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How to Be an Antiracist

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  5,816 ratings  ·  1,083 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, 320 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by One World
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Jack Heller You may try Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I No Longer Talk to White People about Race, for a book addressed to British citizens specifically.
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…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:

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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 Kendis 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 racist ...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
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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 youve read Stamped from the Beginning (his previous book) you may find this one redundant or slightly more elementary. If you havent attempted Stamped because its intimidating this might be a ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
There is so much in Kendis 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 were 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."

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 youre 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
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 Jehovahs 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 Jehovahs 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
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 lifehis 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 ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I pre-ordered this book the day it was announced because I loved Kendis 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. Thats 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. ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want all of America to do a big book club with this book. Theres so much here and I want to write a full review of this books brilliance - Kendis straightforward definitions, his use of memoir and history. What surprised me the most is I wasnt 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
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves, 2019
Monumental work!
The book of the century. 🌟
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.
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
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 ...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
Tessy Consentino
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Should be required reading for everyone.
I learned so much about racism from this book. The author shows that racism is not just a single concept, but that it has many facets that are reflected in our society. What makes this a really powerful book is that the author himself uses his own life to show how he overcame different facets of racism himself. This open and honest dialogue makes it easier for readers to confront their own racist ideas in their struggle towards becoming antiracists. This book is both hopeful and realistic in its ...more
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Part memoir, part literature review, and part manifesto, this should be required reading for EVERYONE. Kendi dives deeply into the (shockingly short!) history of racism to explore the roots of racist policies and brutally self-reflect on the origins of his own racist ideas. A lot of this resonated with thoughts I've glimpsed at the recesses of my brain, but hearing Kendi's explicit definitions and explanations really helped me to concretize many truths about racism and racist policies in ...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 reader,
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 ...more
I thought I was a subpar student and was bombarded by messagesfrom Black people, White people, the mediathat told me that the reason was rooted in my racewhich made me more discouraged and less motivated as a studentwhich only further reinforced for me the racist idea that Black people just werent very studiouswhich made me feel even more despair or indifferenceand on it went. (p. 6)

What is racism? How can we remove it from our world? Our goal is not to become not racist but, as Ibram Kendi
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Five luminous 🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟stars! This is a bold book of reckoning. Kudos to Ibram Kendi for having the testicular fortitude to bring new ideas to the marketplace. Although antiracism isnt necessarily a brand new idea, Kendi has placed his indelible stamp on it and will now be forever linked to it with this very important book. One of the things that impress, and is helpful in discussion and debate are clear definitions. As he did in his previous work, Stamped From The Beginning he is laborious about ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, race
This is sort of a mix between memoir and race theory. Kendi uses the chronological progression of his own life (mostly, there are a few jumps back and forth) to describe and highlight the many pieces of racism in America. He proposes the theory of antiracism in opposition to racism as not only useful, but necessary for any systemic change.

Early on he notes: There is no such thing as a nonracist or a race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is
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
Quotes from unproofed arc:

"I do not use 'microagressions' anymore. I detest the post-racial platform that supported its sudden popularity. I detest its component parts--'micro' and 'aggression.' A persistent daily low hum of racist abuse is not minor. I use the term 'abuse' because aggression is not as exacting a term. Abuse accurately describes the action and its effects on people: distress, anger, worry, depression, anxiety, pain, fatigue, and suicide.
What other people call racial
Will Ejzak
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Essential for anyone living in the United States. Kendi presents a unified theory of tolerance (though that's probably the wrong word) that feels both obvious and revelatory.

The title is almost a misnomer. Kendi makes it clear that if you're exclusively antiracist, you're missing the point; because all forms of tolerance are deeply interrelated, you can't be antiracist without also being anticapitalist (and anti- all policies that reinforce or fail to address social inequalities centuries in
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I first heard Kendi on the WNYC show On the Media being interviewed by Brooke Gladstone. He blew my mind twice in ten minutes so I knew I had to pick up How to Be an Antiracist.

The core tenet is that there is no such thing as being "not racist". You either support and/or abide policies and actions that further racial inequities, as a racist, or you confront them, as an antiracist. Doing nothing, saying you're "not racist", only furthers the racist status quo.

Kendi breaks down a bunch of big
Beth M.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Im not sure where to even begin with this one and whatever I write will surely not do justice to the complexity of ideas presented here, so please just bear with me. Ive spent the last month or so slowly working my way through this book. Reading and re-reading sentences to wrap my brain around them. Highlighting passages again and again. There is so much to absorb!

In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi presents a chronological journey through his own personal life experiences combined with an
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have confidence that this book, when finally born into the world, is going to grow into a movement that will do incredible things.

I'm a white woman. I'd like to think that I'm "not a racist". The problem is that I don't know what I don't know. This book was carefully crafted to include copious amounts of research and data, while also vulnerably and transparently sharing the author's own journey through racism.

Through the course of this book, I've learned that being "not a racist" is not
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It took me a very long time to read this b/c it made me challenge so many of my own thoughts and frameworks. From the onset, the way he framed racism and antiracism changed my view completely. The list of works cited included at the end of the book is an incredible resource.
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25 likes · 19 comments
“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.” 26 likes
“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.” 12 likes
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