Not Light, but Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom
Do you know how to initiate and facilitate productive dialogues about race in your classroom? Are you prepared to handle complex topics while keeping your students engaged?
Inspired by Frederick Douglass’s abolitionist call to action, “it is not light that is needed, but fire”, author Matthew Kay demonstrates how to move beyond surface-level discussions and lead students through the most difficult race conversations. In Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom, Kay recognizes we often never graduate to the harder conversations, so he offers a method for getting them right, providing candid guidance on:
- How to recognize the difference between meaningful and inconsequential race conversations.
- How to build conversational “safe spaces,” not merely declare them.
- How to infuse race conversations with urgency and purpose.
- How to thrive in the face of unexpected challenges.
- How administrators might equip teachers to thoughtfully engage in these conversations.
With the right blend of reflection and humility, Kay asserts teachers can make school one of the best venues for young people to discuss race.