Book Review

How To Be An Antiracist

How To Be An Antiracist

  • Author: Ibram X. Kendi
  • Genre: Nonfiction
  • Publication Date: August 13, 2019
  • Publisher: One World

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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 together 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.

Let me start by saying that I do not read nonfiction on a regular basis. The last time I read nonfiction consistently was when I was in graduate school, strictly because my GPA depended on it. However, I have come to realize that in order for me to be a good ally and support the BLM movement, it’s time to get over my preferences and start to read some nonfiction.

I started by checking out what was available at my public library. I figured that this would be a good book to start with. I loved the author’s style — he took historical information and wove it in with stories of his own journey towards becoming an antiracist, and thus avoided the subject matter becoming dry and boring.

The chapters each touch on a different area, including race, class, gender, and sexuality, and how those intersect. There’s concrete steps offered in every single chapter on how to ensure that we are behaving in an antiracist manner, and easy to understand examples of how policy creates racism, rather than the behavior of individuals or groups of people, as we are led to believe.

This book is a great start for anyone looking to learn more about how to become an antiracist, no matter what race you are. We all have room to grow and be better. Being an antiracist isn’t a destination, it’s a never-ending journey that we always strive towards and can improve upon.

“Like fighting an addiction, being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.”

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