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Hardcover How to Be an Antiracist Book

ISBN: 0525509283

ISBN13: 9780525509288

How to Be an Antiracist

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

#1 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 (Editors' Choice) ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR--The New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, The Washington Post, Shelf...

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

A Sincere Narrative, A Narrow Solution

There is much to admire in Kendi's book. The authority of his narrative is that it’s unquestionably sincere. I was particularly struck by his narrative of his third-grade teacher. I had a similar experience. I attended a Catholic school in the third grade in the early 1960’s. I was a new student that year. My teacher was a nun (I can't remember her name either) but she was mean and intimidated her students. Kendi's narrative about the way his teacher responded to students who raised their hands to be called on brought back my entire third grade experience. My teacher would only call on the girls in the class. Naturally, most of the boys stopped raising their hands. A couple of the boys kept offering their hand either out of belligerence or ignorance of what the rest of us accepted as futile. Eventually, even these boys stopped raising their hands. Soon, our teacher would berate the boys, shaming them by pointing out that only the girls were participating in class. We didn’t dare state the obvious. You would think that we’d assume that she favored the boys over the girls accept that she was equally cruel and intimidating to the girls in all other aspects. But she would only hit the boys. There were a few spirited boys who tended to get the brunt of her ire. Being one of the quiet students, I felt immune to any physical correction. Until one day. We were going to the cafeteria in a single line like a regiment of soldiers as was expected. I was carrying my class folder and my lunch box. I accidentally dropped my folder. Knowing that it was forbidden to step out of line, I quickly got my folder and returned to my place. Suddenly, I saw stars and could smell my own blood. I wasn’t sure what happened at first but when I heard my teacher shout, “No stepping out of line!” I realized that she had hit me. On my way home that day, I gathered the courage to tell my parents what had happened. My mother was shocked and outraged. When my dad got home, she tearfully recounted what I told her. They questioned me further about the event and, to my horror, they calmly concluded that there was nothing that they could do about it. At that point, I realized that no one could protect me. I continued to attend Catholic schools throughout my education and that traumatic childhood experience affected my perceptions from that time further. If I were a young man, say the same age as Kendi, reading of his experience with his third-grade teacher would have prompted me to ask, “Where do I take my grievance?” If we accept the premise that we are simply a product of our group, then perhaps the trauma caused by my childhood experience should fall to the feet of nuns. If the problem is systemic, maybe it would be better to hold the Catholic Church accountable for creating an environment where such a teacher could terrorize children and intimidate parents. Or was this a manifestation of a larger narrative? One that places the ultimate responsibility with a system that exerts power over the more vulnerable members of society. As a much older man I realize that my problem was a human problem, not systemic. It’s more complex than can be attributed to any group or system of government. It’s understandable that the younger version of me would want to simplify the problem and blame it on a grand social scheme. But the older me realizes that such an approach doesn’t simplify the problem, it simply creates an abstract, unaccountable villain. For as much as we are assured that social problems don’t reside in individuals but in systems of government, I’m convinced that there are any number of complex individual human dynamics that led to that early childhood experience and how it affected my level of confidence and trust in relationships. I know that racism is a problem in American culture and that its roots are historical. But our culture’s problems are much more complex, and the focus is much more complicated than blaming a faceless system will address. I


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How to Be an Antiracist Mentions in Our Blog

How to Be an Antiracist in The New Classics of Black History
The New Classics of Black History
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • February 19, 2021

Recent events have shone a light on the inequality and violence threatening Black Americans. In response, many of us are looking for ways to educate ourselves and effect change. This has led to an explosion of galvanizing new content around Black history and culture. Here we spotlight some of the prominent voices that have emerged over the last few years.  

How to Be an Antiracist in Raising Antiracist Kids: 12 Books for Children and Teens that Address Racial Inequities
Raising Antiracist Kids: 12 Books for Children and Teens that Address Racial Inequities
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • June 07, 2020

As the U.S. grapples with nationwide unrest following the death of yet another black man in police custody, lots of the kids in our lives are asking tough questions. Here are twelve books that can help young readers understand the reasons behind the anger and the need for activism.

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