Can the messy, elusive, and often taboo topics of race and culture be fruitfully discussed in a secondary classroom? Glazier and Seo (2005) declare that subjects like social class, politics, religion, culture, and race are generally “silenced,” seen as dangerous “hot lava topics” that teachers avoid raising, fearing the difficult and complex dialogues that they may bring about (p. 687). Given the pervasiveness of racism and prejudice in U.S. society and the persistence of the achievement gap, it is clear that avoiding these hot lava issues serves only to perpetuate the status quo. Teachers and teacher educators must come to a greater understand ing of how productive conversations about race and culture can happen in classrooms.