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Not Light, But Fire


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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction-Not Light, but Fire: The Case for Meaningful Conversations
  • Part 1: The Ecosystem
  • Chapter 1-Demystifying the "Safe Space"
  • Chapter 2-Developing Your "Talking Game"
  • Chapter 3-Structuring Your Dialogic Curriculum
  • Chapter 4-Establishing Your Purpose
  • Part 2: A Study of Conversations
  • Chapter 5-The N-Word: Facing It Head-On
  • Chapter 6-"Say It Right": Unpacking the Cultural Significance of Names
  • Chapter 7-Playing the Other: Thoughtfully Tackling Cultural Appropriation
  • Chapter 8-Pop-Up Conversations: Lessons from the 2016 Presidential Election
  • Epilogue
  • References
  • Index

About the Author

Matthew R. Kay is a proud product of Philadelphia's public schools and a founding teacher at Science Leadership Academy (SLA).


"A reminder to educators to not sidestep or oversimplify conversations about race, but to engage students in them as scholars with voices and experiences that are just as important as those of the adult in the classroom."
--Erika Smith, Teaching Tolerance
"I can't recommend this book highly enough for its scaffolding and stories on how to create a classroom culture that supports serious conversations about difficult topics....Having read this book, in many ways I feel I can't return to the teacher I was....This is not a book to be skimmed in one sitting, but instead to be digested, then acted upon."
--Sarah Cooper, Middleweb

"I found myself thinking, 'How different would the field of education be if Matt Kay had advised John Dewey? How different would I be if Matt Kay had been my teacher?' The answer: radically so. He is that important, and his work on race is that essential."
--Cornelius Minor
"I'm in love with Matthew's book. He writes with clarity, passion, and backs up everything he says with experiences or history that hits you right in the chest. As an educator in the world today, we owe it to our students to listen to what Matthew Kay has to say."
--Jacob Chastain, literacy coach and producer, Teach Me, Teacher podcast
"Thoughtful, timely, and beautifully written."
--Kelly Gallagher, author of In the Best Interest of Students and Readicide

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