“Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” is the title of a book by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum. In it she discusses the development of racial identity, focusing predominantly on childhood. I’ve noticed some discussion on the internet of this topic lately, particularly this article by Brittney Cooper, in which she discusses how growing racial identity caused social separation between herself and her black peers vis à vis her white peers.
Here are my favorite quotes from the book:
“The task of resisting our own oppression does not relieve us of the responsibility of acknowledging our complicity in the oppression of others.” pg.27
“We need to understand that in racially mixed social settings, racial grouping is a developmental process in response to an environmental stressor, racism. Joining with one’s peers for support in the face of stress is a positive coping strategy.” pg.62
“The social pressure from friends and acquaintances to collude, to not notice racism, can be quite powerful.” pg.101