Amanda Lewis

Professor of African American Studies 


Ph.D. Sociology, University of Michigan
M.A. Sociology, University of Michigan
M.A. Education, University of California at Berkeley
B.A. Educational Studies, Brown University
Urban Education, Bank Street Graduate School of Education

Research Interests

Dr. Lewis' research focuses on how race shapes educational opportunities and how our ideas about race get negotiated in everyday life.  She is the author of Race in the Schoolyard: Negotiating the Color-line in Classrooms and Communities (2003).  She is also the co-editor (with Maria Krysan) of The Changing Terrain of Race and Ethnicity (2004), and co-author (with Mark Chesler and Jim Crowfoot) of Challenging Racism in Higher Education: Promoting Justice (2005).  Her research has appeared in a number of academic venues including Sociological Theory, American Educational Research Journal, American Behavioral Scientist, Race and Society, DuBois Review and Anthropology and Education Quarterly.  She also published (with John Diamond) Despite the Best Intentions: Why racial inequality persists in good schools (Oxford, 2015). 

For an excerpt of Race in the Schoolyard, please click on the image below: 


Something happens in school, especially in elementary school, that forms and changes people in racial terms. Further, racial identities, both those assigned to children and those they choose, affect their schooling experiences. /how does this happen? Why, for instance, are their racial gaps in achievement? Given that racist theories of genetic inferiority have been thoroughly disproved, we must go beyond theories about innate abilities or capacities. Given a growing body of literature that shows racial minorities value education as much as their higher-achieving white peers, if not more, theories that suggest that gaps are due to family values are also inadequate. What goes on inside school buildings and in schoolyards? What kind of messages do students give and receive? What kinds of practices and institutional cultures and structures lead to these differences in outcomes?


Contact Information

Office: 1209 UH
Phone: 312-996-4694

Fax: 312-996-5799
Curriculum Vitae