Scholar, teacher, author, administrator and race relations expert Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum was the ninth president of Spelman College. Dr. Tatum is a clinical psychologist whose areas of research include black families in white communities, racial identity in teens, and the role of race in the classroom. For over 20 years, Dr. Tatum taught her signature course on the psychology of racism. She has also toured extensively, leading workshops on racial identity development and its impact in the classroom.
Highly sought after for her expertise, Dr. Tatum has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN News, and Good Morning America as well as provided commentary to The Washington Post and The New York Times, among various other local and national media outlets.
In her critically acclaimed 1997 book, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Conversations about Race, she applies her expertise on race to argue that straight talk about racial identity is essential to the nation. Using real life examples and the latest research, she not only dispels race as taboo, but gives readers a new lens for understanding the emergence of racial identity as a developmental process experienced by everyone. Her latest book, Can We Talk about Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation, released in 2007, explores the social and educational implications of the growing racial isolation in our public schools. She is also the author of Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community (1987). In addition, she has published numerous articles, including her classic 1992 Harvard Educational Review article, “Talking about Race, Learning about Racism: An Application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom.”
Dr. Tatum is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, including Bates College, Bowdoin College, Washington and Lee University, Mount Holyoke College, Westfield State College, Bridgewater State College, Salem State University, and Wheelock College. In 2005 she was awarded the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education for the innovative leadership she has provided in the field of education.
Dr. Tatum was raised in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and a M.A. and Ph.D in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She also holds a M.A. degree in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary.
Prior to her appointment to the Spelman presidency in 2002, she spent 13 years at Mount Holyoke College, serving in various roles during her tenure there- as professor of psychology, department chair, dean of the College and acting president.
Dr. Tatum has also served as an associate professor and assistant professor of psychology at Westfield State College in Westfield, Massachusetts, and a lecturer in Black Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Follow Dr. Tatum on Twitter @BDTSpelman.
Can We Talk about Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations about Race
Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community
Building a Road to Diversity
Chronicle of Higher Education 
Talking about Race, Learning about Racism: An Application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom
Harvard Educational Review