University of Pittsburgh
November 18, 2015

“Why Are They Angry With Us?”

New book by Pitt School of Social Work Dean Larry E. Davis confronts issues of race in America

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—Now, more than at any time since the 1960s, issues about race have taken center stage in America. A new book by University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work Dean Larry E. Davis, titled Why Are They Angry With Us? Essays on Race (Lyceum Books, 2015), responds to many of the timely, sensitive, and often uncomfortable conversations that are taking place on our television screens, newspaper front pages, social media, and in homes across the country. 

The book addresses the unresolved questions and conflicts about race in America from both the author’s personal perspective and a psychological one. Davis, a Black male and social scientist, relates racial incidents and observations to explain the workings of race and racism. His collection of eight personal essays looks at the country’s deep misunderstandings about race and attacks the core of many commonly held attitudes that contribute to racism.

“This book is for those who want to understand why race and color operate as they do in today’s world,” says Davis. “I envision this being used in classrooms and book clubs as a way to talk about racial topics that are sometimes difficult to address in everyday settings.”

The book, which engages the reader with jargon-free language, addresses important discourse about race that involves prison, immigration, individual identity, and other topics.

James Herbert Williams, dean of the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, calls it “an important contribution to the social sciences.”

About the Author
Larry E. Davis is the dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is the Donald M. Henderson Professor. He is the founder and director of Pitt’s Center on Race and Social Problems, which conducts applied social-science research on race, ethnicity, and color.

Prior to taking his position at Pitt in 2001, Davis was a faculty member in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., where he was professor of social work and psychology and the holder of the E. Desmond Lee Professor in Racial and Ethnic Diversity. Davis has been inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Some of his articles have appeared in the Journal of Adolescent Research, Social Work, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Black Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, and Social Work Research. Davis is also the coeditor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Social Work, 20th edition, and founder and chairman of the editorial board of the journal Race and Social Problems (Springer Publications).

Davis is the founder and leader of Race, Ethnicity and Poverty Centers, a consortium of race, ethnicity, and poverty centers from across the United States. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, Council on Social Work Education, Society for Social Work and Research, and the Inter-University Consortium for International Social Development.