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How to Be an Antiracist

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4.55  ·  Rating details ·  20,261 ratings  ·  3,094 reviews
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. ...more
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by One World
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Dan Emery I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone, as it places the struggle against racism into a global historical context. I'd say that the discussions…moreI would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone, as it places the struggle against racism into a global historical context. I'd say that the discussions of tensions between African Americans and recent African migrants and the chapter on colorism would be of interest to a British reader. Because the book is in some ways autobiographical, it rests on some context specificity, so some of the concrete details might be opaque.(less)
Nick Kendi released a book club kit last month! It has some great discussion questions, his own antiracist reading list, and a syllabus with recommended re…moreKendi released a book club kit last month! It has some great discussion questions, his own antiracist reading list, and a syllabus with recommended reads based on topic. Direct link to the PDF: https://static1.squarespace.com/stati...(less)

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Raymond
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars
It is only fitting that this book is being released after the past several weeks of racists attacks by politicians and mass shootings in the name of White Supremacy. After witnessing these acts many Americans will say "I'm not like that, I'm not a racist. I don't have a racist bone in my body". Ibram Kendi’s newest book addresses that mindset. In his follow up to Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Kendi argues that the dichotomy of either being a racis ...more
Thomas
Jun 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I appreciated this book and felt disappointed by it too, so if you want a non-controversial review scroll over to something else for now. I felt most grateful for Ibram Kendi’s argument that you either are racist or antiracist and there’s no real in between – that by passively being “non racist,” you collude in racism by allowing racist policy and ideology to persist. He applies this argument to several pertinent issues such as the racist nature of standardized testing, police brutality, interse ...more
Always Pouting
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Someone lent this to me because they found it really useful and resourceful for thinking about antiracism especially in the context of doing organizing. I did enjoy the reading the book but I also think personally I had been exposed to a lot of these same ideas already, especially by women of color activists/organizers. So while I think it's a really good book for anyone still trying to gleam out their own concepts of race and how to actively engage with racism, I didn't come away with that much ...more
Christine
Disclaimer: I received an ARC via Netgalley.

Shortly after I finished this book, I put a quote from it up on the board in my classroom. At one point, Kendi argues that white supremacy is also anti-white and a form of genocide on whites. This is in addition to the attacks on non-whites. The interesting thing is that the black students (I use black because not all of the students are American citizens) were all nodding their heads, and the while students were all WTF.

But that idea of challenge of
...more
Maxwell
I’m going to need some time to properly review this but for now, GO READ THIS BOOK!!
HBalikov
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
There is so much in Kendi’s book that is useful and challenging.

"One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of “not racist.” The claim of “not racist” neutrality is a mask for racism."

"THIS BOOK IS ultimately about the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human."

"The source of racist ideas was not ignorance and hate, but self-interest."

"
...more
Claudia Amendola
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.

Okay, I worry about the ratings this book will get and whether or not they are truly honest. North Americans have an extremely bad habit of being so far left that any criticism of commentary on sexism, racism, homophobia, etc means you’re a racist/misogynist/homophobe/etc. I notice this book has straight 5-star reviews on Goodreads, many without commentary. Why? What about this book makes it deserving of five stars? Because the topic is important? Yes, it is. But
...more
Traci at The Stacks
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So great. What an amazing human Kendi is. His ability to reflect on his own racist actions and thoughts is profound. I love his approach and think his insights are fantastic. The use of memoir with the definitions of types of racism and antiracism are really smart. I really enjoyed this book, though if you’ve read Stamped from the Beginning (his previous book) you may find this one redundant or slightly more elementary. If you haven’t attempted Stamped because it’s intimidating this might be a b ...more
CarolynKost
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Some cultures mandate that rape victims must be killed and adulterers stoned; that females shouldn't be educated, drive, or show their faces in public. Some cultures revere nature and strive to live in harmony with it while others endeavor to control it down to the chromosomal level and/or pollute indiscriminately. Some produce the Magna Carta and Shakespeare and others dissolve into violence and a failed state. Despite these self-evident facts, Ibram Kendi's [postmodern] foundational principle ...more
Roman Clodia
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With protests over George Floyd taking place as I type, this book could hardly be more timely. Kendi's intervention into current race debates is to expose any assumed position of neutrality as subterfuge: there is and can be no position of 'non-racist', 'colour-blind', 'post-racial', he argues: the only viable opposition to racism is to be actively and consciously antiracist.

What makes this such a strong book is that it is also a confession: Kendi's antiracist stance is hard-won and actively st
...more
Jessaka
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Dancing in the Street

An elderly black man
was walking down the street
In a small southern Texas town.
I stopped to ask him,
“Are you a Jehovah’s Witness?”
“Why, yes, I am.”
He was not wearing a suit, nor a tie.
Nor did he carry a briefcase.
I just knew because I used to be one of them.
“I have always admired the Jehovah’s Witnesses,
They are antiracists,
and mingled with one another. “
“Here in the South
we have separate congregations.”
I was diisillusioned.
This was in the late 90s,
Even schools were
...more
Mehrsa
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I pre-ordered this book the day it was announced because I loved Kendi’s first book, but then I delayed reading it because I thought it was going to be a lecture and that it would go over familiar material. That’s not what the book was. It was a fascinating memoir that is pretty humble and humane. I like that he searches his past for his mistakes and how he brings compassion to this topic. This one is probably required reading.
Aoife - Bookish_Babbling


Pain is usually essential to healing. When it comes to healing America of racism, we want to heal America without pain. But without pain there is no progress.
(I am well aware racism is an issue worldwide but the author is American and thus his quote in this case is specific)


Plenty food for thought in this insightfully intersectional somewhat autobiographical look at how our own preconceived notions colour how we see the world - becoming antiracist will be a permanent work in progress as we must
...more
Kathleen
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kendi won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for Stamped from the Beginning—a history of racist ideas by progressive intellectuals including Frederick Douglass, and E.B. DuBois. In this book, Kendi examines his own intellectual journey to believe that there are only two categories of people in society—racists and anti-racists. Racists are people who allow racist ideas to grow without opposition. Anti-racists actively fight racist ideas.

Kendi highlights the myriad of ways that racism is embed
...more
Chris Blocker
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've a longstanding interest in Malcolm X. There were many aspects of his character that fascinate me. One is the transformation he made in the final year of his life—his second awakening, the birth of el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. In these days, el-Shabazz embraced the idea that there were other factors that went into making one “a devil,” not merely one's ethnicity. His overnight change of heart opened up considerable possibilities, a movement with a more unified front. I always wondered where el- ...more
Wendy
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I have read STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING and was captivated by Ibram X. Kendi's intellect, acuity, and straight talk. I left that book seared and shaken.

This is a much weaker outing, organized haphazardly, and unclear about its focus; a memoir; textbook; history book; wake up call?

There is an old adage that Eskimos have 40 words for snow, and each word describes a distinct type of snow; important information when your survival depends on knowing and understanding snow. Kendi is working to bring s
...more
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Ibram X. Kendi covers a lot of ground in How to be an Anti-Racist. I believe we all are his intended audience, no matter our race, color, sexual or gender identities, political affiliation, or any other segmentation you might consider. He makes it clear that this issue of racism versus anti-racism is intersectional. His ideas also connect both perspectives with many other ways we segment “us” and “them.” Racism touches it all, as does his concept of anti-racism.

If you believe you are a “woke” re
...more
dianne
“Terrinka” is a young Black foster child for whom i was the volunteer court appointed special advocate (CASA) in San Francisco for the first 5+ years of this century.
One day as we drove along, Pachabel’s famous canon was playing. i thought i’ll tell her what makes a canon a canon!
So i began, “Let’s talk about classical music...”
She said, “Like Marvin Gaye?”

Pause. Yup.
There’ll be plenty of time for useless knowledge - like what makes a canon - later. Or not.

Dr. Ibram Kendi has given us a great g
...more
Allison
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want all of America to do a big book club with this book. There’s so much here and I want to write a full review of this books brilliance - Kendi’s straightforward definitions, his use of memoir and history. What surprised me the most is I wasn’t sure I agreed with everything he said, especially the “powerless defense” and the chapter on racism against Whites. I loved this book & will try to write a coherent review. What I have to say now is: PREORDER THIS.

Thanks to One World Books for the ARC
...more
Mara
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-owned, arc
Kendi brings the same strong moral vision to his memoir as he did to his powerful history of American racism, STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING. Though I would say I personally preferred his voice channeled in the historical non-fiction genre over the memoir/personal essay genre, this is still an incredibly resonant & coherent argument about why simply being "not racist" isn't a sufficient bar for Americans to clear. To be "not racist" is to be passive against (and therefore complicit in) racist polici ...more
Ryan Ebling
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How many times is Dr Kendi going to write a book that changes my life? So far, he's done it twice. This book has the potential to change the world. I am not exaggerating.
Bookaholic
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, faves
Monumental work!
The book of the century. 🌟
Wick Welker
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-favs
A deeply personal journey of trauma, hate, disease, education and clarity offering a powerful case to hope for antiracism.

Kendi takes your hand through his journey as a young black man growing up in Queens, going to an HBCU and the entire spectrum of despair, outrage, hate, denial and clarity that he experiences. He manages a masterful tone of indignation, understanding and hope for all people.

This is not a “how to” book as the title suggests. You will not walk away from this book with a bullet
...more
Emma
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The power of this book is that it is both intensely personal and consciously universal. It is part memoir, part social commentary, with hard-won and well-argued definitions of racist and anti-racist thought, action, and policy underpinning both threads. In positioning 'racist' and 'anti-racist' not as two diametrically opposed viewpoints, but as each end of a spectrum, and definitively rejecting the appeal to 'non-racist' neutrality, Kendi offers a framework by which each individual can and shou ...more
Antonella
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, non-fiction
Everyone should read this book!!

“The opposite of racist isn't 'not racist.' It is 'anti-racist.' What's the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in
...more
Carmel Hanes
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book offers an honest detailing of how Kendi's view of himself as a black man in America evolved over time, and how his understanding of racism morphed as he matured and experienced various influences in an environment that continues to display policies and institutional structures that are divisive and oppressive. The definitions and delineations he provides make important distinctions between policies that are driven by "segregationist", "assimilationist", or antiracist thought.

He posits
...more
rosalind
It happens for me in successive steps, these steps to be an antiracist.

I stop using the “I’m not a racist” or “I can’t be racist” defense of denial.

I admit the definition of racist (someone who is supporting racist policies or expressing racist ideas).

I confess the racist policies I support and racist ideas I express.

I accept their source (my upbringing inside a nation making us racist).

I acknowledge the definition of antiracist (someone who is supporting antiracist policies or expressing antira
...more
Becky
I first heard of Ibram X. Kendi in 2017 when I saw his book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, on Audible. The cover and subject matter definitely called to me, so I wishlisted it... and then promptly forgot about it. Or rather it got lost in the stacks. I have a bad habit of wishlisting anything at all I think looks interesting on Audible so that I can go check it out later, but as I tend to do that in clumps of books at a time (as this was, it was a ...more
Barbara
Kendi's thesis is grounded in his own life, his experiences, and his growing understandings. His ideas develop and change. He is guided in this not only by teachers, professors, and mentors, but peers. This aspect of his intellectual development was a departure from most stories of discovery. Kendi was a disengaged, passive student in high school. He only worked to get the minimum grades needed to play on the basketball team. He manages to do better at the end of his high school years and gets i ...more
Jessica
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“What’s the problem with being “not racist”? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: “I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.“ But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of “racist“ isn’t “not racist“. It is “anti-racist.’”

This is the type of book I wish was taught in school. How many people would actually admit to being racist? Most of the worst offenders deny it. As Kendi writes, “Denial is the heartbeat of racism”. Also, “The common idea of claim
...more
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“The opposite of racist isn't 'not racist.' It is 'anti-racist.' What's the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of 'not racist.” 78 likes
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