The Skin That We Speak by Lisa Delpit
Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom

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The Skin That We Speak takes the discussion of language in the classroom beyond the highly charged war of idioms and presents today’s teachers with a thoughtful exploration of the varieties of English that we speak, in what Black Issues Book Review calls “an essential text.”

Edited by bestselling author Lisa Delpit and education professor Joanne Kilgour Dowdy, the book includes an extended new piece by Delpit herself, as well as groundbreaking work by Herbert Kohl, Gloria Ladson-Billings, and Victoria Purcell-Gates, as well as classic texts by Geneva Smitherman and Asa Hilliard.

At a time when children are written off in our schools because they do not speak formal English, and when the class- and race-biased language used to describe those children determines their fate, The Skin That We Speak offers a cutting-edge look at crucial educational issues.

About Lisa Delpit

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MacArthur "genius" award winner Lisa Delpit's article on "Other People's Children" for Harvard Magazine was the single most requested reprint in the magazine's history following its publication. Delpit expanded her ideas into a groundbreaking book with the same name, which won a Critics' Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association, Choice magazine's Outstanding Academic Title award, and was voted one of Teacher Magazine's "great books." A recipient of the Harvard School of Education's award for an Outstanding Contribution to Education, she is dedicated to providing excellent education to communities both in the United States and abroad. She is a co-editor of The Real Ebonics Debate, Quality Education as a Constitutional Right, and The Skin That We Speak(The New Press). Currently the Felton G. Clark Professor of Education at Southern University, she lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Published May 1, 2008 by New Press, The. 258 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The collection opens with personal essays by two teachers—Dowdy, schooled in Trinidad, and Ernie Smith, from South Central Los Angeles—who describe their own struggles to come to terms with the formal language of school and the nonvalidated language of home.

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