How to be an antiracist

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"How To Be An Antiracist, the follow up book to Stamped from the Beginning, details Kendi’s own personal grappling with racism and gives advice on how to eliminate it.

The main lesson that Kendi argues from this book of self-criticism is that to be an anti-racist, you must set yourself against all forms of social injustice. This book serves as a journal of Kendi’s efforts to free himself of the ideological traps set up by a society dominated with white supremacism, and the repression of unconventional sexuality. Kendi displays independence as he is unafraid to say things likely to the upset many of his potential followers. He is uncompromising in his stance that everyone is accountable for social injustice when he attacks the idea that black people cannot appropriately be deemed to be racist because they supposedly lack the power to stop their own prejudices. Noting the presence of black people occupying posts of substantial authority, Kendi writes that “Black people can be racist because Black people do have power, even if limited.” This is a central point to him because a key theme of his book is that all people can and do play a role in struggles around social justice. Everyone is accountable. And he maintains that just as anyone can be racist, so too, can anyone be anti-racist.

Kendi first brought to our attention a fresh perspective on our unintentionally racist ideas. Now, in this book, he asserts that neutrality is a myth and provides exercises and examples of various forms of racism (Bodily Racism, Cultural Racism, Intersectional Racism, ect…). By providing key ideas and exercises on how to become an antiracist, Kendi provides a deep and well thought out plan to help the reader reflect on what it means to have racist ideas, and how to address them."

-Dylan Dyer, CBC Graduate Student