The Skin That We Speak

Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom

The author of Other People’s Children joins with other experts to examine the relationship between language and power in the classroom

Now in paperback, 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.

Praise

“Although these lucid, accessible pieces speak most directly to teachers and would be teachers . . . the issues are broad enough to attract more general readers, especially parents.”
Publishers Weekly