Beacon Press: For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y'all Too
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For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y'all Too

Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education

Author: Christopher Emdin

A New York Times best seller

Featured in:, Education Week, Weekend All Things Considered with Michel Martin, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, PBS, Slate, The Washington Post, Scholastic Administrator Magazine, Essence Magazine, Salon, ColorLines,, Huffington Post Education

Merging real stories with theory, research, and practice, a prominent scholar offers a new approach to teaching and learning for every stakeholder in urban education.

Drawing on his own experience of feeling undervalued and invisible in classrooms as a young man of color and merging his experiences with more than a decade of teaching and researching in urban America, award-winning educator Christopher Emdin offers a new lens on an approach to teaching and learning in urban schools. He begins by taking to task the perception of urban youth of color as unteachable, and he challenges educators to embrace and respect each student’s culture and to reimagine the classroom as a site where roles are reversed and students become the experts in their own learning.

Putting forth his theory of Reality Pedagogy, Emdin provides practical tools to unleash the brilliance and eagerness of youth and educators alike—both of whom have been typecast and stymied by outdated modes of thinking about urban education. With this fresh and engaging new pedagogical vision, Emdin demonstrates the importance of creating a family structure and building communities within the classroom, using culturally relevant strategies like hip-hop music and call-and-response, and connecting the experiences of urban youth to indigenous populations globally. Merging real stories with theory, research, and practice, Emdin demonstrates how by implementing the “Seven C’s” of reality pedagogy in their own classrooms, urban youth of color benefit from truly transformative education.

Lively, accessible, and revelatory, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y’all Too is the much-needed antidote to traditional top-down pedagogy and promises to radically reframe the landscape of urban education for the better.

A Race, Education, and Democracy Series Book
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“The most important work of pedagogy I’ve read in ten years...Dr. Emdin’s humane, and more importantly, effective practices, filled me with great hope and excitement to keep engaging with the community in which I teach.”
—John Warner, Inside Higher Ed

For White Folks ultimately teaches the unlearned lesson that a hip-hop people’s critical perspective must matter in order for authentic teaching and learning to take place, but more importantly the book offers a bigger case for colleges to make room for other hip-hop scholars.”
—Dr. Andre Perry, The Hechinger Report

“Dr. Chris Emdin...inspired me to become fearless while teaching for social justice. His commitment to young people showed me that integrity, humility and hope are three of the greatest principles a person can possess.”
—Bryan Mooney, contributor PBS NewsHour’s Education Lounge

“As the cries to recognize the relevance of Black lives in this country grow louder...Emdin’s advice about how to more effectively serve students (people) of color is a reminder that recognizing their humanity is a critical first step.”
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

“Emdin’s For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y’all Too is a brilliant, blistering, and bracing call to arms for those who teach and learn in urban America. Pivoting effortlessly from street vernacular to sophisticated theory without losing the common touch—or the lovely language and lucid thought—Emdin reminds us that the children and young people who throng our urban schools are worthy of every attempt to sharpen their minds and prepare them for a satisfying life far beyond the classroom. If you’re looking for the revolutionary meaning, and imaginative transformation, of teaching for the real America, you’re holding it in your hands! Christopher Emdin is Jonathan Kozol with swag!”
—Michael Eric Dyson, author of The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America

“Emdin’s For White Folks is essential reading for all adults who work with black and brown young people...Filled with exceptional intellectual sophistication and necessary wisdom for the future of education.”
—Imani Perry, author of Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip-Hop

“From hip-hop to high theory, the journey Emdin takes us on is at once critical and compassionate, analytical and actionable. Through rich stories and well-developed frameworks, For White Folks offers a compelling and accessible road map for anyone (not just white folks!) teaching twenty-first-century urban youth. It also confirms Emdin’s reputation as one of the most important education scholars of our generation.”
—Marc Lamont Hill, author of Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity and Distinguished Professor of Africana Studies at Morehouse College

“A generation ago Ntozake Shange gave us a ‘choreopoem.’ Today, Christopher Emdin offers us a ‘pedagopoem.’ This volume is a powerful dance of teaching and art. It engages both the art and science of what teachers must do to be successful with all students. It is simultaneously lyrical and analytic, scientific and humanistic, a work of the heart and the mind. It belongs in every teacher’s library!”
—Gloria Ladson-Billings, the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison



Reality and the Neoindigenous

Teach Without Fear

Pentecostal Pedagogy

Cogenerative Dialogues



Context and Content


Change the World and Dress Well Doing It

Code Switching

Curation and Computing

Thoughts on Transformative Teaching

A Note from the Series Editor



For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y'all Too

ISBN: 978-080700640-5
Publication Date: 3/22/2016
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price: $25.95 $19.47
Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.