Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School by Mica Pollock

By Mica Pollock

This ebook considers in exceptional aspect some of the most confounding questions in American racial perform: whilst to discuss humans in racial phrases. Viewing "race speak" throughout the lens of a California highschool and district, Colormute attracts on 3 years of ethnographic examine on daily race labeling in schooling. in accordance with the author's reports as a instructor in addition to an anthropologist, it discusses the function race performs in daily and coverage discuss such favourite issues as self-discipline, fulfillment, curriculum reform, and academic inequality. Pollock illustrates the vast diversifications within the approach audio system use race labels. occasionally humans use them with no considering two times; at different moments they keep away from them in any respect expenditures or use them merely within the description of specific events. whereas a massive trouble of daily race speak in colleges is that racial descriptions can be erroneous or irrelevant, Pollock demonstrates that anxiously suppressing race phrases (being what she phrases "colormute") may also reason educators to breed the very racial inequities they abhor. The e-book assists readers in cultivating a better realizing of the pitfalls and chances of daily race speak and clarifies formerly murky discussions of "colorblindness." by means of bridging the space among conception and perform, Colormute can be greatly precious in fostering ongoing conversations approximately dismantling racial inequality in the US.

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Extra resources for Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School

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What would someone who grew up there be called, in those categories? What would someone be called? Student (male): (unintelligible) (pause) Me: Would some— Student (female): In the Caribbean? Me: Yeah! Someone who was very dark-skinned but grew up, didn’t grow up in the United States. Student (female): Cuban. Student (another girl): Cuban. Me: You would call them Cuban? Students: (many voices): (Amalia’s emerges): Not really, if they’re—if they’re from the Caribbean and they speak Spanish they’d be Latino.

As chapter 4 shows next, the absence of race labels from public reform discourse was the result of confusion over inequality analysis as much as an explicit resistance to speaking racially. S. speakers, especially in particularly diverse places: at and around “low-income,” multi-“minority” Columbus, speakers seemed perennially unclear about whether race groups like “African-Americans” and “Hispanics” actually had fewer opportunities to succeed in school than anybody else. ” Through such analytic motion, ironically, speakers blurred all inequality analyses—and in the end, many abandoned altogether the task of determining how race mattered to educational opportunity.

Each chapter in the book fleshes out one of them. Dilemmas Piled upon Paradoxes: The Organization of the Book The book begins with Columbus students challenging the very idea of “racial groups” (chapter 1); it continues with adult and student debates over when race mattered to life at Columbus (chapter 2). After expanding the analysis to include district and legal struggles with race talk and racial inequality (chapters 3–5), it returns finally to Columbus to watch Columbus adults anxiously deleting one race label in particular, and in the process reproducing a racialized disparity despite themselves (chapter 6).

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