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Why are Black Kids sitting together at the Cafeteria? Social Essay (Essay Sample)


Please see options in the attachment. 1115 social awareness video and book options.docxPreview the document
Each student will choose one film, book, etc of diversity outside of their current social or cultural environment and outside your comfort zone. The purpose is to expand your knowledge and experiences and expose you to something new and unfamiliar. This activity will allow you to experience and develop an understanding of new cultures or lifestyles or current societal issues.
The paper should be no less than 2 pages. All papers must be typed with proper grammar and spelling. The paper should cover the following: (5 points for each question; see rubric posted on CANVAS-points will be deducted for improper grammar and spelling ).
1. Describe the activity (film name, book name and description) and reason you chose this activity.
2. Discuss the social and educational value of the event.
3. How did this experience increase your awareness, appreciation, tolerance and / or understanding of the population or culture you learned about?
4. What classroom knowledge (specific learning from classroom readings, lecture, or class discussion) was relevant to your experience?
5. Would you participate in a similar activity in the future, why or why not? Explain.


Social Awareness Paper Options

  1. Frontline Videos They are all about 55 minutes and on the free site Frontline Online:
  • Girls incarcerated - juvenile incarceration – Netflix
  • Hate: Charlottesville
  • Separated Child at the Border
  • Sex Trafficking in America
  • Flint Deadly Water
  • Targeting El Paso
  • Trafficked in America
  • Poor Kids
  • The Way We Get By—on netflix, getting dated but about issues elderly face
  • The Abortion Divide
  • Right to Fail—Mental Health
  • Left Behind America-Economic Struggle
  • Chasing Heroin
  • Policing the Police


  1. 2.      Documentaries available in various streaming platforms 
  • Requiem for the American Dream -  Noam Chomsky, recognized as the most influential alive, discusses the principles perpetuating concentrated wealth.
  • Invisible Hands – Invisible Hands is the first feature documentary that exposes child labor and child trafficking within the supply chains of the world's biggest corporations.
  • Rich Hill - Three young boys live in desperate poverty in a poor Missouri town. Stores are closed, people have moved away and farms have been sold. The story of Rich Hill could be told in hundreds of towns across America.
  • Tricked - This character-driven film considers the evolving sex trafficking landscape as seen by the main players: the exploited, the pimps, the johns that fuel the business, and the cops who fight to stop it.
  • The Hunting Ground - An exposé of rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups, and the devastating toll they take on students and their families.
  • An Inconvenient Truth - Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.
  • Thirteenth (Netflix) - An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson - Victoria Cruz investigates the mysterious 1992 death of black gay rights activist and Stonewall veteran, Marsha P. Johnson. Using archival interviews with Johnson, and new interviews with Johnson's family, friends and fellow activists.
  • Crime and Punishment - A group of brave NYPD officers risk it all to expose the truth about illegal quota practices in police departments.
  • Autism in Love  - follows the story of four adults with autism spectrum disorders as they search for and manage romantic relationships.
  • Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four excavates the nightmarish persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez — four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Aging in America (Kanopy) - This film travels from coast to coast exploring the unprecedented highs and the prolonged lows of growing old. From burlesque dancers in their seventies to geriatric prison wards
  • Gun Violence - look at the country's relationship to firearms in the age of relentless fear mongering, domestic and international terrorism, and widespread gun violence. This comprehensive series is divided into six 15-minute segments that each tackle a different angle of the debate.
  • Sicko  - A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories including shotgun deaths.
  • How to Die in Oregon  - Probing documentary into the "human right" to ending one's life legally and with dignity. A charged and emotional first-person journey through the myriad of issues and emotions surrounding terminal illness and the right-to-die.
  • Homestretch - Three homeless teenagers brave Chicago winters, the pressures of high school, and life alone on the streets to build a brighter future.
  • When they See us (Netflix) - Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they're falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.
  • Precious Knowledge (on Vimeo and Kanopy) - Disenfranchised high school seniors become academic warriors and community leaders in Tucson, Arizona's embattled Ethnic Studies classes while state lawmakers attempt to eliminate the program.
  • Tough Love (Amazon) - Two parents fight through the tangled web of the United States foster care system to get custody of their children back.
  • The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez (Netflix) - Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger investigates the tragic death of an 8-year-old California boy who endured horrific abuse by his mother and her boyfriend, along with the fractured and complex systems that failed to protect him, including child welfare.
  • A Place at the Table (Amazon) - A documentary that investigates incidents of hunger experienced by millions of Americans, and proposed solutions to the problem.
  • Katrina’s Children (Snag Films) - A multi-faceted portrait of nineteen children from different neighborhoods of New Orleans. Told entirely from the children's point of view, the film explores the impact of Hurricane Katrina on their lives and includes animated sequences of their artwork.
  • Short Term 12 - A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.
  • Dear Zachary: a filmmaker creates a documentary dedicated to the son of his murdered friend. True story. Deals with the justice system, mental illness, trauma... Regarded as a devastating film to watch, so keep that in mind.
  • Trade - This documentary series offers a visceral look into the personal stories of those most affected by illicit industries. Season 1 covers the opioid epidemic, Season 2 follows Central American migrants on their perilous journeys to the U.S.  You can choose one of 5 episodes from season 1 or one from six episodes in Season 2– all are each approx. 60 minutes. 
  • The Overnighters - Broken, desperate men chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields. A local Pastor risks everything to help them.
  • Buffalo Nation: The Children are Crying - The Children Are Crying depicts the tragic way of life for the rural, isolated Lakota people living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. This documentary focuses on the devastation in which the children of the Lakota Sioux Nation are forced to live. The children are filled with despair, and as a result, they are committing suicide at an alarming rate.
  • American Son - An estranged couple reunite in a Florida police station to help find their missing teenage son. Theme of discrimination.
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins - 12-year-old wisecracking Gilly Hopkins finds herself shuffled from foster home to foster home until she meets Maime Trotter.
  • Very Young Girls - an exposé of human trafficking that follows 13- and 14-year-old American girls as they are seduced, abused, and sold on New York’s streets by pimps, and treated as adult criminals by police.
  • Lost Angel Skid Row is My Home  - We found, inside that community, the remarkable and enormously moving stories of Olympic athletes, Harvard attorneys, accomplished musicians, scholars. We found poverty, drugs and mental illness, of course - but more importantly, we found life, hope and incredibly powerful human journeys.-
  • A Path Appears (mini-series) Amazon prime and others - A Path Appears, from the creative team behind the series Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and a group of dedicated actor/advocates to Colombia, Haiti, Kenya, and throughout the United States. They uncover the harshest forms of gender inequality, the devastating impact of poverty and the ripple effects that follow: including sex trafficking, teen-pregnancy, gender-based violence, child slavery and the effective solutions being forged to combat them.
  • We were Here - A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.
  • The Road Within - A young man with Tourette's Syndrome embarks on a road trip with his recently-deceased mother's ashes.
  • A Little White Lie - A film about denial, race, family secrets and a search for identity.
  • Mala Mala (LGBT in Puerto Rico) - A documentary about the power of transformation told through the eyes of 9 trans-identifying individuals in Puerto Rico.
  • It Happened Here - Through the intimate portraits of five student survivors, IT HAPPENED HERE exposes the alarming pervasiveness of sexual assault on college campuses, the institutional cover-ups and the failure to protect students, and follows their fight for accountability and change on campus and in federal court.
  • Oranges and Sunshine: based on true events, Emily Watson plays a social worker that discovers the decades long practice of Britain sending vulnerable children to Australia, where they were often abused.
  • Reign Over Me: PTSD depiction. Stars Adam Sandler in a rare serious role as a man dealing with the emotional distress of a seriously traumatic event.


  1. Books
  • When a Line Becomes a River
  • There There
  • The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadimann – Love this Book!  Topic is around cultural awareness in healthcare. 
  • Dopesick
  • Nickel and Dimed
  • Choosing Civility: the twenty-five rules of considerate conduct
  • The Fred Factor
  • Rosa Lee – Leon Dash
  • The new Human Rights Revolution – Pete Joseph
  • It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living, edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller
  • A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
  • Days in the Lives of Social Workers: 58 Professionals Tell Real-Life Stories From Social Work Practice, edited by Linda May Grobman
  • Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray
  • Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy by Rinku Sen
  • The Road Not Taken: A History of Radical Social Work in the United States (Paperback)
    • by Michael Reisch
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Paperback) by Paulo Freire
  • Unfaithful Angels: How Social Work Has Abandoned its Mission (Paperback) by Harry Specht
  • The Glass Castle (Paperback) by Jeannette Walls



  1.  Books about Race and Justice


  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? By Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rececca Skloot







Why are Black Kids sitting together at the Cafeteria?
Student’s Name:
Institutional Affiliation:
Why are Black Kids sitting together at the Cafeteria?
The United States is one of the most diverse countries, owing to the numerous races and nationalities that have settled there since the slavery period. Racial ideology is one of the most discussed and troubling issues, mainly due to its effect on the political culture. African Americans and Latinos form the largest number of minority population who suffer most from the effects of racism. The two races have a rich history of settlement in the United States. Therefore, whenever the voting period approaches, politicians try to woo the two races considering their numbers and effects on votes. Many authors have written about racism and its effects on the lives of minority citizens. However, Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria” stands out as Tatum tries to answer the racism question.

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