How to be an Antiracist


How to be an Antiracist Image credit: Front cover of How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi.

The book

“How to be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendo is a book which explores the issue of racism in society and how people can actively endeavour to eliminate it. Kendi argues that simply being or declaring that one is “not racist" is not enough; everyone in society must actively strive and work towards being antiracist and conscious and purposefully fight against racism, injustice, and inequality in all its forms, in order to dismantle it. In the book, readers are taken through Kendi's own personal journey to becoming an antiracist, plus are guided through the various societal and historical factors that contribute to racism. He delves into different types of racism, including cultural, systemic, and individual, and explores how they are all inextricably linked and reinforced. As the book progresses, Kendi sets out a number of actionable steps that individuals can take to become antiracist, including recognising and facing one's own biases, discovering the experiences and important perspectives of marginalized communities, and actively speaking out against racist policies and practices.

The book is structured into different themes including, "class", "space", "gender", “dueling consciousness", "power", "biology", "ethnicity", "culture", "behavior", "color", "body", "white", "black", and "sexuality". He also transposes his concept of racism and how it evolved onto his own life experiences, over four decades, giving insight into recollections of his days and experiences as a child, a young adult, a student, and a professor. He was touching on classes he taught, how his world was shaped, and bringing in contemporary events such as the O.J Simpson criminal case, the 2000 presidential election, and historical and ongoing racial segregation in the United States. He further explores aspects of racism like colorism and scientific racism and how these intersect with other factors like class, gender, and sexuality. He argues that racism is embedded in both capitalism and the patriarchy.

“How to be an Antiracist” sets out a compelling argument for the importance of actively working towards a more just and equitable society and provides practical guidance for individuals seeking to become antiracist in their own lives and translating this to the wider community.

Where to buy

The Author

Ibram X. Kendi is a scholar in the field of race and discrimination. He was born on August 13, 1982, in Queens, New York, to parents who were both educators. Kendi was then raised in Manassas, Virginia, where he was a student at Stonewall Jackson High School. After high school, he went on to study journalism at Florida A&M University and gained a graduate degree in African American Studies from Temple University.

Kendi then began a career as a journalist, writing articles for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including The Virginian-Pilot and Black Enterprise. He also worked as a freelance writer and editor, contributing to publications such as Salon and The New York Times. However, his interest in race and discrimination led him to change tack and to pursue a career as an academic. If any student asked for "write my paper" help on racist ideas in America, Kendi suggested them to conduct an extensive research and analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Kendi is a current professor of history and international relations at Boston University, where he is also the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He has authored several books on race and discrimination, including "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" and "How to Be an Antiracist."

In 2016, “Stamped from the Beginning" won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In this book, Kendi traces the history of racist ideas in America, from the colonial era to the present day.

Kendi has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Fellowship. He has also been named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people and was included in Fortune's 40 under 40 list. In addition to his writing and academic work, Kendi is also a frequent public speaker, addressing topics related to race and discrimination at conferences and other events around the world. He inspired many students all over the world to learn from his insights and methods. Some of them even used paper writing services to get a professional assistance with threir research papers on discrimination.

How to be an Antiracist made it onto numerous 'Best Books of 2019' lists including The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Amazon, Time, Washington Post, NPR, Shelf Awareness, Electric Literature, The Root, Library Journal, New York Public Library, Boston Globe, The Root, Entropy, and Kirkus.

Praise for How to be an Antiracist

"A boldly articulated, historically informed explanation of what exactly racist ideas and thinking are... [Kendi's] prose is thoughtful, sincere, and polished. This powerful book will spark many conversations."

- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he's just as hard on himself... This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory. Not an easy read but an essential one."

- Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"What emerges from these insights is the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind, a confessional of self-examination that may, in fact, be our best chance to free ourselves from our national nightmare."

- Jeffrey C. Stewart, National Book Award and Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The New Negro (review in The New York Times)

"Ibram Kendi is today's visionary in the enduring struggle for racial justice. In this personal and revelatory new work, he yet again holds up a transformative lens, challenging both mainstream and antiracist orthodoxy. He illuminates the foundations of racism in revolutionary new ways, and I am consistently challenged and inspired by his analysis. How to Be an Antiracist offers us a necessary and critical way forward."

- Robin DiAngelo, New York Times bestselling author of White Fragility

"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."