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Constructing Race at an Urban High School: In Their Minds, Their Mouths, Their Hearts

Too often, students of color receive little affirmation of their cultural identities at school, and traditional curricula seems only tangentially related to their lives. In this essay from Beyond Silenced Voices: Class, Race, and Gender in United States Schools (L. Weis and M. Fine, eds., SUNY Press: 1993), the author draws on six months of conversations with students at a predominantly urban high school to explore the issues of identity, difference, and race and offers starting points for curricula that affirm and explore cultural diversity with students doing personal research on the effects of racism on their lives.