How to Be an Antiracist

How to Be an Antiracist

eBook - 2019
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • From the National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a "groundbreaking" (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society—and in ourselves.
    "The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind."—The New York Times
    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review Time • NPR • The Washington Post The Dallas Morning News
  • Shelf AwarenessLibrary Journal Publishers Weekly
    Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At it's core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilites—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their posionous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
    Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.
    Praise for How to Be an Antiracist
    "Ibram X. Kendi's new book, How to Be an Antiracist, couldn't come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author's own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, 'the basic struggle we're all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.' "—NPR
    "Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent. How to Be an Antiracist punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is—and what we should do about it."Time
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

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    k
    kwsmith
    Sep 28, 2020

    American University professor and Black activist Ibram Kendi packs three unique books inside this popular book: an academic study of racism, a personal memoir about growing up Black, and a cultural history of "White on Black" racism in the United States. Unfortunately, the academic side of this book is poorly constructed. Kendi frequently introduces self-contradictory ideas, leaps to dramatic conclusions without supplying sufficient evidence, and fails to examine racism from more than one cultural viewpoint. On the other hand, Kendi's personal memoir about Black culture in the United States is engaging and honestly told. Finally, Kendi's history of African American racism is accurate, well-cited, and very interesting. No matter which of these three topics Kendi is addressing, his writing style is excellent, making this book a great pleasure to read. It is clear that Kendi is very passionate about his subject matter! My greatest disappointment was that Kendi approaches the topic of racism almost entirely from a narrow "White on Black" perspective within the United States rather than considering global racism or examining racism amongst different cultural groups.

    g
    GeneralAmerica
    Sep 25, 2020

    Mustang - I can tell by your comment you are one of those low IQ bible/trump humping hate-filled evangelicals. Why don't you ask yourself why you have to lie in your comments? Did baby jebus tell you to? You should be ashamed and repent for your lies and stupidity. The majority of white rioters were actually trump humping white supremacists.

    ". . . Some of the 40 arrests made in the Twin Cities Friday night were of people linked to white supremacist groups and organized crime."

    https://www.courthousenews.com/minnesota-officials-link-arrested-looters-to-white-supremacist-groups/

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/umbrella-man-white-supremacist-suspect-minneapolis-police-protests/

    m
    mustang351c
    Sep 25, 2020

    Black Lives Matter, LLC. couldn't care less about the lives of black's, they mean nothing to them. Expect as tools they can use to burn and wreck things with the aim of gaining power for the very few at the top controlling Antifa/BLM. Other than that, actual blacks' lives are pretty much discardable fodder to BLM.
    -
    In Minneapolis it's really quit remarkable that the majority of those doing the smashing and burning of minority owned businesses were actually white Liberals....

    p
    pavesina
    Jul 09, 2020

    A moving, powerful book that combines a precise theory of racism and antiracism with Mr. Kendi's personal life and evolution. Written with urgency and passion, the books peels the many layers of racist policies, ideas, and behaviors and how those make their ways into our lives.

    p
    peacebenow
    Jun 28, 2020

    I was expecting to read this book in Jan but it took a long time to become available. Reading it now couldn't be more timely. I really enjoyed the personal info Kendi intertwined w/ all the terms and factual information. This really is an excellent primer on how to be an Antiracist. Kendi grew up learning all the info he offers up. Could/should be considered required reading for everyone, has the potential to make our world more equal. It's not enough to be an antiracist individual. We all have to work to change the power, rules, laws that result in racism. That is the challenge.

    STPL_JessH May 08, 2020

    How to Be an Antiracist is outstanding. I believe it to be required reading for any discussion of racism and white supremacy.
    This book is incredibly authentic. There are the requisite facts and figures, and then there are the feelings that Kendi is not afraid to share. He is careful and considerate in the way he approaches each and every type of racist and segregationist policy, practice, and notion he confronts. He is brave and vulnerable enough to share his own past thoughts and experiences with societal conditioning. He does not shy away from confronting people and institutions that are perpetuating racism; nor does he let anyone off the hook. Kendi writes that being antiracist is something that we have to continue to do; it is not an identity that we arrive at or something that we achieve in a single moment. I really appreciate the forward motion of the book even as Kendi draws on successes and failures in the past. This is one book in a long line of excellent works that demonstrate how to be antiracist. I highly, highly recommend this book. 

    s
    sandraperkins
    Dec 08, 2019

    Mr. Kendi previously wrote Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. While Stamped From the Beginning is long and comprehensive, How to Be an Antiracist is short and powerful. It could indeed be a textbook for a course in How to Be an Antiracist, and it is a very helpful resource for any individuals who want to understand what racism is and how to change it.

    How to Be an Antiracist is also a personal story of the author’s journey and the evolution of his understanding about what racism is and what it is not. Readers of Stamped From the Beginning will recognize some of the lessons the author explained in that book. He does not flinch from criticizing his own earlier understandings (many of which were unknowingly racist), and it is clear that his own understanding of racism, and how to be an antiracist, is continuing to evolve.

    Here is one insight that resonated with me:

    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.

    Mr. Kendi notes, “There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every nation is either producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups.”

    ACL_ChrisS Nov 19, 2019

    An intellectual history of racism coupled with Kendi's personal evolution on the topic. The book is a great way to learn more about racism and stretch your understanding about racism as a power construct. I wish he would have offered more on specific policies that should be addressed.

    Tigard_HollyCP Oct 19, 2019

    You are either racist, or antiracist. If you say you are “not racist,” then you are probably actually racist. But the good news is, those labels are not fixed. It’s not actually a person who is racist or antiracist, but acts themselves. The way to be antiracist is to strive to change racist policies. If your acts are misogynistic, homophobic, classist, etc., then you cannot possibly be antiracist. You may only be considered antiracist if you are doing something about racist (sexist, homophobic, classist, etc) policies. JUST talking about racism is still considered racist. Doing something about it (specifically, changing racist policy), is antiracist. Ibram X. Kendi himself recognizes all of his own past racist, misogynistic, homophobic and classist acts and acknowledges that he is still not immune to them. One person can perform both racist and antiracist acts.

    This is definitely a hard-hitting book and at first I was a bit put off by his very black and white, if you will, classification of racist vs. antiracist. But I think he makes his point that we all make choices regarding further advancing a racist system, or changing it. It did feel to me like he conflated gay and trans a bit, but at least he did address the issues of other marginalized groups than race and the intersectionality of marginalization.

    It is a very important book, and I think everyone should be introduced to the ideas in it. The text itself is quite dense. I hope there will be a Young Reader’s Edition; that would probably be more my speed.

    JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Sep 10, 2019

    A useful and important survey of thinking about race and racism...as well as a memoir of Dr. Kendi's thought evolution on the topic. The idea that the useful opposite of racism is active antiracism and rather than the neutral, do-nothing not-a-racist is really useful and an important distinction in how we use language to discuss and create policy around issues related to race.

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