Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum

The Robbins Library, The Arlington Libraries Foundation, and The Arlington Education Foundation welcome Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of the 2021 Arlington Reads Together (ART) selection Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, to Arlington on Sunday, March 21 at 3:00 p.m.  Dr. Tatum’s presentation, “A Conversation on Race and Racism with Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum” will be held on Zoom and live-streamed on ACMi and Facebook Live.  

Library visitors can pick up copies of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? at the Robbins Library during drop-in pick up hours, or request a copy by phone.  Events, book discussions and more take place throughout March.  A full schedule of events and programs will be available at robbinslibrary.org. 

Those who wish to participate in the Zoom conversation with Dr. Tatum on March 21 should register at https://conversationonraceandracism.eventbrite.com

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, is a clinical psychologist widely known for both her expertise on race relations.   The author of several books including the best-selling “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Conversations About Race (now in a 2017 20th anniversary edition) and Can We Talk About Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation(2007), Tatum is a sought-after speaker on the topics of racial identity development, race and education, strategies for creating inclusive campus environments, and higher education leadership.  Dr. Tatum holds a B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan as well as an M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary.  Dr. Tatum’s distinguished career includes positions at many colleges and universities.  

The Arlington Education Foundation joins longtime ART sponsors the Arlington Libraries Foundation and the Friends of the Robbins Library in sponsoring the 2021 program.  Assistant Director of Libraries Anna Litten says, “We’re thrilled AEF is partnering with the library to support this year’s community read. The AEF mission to ‘support and advance public education in Arlington’ ties in so well to the book. ”  Julia Schilling, co-president of AEF, adds “Arlington Education Foundation is incredibly proud to support ART 2021, particularly as this year’s book choice relates to student experiences in a racially mixed school district and encourages honest, sensitive dialogue about racial and ethnic identities,” 

“We are honored to bring Dr. Tatum to Arlington,” says Director of Libraries Andrea Nicolay, “Necessary conversations on race are taking place in our community and across the country, and this year’s read provides a new focus for this topic in Arlington. This program also furthers the town’s Racial Equity Action Plan goal of fostering a safer and more equitable community.”  

Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Bodie stated, “Dr. Tatum’s research on how students develop their racial identity is integral to understanding how to create an anti-racist learning environment for all of our students. It also provides us a foundation for having a community conversation about the many forms of racism that still plague our society.”

The Arlington Reads Together community read program launched in 2002 as a way of bringing the community together through literature. The goal is to address issues, understand differences and create connections through the shared experience of reading.  A committee of library staff and community volunteers select the ART title.