How to be an Antiracist skillfully weaves together the author's life story with the history of antiracism and his personal views on the subject. As I went through it, I learned, I understood, I was shocked, I felt challenged, I agreed, and I disagreed, too. For example, it seems debatable to me that capitalism could not have happened without slavery. On the other hand, a central premise of the book, that you are either racist or antiracist is put forward in a way that pushes the reader to revisit how we deal with race in our daily business, and to come back better prepared after a good deal of soul-searching. I would argue that most of us will come out of it wiser, whatever our views are on race in the US and the world: more understanding, more educated, more aware, more willing to act. And more able to join forces to build a better tomorrow for all. That's a lot to take away from any book.
— Jordi Martin-Consuegra, Chief Administrative Officer and Deputy CEO, Hudson
#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 Awareness, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews
Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.
About the Author
Dr. Ibram X. Kendiis the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. He is the host of the new action podcast Be Antiracist. Dr. Kendi is the author of many highly acclaimed books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest-ever winner of that award. He has also produced five straight #1 New York Times bestsellers, including How to Be an Antiracist, Antiracist Baby, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored by Jason Reynolds. In 2020, Time magazine named Dr. Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He was awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the Genius Grant.
“What do you do after you have written Stamped From the Beginning, an award-winning history of racist ideas? . . . If you’re Ibram X. Kendi, you craft another stunner of a book. . . . 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.”—The New York Times
“How to Be an Antiracist couldn’t come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author’s own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, ‘the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.’”—NPR
“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.”—Time
“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
“Ibram Kendi’s work, through both his books and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center, is vital in today’s sociopolitical climate. As a society, we need to start treating antiracism as action, not emotion—and Kendi is helping us do that.”—Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race
“Ibram Kendi uses his own life journey to show us why becoming an antiracist is as essential as it is difficult. Equal parts memoir, history, and social commentary, this book is honest, brave, and most of all liberating.”—James Forman, Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Locking Up Our Own
“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)
“A combination of memoir and extension of [Kendi’s] towering Stamped from the Beginning . . . Never wavering . . . Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth. . . . This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory. . . . Essential.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“In this sharp blend of social commentary and memoir . . . Kendi is ready to spread his message, his stories serving as a springboard for potent explorations of race, gender, colorism, and more. . . . With Stamped From the Beginning, Kendi proved himself a first-rate historian. Here, his willingness to turn the lens on himself marks him as a courageous activist, leading the way to a more equitable society.”—Library Journal(starred review)