Foreword by: Samuel Jaye Tanner
Publication Date: April 29, 2022
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.
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.
“Kevin’s work to make the history of white supremacy and contemporary evocations of whiteness visible to white people is timely to say the least…. White people need to live differently, and we need teachers to show us how. We need to come unstuck so that we might become something new. Something healthier. I think Kevin’s book helps, so I hope you’ll get unstuck as you read it.”
—From the Foreword by Samuel Jaye Tanner, associate professor, The Pennsylvania State University
“There are more than enough difficulties inherent to working with white students on race and racism; we don't need to add extraneous ones. Unfortunately, white privilege approaches to antiracist work do just that. Kevin Lally has written a beautiful and crucial book. He helps us understand and avoid the unnecessary difficulties so that we can grapple with the necessary ones.”
—Timothy J. Lensmire, professor, University of Minnesota, and author of White Folks: Race and Identity in Rural America
“Kevin Lally takes up whiteness, antiracism, and education in ways few others have before. This text should be considered the latest primer for all teachers and communities that wish to do the messy and complicated work of dealing with white supremacy and antiracism inside our nation's schools and classrooms.”
—Christina Berchini, teacher, writer, and editor of Whiteness at the Table: Antiracism, Racism, and Identity in Education