Beyond Black and White

New Faces and Voices in U.S. Schools

Edited by Maxine S. Seller & Lois Weis

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, Power, Social Identity, and Education
Paperback : 9780791433683, 344 pages, March 1997
Hardcover : 9780791433676, 344 pages, March 1997

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents



Maxine Seller and Lois Weis

I. Rethinking Familiar "Minorities"

1. Marbella Sanchez: On Marginalization and Silencing

Ann Locke Davidson

2. The Chicago American Indian Community: An "Invisible" Minority

David R. M. Beck

3. The Voices of Chicano Families: Life Stories, Maintaining Bilingualism, and Cultural Awareness

Irene Villanueva

4. "Those Loud Black Girls": (Black) Women, Silence, and Gender "Passing" in the Academy

Signithia Fordham

II. Newcomers: School and Community

5. "Becoming Somebody": Central American Immigrants in U. S. Inner-City Schools

Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco

6. Dominicans: Forging an Ethnic Community in New York

Patricia Pessar

7. Sex Education among Haitian American Adolescents

Michel S. Laguerre

8. Changing South Asian Identities in the United States

Karen Leonard

9. Social Capital in Chinatown: The Role of Community-Based Organizations and Families in the Adaptation of the Younger Generation

Min Zhou

10. Education and Ethnicity in an Urban Vietnamese Village: The Role of Ethnic Community Involvement in Academic Achievement 

Carl L. Bankston III

III. Hearing Silenced Voices: "Other Minorites"

11. Gayness, Multicultural Education, and Community

Dennis Carlson

12. "The Soup Pot Don't Stretch That Far No More": Intergenerational Patterns of School Leaving in an Urban Appalachian Neighborhood

Patricia Timm and Kathryn Borman

13. White Loss

Michelle Fine, Lois Weis, Judi Addelston, and Julia Marusza



Dedicated to a better understanding of the diversity of children being taught in American public schools, this book includes the experiences of groups (e.g. Haitians, Dominicans, Indians, and Vietnamese) not often represented even in the multicultural education literature. It also includes the experiences of often marginalized groups such as lesbians and gays, Appalachians, and white working class males.


Most contemporary work on education that takes into account differences among students in schools in the United States focuses on African American and white students, rather than recognizing the complexity of the current population. Beyond Black and White opens a discussion of diversity that goes beyond the notion that white or black can be looked at as any kind of homogeneous groupings. While numerous studies focus on the ways in which schools privilege some groups of children and marginalize others, such work tends to construe differences along a narrowly constructed black-white dichotomy. Beyond Black and White forces the reader to abandon this construction.

The book encourages the centering of voices often not heard, even in volumes whose aim it is to center historically silenced voices. The contributors probe the experiences of "Familiar Minorities," such as African Americans, native Americans, and Mexican Americans, as well as those among "Newcomers," such as Haitians, Dominicans, Indians, Salvadorians, and Vietnamese. In the final section, "Other Minorities" are encountered--groups struggling for recognition such as lesbians and gays, Appalachians, and white working class males. This interdisciplinary volume stands as vivid testimony to the myriad of voices in today's schools.

Mihai I. Spariosu is Research Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. He is the editor of the SUNY Press publication series The Margins of Literature.


"I like this text because of its immediate accessibility to the reader, the great diversity of groups represented, the theoretical perspectives of the authors, and the good balance of theory, research, field accounts, and the personal voices that are retained in these accounts. I can think of no single text that combines all the elements present in this edited volume. " -- Nelson C. Vincent, University of Cincinnati