk about immigration without putting undocumented students in the spotlight or at risk? What are constructive ways to help young people process the daily news coverage of sexual assault? How can educators engage students around Black Lives Matter? Climate change? Hate speech? Confederate statue controversies?

Lisa Delpit’s Other People’s Children, a classic text on cultural slippage in classrooms, has sold over a quarter million copies. In Teaching When the World Is on Fire, Delpit now turns to a host of crucial issues facing teachers in these tumultuous times. Anchored by a smart introduction that provides a framework for tackling difficult topics with students, Delpit’s master-teacher wisdom tees up insight from high-profile educators including José Luis Vilson, Jesse Hagopian, Bill Ayers, Carla Shalaby, and Mica Pollock, along with critical guidance from K–12 classroom teachers and well-known education networks including Rethinking Schools, the Zinn Education Project, and Facing History and Ourselves.

This timely, urgent volume is sure to inspire teachers who are eager to support their students in navigating the current events, cultural shifts, and social dilemmas that shape our communities, our country, and our world.

NAACP 2017 Image Award Winner

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A friend of luminaries including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers, and the forebear of today’s popular black comics, including Larry Wilmore, W. Kamau Bell, Damon Young, and Trevor Noah, Dick Gregory was a provocative and incisive cultural force for more than fifty years. As an entertainer, he always kept it indisputably real about race issues in America, fearlessly lacing laughter with hard truths. As a leading activist against injustice, he marched at Selma during the Civil Rights movement, organized student rallies to protest the Vietnam War; sat in at rallies for Native American and feminist rights; fought apartheid in South Africa; and participated in hunger strikes in support of Black Lives Matter.

In this collection of thoughtful, provocative essays, Gregory charts the complex and often obscured history of the African American experience. In his unapologetically candid voice, he moves from African ancestry and surviving the Middle Passage to the creation of the Jheri Curl, the enjoyment of bacon and everything pig, the headline-making shootings of black men, and the Black Lives Matter movement. A captivating journey through time, Defining Moments in Black History explores historical movements such as The Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance, as well as cultural touchstones such as Sidney Poitier winning the Best Actor Oscar for Lilies in the Field and Billie Holiday releasing Strange Fruit.

An engaging look at black life that offers insightful commentary on the intricate history of the African American people, Defining Moments in Black History is an essential, no-holds-bar history lesson that will provoke, enlighten, and entertain.

Four undocumented Mexican American students, two great teachers, one robot-building contest . . . and a major motion picture

In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.
And build a robot they did. Their robot wasn't pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition—and yet, against all odds . . . they won!
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From the MacArthur Award–winning education reformer and author of the bestselling Other People’s Children, a long-awaited new book on how to fix the persistent black/white achievement gap in America’s public schools

As MacArthur Award–winning educator Lisa Delpit reminds us—and as all research shows—there is no achievement gap at birth. In her long-awaited second book, Delpit presents a striking picture of the elements of contemporary public education that conspire against the prospects for poor children of color, creating a persistent gap in achievement during the school years that has eluded several decades of reform.

Delpit’s bestselling and paradigm-shifting first book, Other People’s Children, focused on cultural slippage in the classroom between white teachers and students of color. Now, in “Multiplication Is for White People”, Delpit reflects on two decades of reform efforts—including No Child Left Behind, standardized testing, the creation of alternative teacher certification paths, and the charter school movement—that have still left a generation of poor children of color feeling that higher educational achievement isn’t for them.

In chapters covering primary, middle, and high school, as well as college, Delpit concludes that it’s not that difficult to explain the persistence of the achievement gap. In her wonderful trademark style, punctuated with telling classroom anecdotes and informed by time spent at dozens of schools across the country, Delpit outlines an inspiring and uplifting blueprint for raising expectations for other people’s children, based on the simple premise that multiplication—and every aspect of advanced education—is for everyone.

In this inspiring collection for these times, the award-winning, bestselling author—and MacArthur genius—gathers all-star advice for K–12 teachers on engaging students around today's toughest issues

Is it okay to discuss politics in class? How can teachers talk about immigration without putting undocumented students in the spotlight or at risk? What are constructive ways to help young people process the daily news coverage of sexual assault? How can educators engage students around Black Lives Matter? Climate change? Hate speech? Confederate statue controversies?

Lisa Delpit’s Other People’s Children, a classic text on cultural slippage in classrooms, has sold over a quarter million copies. In Teaching When the World Is on Fire, Delpit now turns to a host of crucial issues facing teachers in these tumultuous times. Anchored by a smart introduction that provides a framework for tackling difficult topics with students, Delpit’s master-teacher wisdom tees up insight from high-profile educators including José Luis Vilson, Jesse Hagopian, Bill Ayers, Carla Shalaby, and Mica Pollock, along with critical guidance from K–12 classroom teachers and well-known education networks including Rethinking Schools, the Zinn Education Project, and Facing History and Ourselves.

This timely, urgent volume is sure to inspire teachers who are eager to support their students in navigating the current events, cultural shifts, and social dilemmas that shape our communities, our country, and our world.

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