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How to Be An Antiracist

How to Be An Antiracist

Book - 2019
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""The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it." Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society." --
Publisher: New York :, One World,, [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780525509288
Branch Call Number: 305.8 K335h 2019
Characteristics: viii, 305 pages ; 19 cm


From Library Staff

Systematic change starts with the root of what makes us human, to be anti-racist is to hold onto the humanity and accept that we all come from different backgrounds, experiences, and carry own suitcase of generational trauma.

Asks what an antiracist society might look like and how we can get there.

In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal n... Read More »

From the National Book Award–winning author comes a bracingly original approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves. Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America—but even more fund... Read More »

From the critics

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Jun 17, 2021

Kendi’s book provides a helpful framework for understanding racism and how to battle it. Like any book tackling a complex topic, his perspective is one that should be balanced with others. Having said that, I found his emphasis on policy to be helpful and important. In the US, policy frequently leads change while attitudes and beliefs follow. Take accommodations for persons with handicaps: the ADA was passed long before accessibility was top of mind for your average American. Today most of us recognize the importance of making it possible for people with disabilities to participate as fully as possible in our economy and society. We cannot hope for full participation of every citizen in the American Dream unless we remove barriers due to racism and other “ism”s such as sexism, ageism, homophobia, etc. My experience has also been that attitudes and beliefs about Blacks and people of color are not always based in ignorance that can be changed through education. We are a country that can and should tolerate different beliefs but not codify them in laws and policies that prevent people from achieving their full potential. Kendi’s analysis of racism and his own journey as a American Black man in understanding the multiple aspects of it was helpful for me and likely would be for you, also. You can disagree with elements of it, but it’s important to hear his voice and consider how and where you might actively advocate for a more equitable world. I agree that simply arguing “I’m not a racist” isn’t enough. Business as usual in the US and elsewhere isn’t an option if you believe in equal opportunity. Using the business world as an example, something is seriously wrong when, for example, Blacks make up 12.4% of the population yet only 3.2% of senior executive positions. Source: WSJ. Or when 53% of your workforce is female and only 4% of your senior management are women (Citigroup) Source: You simply can’t get these results unless there are barriers to success for Blacks and women. Read the book and, more importantly, take action.

🤨 There's a lot of stuff about how he kept his Nikes from wrinkling, and wore honey-colored contact lenses. Surely that's his problem, not mine.

May 20, 2021

Sure, Kendi may be cashing in a touch with the manifold versions of this text, but this is a solid 3.5-5 star read, depending on your politics and emotional state, and I would say it stays true to its objective of educating those who recognize inequality and do not want to passively or actively recreate it.
These 1-star reviewers don't seem to have read the book. I suspect they are just "I'm not racist" types coincidentally trolling books Tucker Carlson expresses distaste for.

This isn't a slam-dunk conviction, but if you are...

- or -

... some would say the two anti's just cancel out.

May 18, 2021

Mao's Cultural Revolution officially took place between 1966 to 1976 ---- during several of those years I was stationed with a SIGINT group tasked with monitoring the Chicoms (a combined US military/Nationalist Chinese unit) and we were frequently horrified at hearing of children either turning in the parents for executions for thought crimes, or executing one or both parents themselves! The blog piece below somewhat captures the horrors of those times. This is what Kendi wants for America; this is what the Maoist brigades of antifa/BLM fervently wish for: the ending of America!
(In Josh Rogin's book, "Chaos Under Heaven" he mentions the plight of Uyghur--American, Vera, who makes the grave mistake of returning to Xinjiang to visit her family several years ago and she is incarcerated in a "reeducation camp" for no reason --- since she's a student at U.W. - the University of Washington - and they continue to charge her tuition fees during this time, her mother approaches the college president for help in the matter. She is soundly rebuffed -- U.W. explains they have a multi-million dollar contract with China so it's a no-go! Too many Americans who have sold their souls to the devil!)

May 12, 2021

This is a not a yellow-covered “Antiracism For Dummies” book. Commenters seem to be at the 1-star or 5-star extremes, with little midground to establish a normal distribution. One might wish that Star Gladiator would not pull his punches and tell us how he really feels. And yes, I’m too old to feel comfortable with woke pronouns. I read this as autobiographical, with lessons learned to build a Weltanschauung. Kendi’s discussion of the difference between protests and demonstrations was helpful to me, having been involved in any number of each. The writing is good. The book should be read by anybody involved in a wide-ranging discussion of racism.

Apr 24, 2021

This book is scarier than a Stephen King novel, because it is NOT fiction. CRT and Marxist Socialism has crept into every aspect of our cancel-culture. As Kendi says, you cannot stay silent. You must denounce your "racism" through words and / or actions. If you fail to do so, then you are a "racist!". Seek out Christopher Rufo on YouTube and elsewhere, on what CRT means for you and your kids.

Apr 07, 2021

Deb O's suggestion for inclusion (diversity)

Apr 05, 2021

In the first chapter Mr. Kendi states: " . . . A racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups. An antiracist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial equity between racial groups. . . . There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy. . . . The only remedy to racist discrimination is anti-racist discrimination. . . ."

It didn't take him long to push discrimination. This would've been music to Karl Marx's ears.

Throughout the book Kendi repeatedly calls for equity (equality of outcome) while ignoring the concept of equality (equality of opportunity).

An example of what he wants: Two students enroll in the same class. Both are given the same opportunity (equality of opportunity) to complete course material and earn a grade. Student A earns 85% while student B earns 55% . Course work for both has been evaluated with the same standards. Because the teacher wants both to understand how equity works he takes 15 points from A and gives them to B thereby making their results equitable (equality of outcome).

Kendi purports to be interested in ending racism: he is really using a convoluted discussion of racism to push a communist agenda.

The book was written in a stream of consciousness style which perhaps adds punch for some to Kendi's arguments but which generally detracts from reader understanding.

Feb 16, 2021

This is a very fantastic book by a remarkable person. Yes, it is difficult - I read a chapter or two at a time to give time for reflection. He uses episodes from his life to introduce and highlight points. After reading 30 pages in a library copy I bought it and will go back to it from time to time - like the best philosophy, how to strive to live a better life.

Feb 13, 2021

Exceptional! An excellent resource for anyone and everyone. A well paced blend of history, personal connection and practical use. Very accessible for white folks and a must read for anyone wanting to make this world a better, kinder, more accepting place.

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