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Blackipedia is a weekly CASSIUS feature that takes a fun approach to exploring Black history, slang, and culture. In May (#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth), we’re honoring Black and brown mental health pioneers. Get ready to learn something—and tell a friend!  

Beverly Daniel Tatum

[bev-er-lee dan-yuh l tey-tuh m ]


  • Beverly Daniel Tatum is known for her work as a psychologist, educator, scholar, and college administrator. In 2002, she became the ninth president of Spelman College. “[I] knew that, given the uniqueness of Spelman, that it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she told Black Issues in Higher Education. “Spelman is one of the few places where as a Black woman you can come and look around and say, ‘This institution was built for me, with me expressly in mind.’”
  • Tatum has written books and many articles on racial identity. Her latest book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race, makes the argument that “straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides.” It was published in 2017 and is an Amazon number one best seller in the medical adolescent psychology category.
  • She is also the author of Can We Talk About Race?, which examines the importance of Black students being represented in curricula and how unexamined racial attitudes can negatively impact Black students’ learning.

To Learn More:

Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. (Spelman College)

Beverly Daniel Tatum Discuss Race Relations (C-SPAN)