Tuesday, April 13, 2021

#BookReview of How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi #atozchallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter K

The Operation Awesome theme for the #atozchallenge 2021 is book reviews (even though we're a blog about the publication journey, not a book review blog-- the team loves to read!). I've selected books that I have been itching to read that corresponded with the letter.


This book is an excellent choice for everyone who is learning more about racism and how to be antiracist. Kendi shared his background, facts, and definitions throughout the book. I appreciate the conversational and supported approach. The definitions that Kendi provided further illustrate the facts and narratives. I found the quotes and facts profound and eloquently stated. Words matter when describing racism. The key term is that the opposite of “racist” is not “not racist,” but “antiracist” (p. 9). How can I as a white person promote antiracism in a conscious way with my cognitions, emotions, and behaviors from this day forward as I advocate and reduce my personal bias?

I would recommend this book for everyone who wants to learn more about racism and how to be antiracist. I will caution that some of the material may be difficult, especially if this is the first time facing discussion of race. As a white woman, I am eager to continue my cultural humility journey and do the work of educating myself as I work toward how I can be more antiracist and dissolve my biases. The book is an excellent starting point for the antiracist journey.

The theme is captured by the following sentences: “racist ideas make people of color think less of themselves, which makes them more vulnerable to racist ideas. Racist ideas make White people think more of themselves, which further attracts them to racist ideas” (p. 6).

Overall the book was easy to read and informative. I appreciated learning about racism, antiracism, and my own biases. I look forward to rereading this book and reading more of Kendi’s work as I continue to learn and grow. 

#AtoZChallenge 2021 badge



 Also on my reading list is Stamped from the Beginning and Four Hundred Souls.


How are you approaching antiracism? What resources have you found helpful?



  1. I can't claim to be without racism. I don't think anyone who is really honest with themselves can since we all have some biases. Even if they are small, they are not insignificant.

    After all of the unrest in the last year, I have finally realized that I had defended racist policies for decades. Stuff that just seemed like common sense stuff was broken down for me to see that it was the result of centuries of systemic racism. From the way voting works, tax laws, real estate clauses, school dress codes and lots of other things.

    I called a black minister who I had gone to college with to apologize for anything I may have ever said EVEN IN JEST. He told me he had never sensed a racist bone in my body, but I knew about some prejudices I had. There's been a lot to think about in the last year and the things you discussed are some of them.

    It is not enough anymore to just not be a racist. We have to actively stand against it. Otherwise, we are still part of the problem.

    I will be reading the book.

    Visiting from A to Z
    Blogging at Transformed Nonconformist

  2. Living and working in Hawaii offered me the opportunity to experience a very low level of racism over the years. There have been some incidents reported recently with the Covid crisis, though.

  3. I think it's really helpful that he changes the conversation from whether a person "is a racist" or not, to whether any given belief or behavior is racist or antiracist. Because labelling people is never helpful, but looking at what's going on with certain behaviors and structures is helpful.
    Black and White: M for Middle-earth


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