In an attempt to push the entire Salesforce community to support Black-owned businesses, the company let all its employees know that they’d be allowed to expense one book from a select list of Black-owned, independent book stores. Chris doesn’t like reading physical, hardcopy books; he says they are a thing of the past… so he asked me to choose a book I’ve been wanting to read. I had Beverly Daniel Tatum’s Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? on my wait list for a long time via NYPL/the Libby app, but it’s had a wait list of over six months since the spring, so I decided to use the credit for that.
Beverly Daniel Tatum is a professor of psychology who has studied race relations for decades. Her book is really about her research and study in the field of race relations and racism, and it’s one of those books that actually has data backing it. Yet despite that, when you go on Amazon and read the reviews, you see a lot of hate for the book, ranging from “she hates White people,” to “she thinks all White people are bad,” to “this book is all opinion and no fact.”
I’m honestly not sure what is so controversial about the suggestion that our racial identities are a part of our overall identity, and thus discussing our race identities in a straightforward manner is essential if we are enabling communication across race and ethnic divides. But I guess that’s the world we are living in now.