We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Race in the Schoolyard

Negotiating the Color Line in Classrooms and Communities

Amanda E. Lewis

Publication Year: 2003

Could your kids be learning a fourth R at school: reading, writing, 'rithmatic, and race? Race in the Schoolyard takes us to a place most of us seldom get to see in action—our children's classrooms—and reveals the lessons about race that are communicated there. Amanda E. Lewis spent a year observing classes at three elementary schools, two multiracial urban and one white suburban. While race of course is not officially taught like multiplication and punctuation, she finds that it nonetheless insinuates itself into everyday life in schools. Lewis explains how the curriculum, both expressed and hidden, conveys many racial lessons. While teachers and other school community members verbally deny the salience of race, she illustrates how it does influence the way they understand the world, interact with each other, and teach children. This eye-opening text is important reading for educators, parents, and scholars alike.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Series: Series in Childhood Studies


pdf iconDownload PDF (64.6 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (49.6 KB)
pp. ix-xi

Insanity, in one disguise or another, has always been with us, an occasional unbidden guest in life’s masquerade. In recent centuries, however, it has appeared in previously unseen masks and in much greater numbers. For many of those afflicted, insanity not only ruins festivities, it destroys life itself....

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (73.1 KB)
pp. xiii-xiv

Our analysis of historical material has been possible only because of the kind assistance of many people. Foremost among those to whom we are indebted are Herb, Kirk, and Andrew MacDonald, Faith Dickerson, Christine Miller, Hugh...

read more

1. Introduction: Why Is the Epidemic Important?

pdf iconDownload PDF (360.8 KB)
pp. 1-5

Some epidemics are obvious. In September 1918, 12,000 Americans died. The following month, 195,000 died. Four months later, the death toll had reached 675,000. Coffins were no longer available, so steam shovels dug mass graves. People hid in their homes, terrified, reluctant to go...

read more

2. The Birth of Bedlam: Insanity Prior to 1700

pdf iconDownload PDF (421.9 KB)
pp. 6-22

Occasional insanity as it existed for thousands of years had certain characteristics consistent with its medical and neurological origins. It might affect adults of any age, it was usually of brief duration, and the...

read more

3. The “English Malady” Appears: England, 1700-1800

pdf iconDownload PDF (434.0 KB)
pp. 23-42

The eighteenth century in England opened with Queen Anne’s ascension to the throne. Tragically, she had lost all fifteen of her children—ten by miscarriage or stillbirth, four in infancy, and one at age eleven. The century closed with King George III on the throne. In 1783 he...

read more

4. “The Clap of Tortured Hands”: England 1800-1850

pdf iconDownload PDF (461.0 KB)
pp. 43-72

Nineteenth-century England was marked with increasing glory and increasing insanity. The people of Shakespeare’s “scepter’d isle,” en route to their coronation as God’s elite, were increasingly delayed by masses...

read more

5. “A Mania for Madness”: England, 1850-1890

pdf iconDownload PDF (916.4 KB)
pp. 73-102

The Great Exhibition of 1851 was a wondrous event. It was held in London’s Hyde Park in the Crystal Palace, designed and built especially for the occasion, an immense glass-and-iron structure covering twenty-one acres...

read more

6. “A Great and Progressive Evil”: England, 1890-1990

pdf iconDownload PDF (432.2 KB)
pp. 103-123

By the closing years of the nineteenth century, England had become the dominant world power. It had assumed, in Kipling’s phrase, “the white man’s burden,” and had overrun, annexed, or purchased one-quarter of the earth’s land surface. England controlled territory from the....

read more

7. The Road to Grangegorman: Ireland, 1700-1990

pdf iconDownload PDF (771.0 KB)
pp. 124-160

In 1731 Jonathan Swift announced his intention to leave money in his will for the establishment of an insane asylum in Dublin. In Swiftian fashion, he memorialized his bequest with these lines in his “Verses on the Death...

read more

8. “A Constantly Increasing Multitude”: Atlantic Canada, 1700-1990

pdf iconDownload PDF (481.4 KB)
pp. 161-192

There is virtually no mention of insanity in accounts of Canadian settlement prior to the eighteenth century. Within the seventy-five volumes of the Relations, published annually by the seventeenth- century Jesuit missionaries, for example, there are descriptions of epilepsy and other...

read more

9. “The Disease Whose Frequency Has Become Alarming”: The United States, 1700-1840

pdf iconDownload PDF (438.7 KB)
pp. 193-214

As in Mother England, insanity in the American colonies existed but did not appear to be common in the seventeenth century. “It is unlikely,” Richard Shryock notes, “that the settlers of the English colonies...

read more

10. An Apostle for Asylums: The United States, 1840–1860

pdf iconDownload PDF (461.3 KB)
pp. 215-243

By 1840, the United States was exhibiting many problems of an adolescent nation. Unemployment was high, with lost confidence in the currency following the Panic of 1837. Abolitionists clashed increasingly regularly with pro-slavery supporters as the rhetoric on both sides....

read more

11. “A Very Startling Increase”: The United States, 1860–1890

pdf iconDownload PDF (799.8 KB)
pp. 244-275

Wars are never kind to individuals with insanity, and the Civil War was no exception. Following closely upon the financial panic of 1857, the war depleted state treasuries, so that asylums lacked basic supplies....

read more

12. “The Apocalyptic Beast”: The United States, 1890-1990

pdf iconDownload PDF (443.6 KB)
pp. 276-299

By 1890 the asylum superintendents were exhausted by the continuing increase of insanity. The hope and therapeutic optimism of their earlier years had been suffused by relentless waves of patients and by criticism....

read more

13. Why Is the Epidemic Forgotten?: The Politicalization of Insanity

pdf iconDownload PDF (412.5 KB)
pp. 300-313

Living amid an ongoing epidemic that nobody notices is surreal. It is like viewing a mighty river that has risen slowly over two centuries, imperceptibly claiming the surrounding land, millimeter by millimeter. The people who once lived on the land have either died or moved away, and...

read more

14. Possible Causes of Epidemic Insanity

pdf iconDownload PDF (421.0 KB)
pp. 314-333

The foregoing analysis of insanity rates in England, Ireland, Canada, and the United States suggests that the prevalence of insanity, as a rate per population, increased at least sevenfold between the mid–eighteenth and the mid–twentieth centuries; in Ireland and the United...

Appendix A: What Is Insanity?

pdf iconDownload PDF (81.3 KB)
pp. 335-338

Appendix B: The Baseline Rate of Insanity

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.9 KB)
pp. 339-344

Appendix C: Tables of Insanity Rates

pdf iconDownload PDF (99.5 KB)
pp. 345-350


pdf iconDownload PDF (268.2 KB)
pp. 351-390

Selected References

pdf iconDownload PDF (90.8 KB)
pp. 391-396


pdf iconDownload PDF (135.7 KB)
pp. 397-416

About the Authors

pdf iconDownload PDF (60.9 KB)
pp. 417

E-ISBN-13: 9780813547039
E-ISBN-10: 0813547032
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813532240
Print-ISBN-10: 0813532248

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: Series in Childhood Studies

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Discrimination in education -- United States.
  • Students -- United States -- Social conditions -- 21st century.
  • United States -- Race relations.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access