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About the book
  • Published: 15 August 2019
  • ISBN: 9781847925992
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.00

How To Be an Antiracist

A radical new way to think about racism and an inspiring treatise for what to do about it from the Winner of the National Book Award 2016 and founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center.

'Could hardly be more relevant ... it feels like a light switch being flicked on' OWEN JONES
Not being racist is not enough. We have to be antiracist.
In this rousing and deeply empathetic book, Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, shows that when it comes to racism, neutrality is not an option: until we become part of the solution, we can only be part of the problem.

Using his extraordinary gifts as a teacher and story-teller, Kendi helps us recognise that everyone is, at times, complicit in racism whether they realise it or not, and by describing with moving humility his own journey from racism to antiracism, he shows us how instead to be a force for good. Along the way, Kendi punctures all the myths and taboos that so often cloud our understanding, from arguments about what race is and whether racial differences exist to the complications that arise when race intersects with ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality.

In the process he demolishes the myth of the post-racial society and builds from the ground up a vital new understanding of racism – what it is, where it is hidden, how to identify it and what to do about it.

  • Pub date: 15 August 2019
  • ISBN: 9781847925992
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.00

About the Author

Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X. Kendi is Founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University in Washington, DC, where he is also Professor of History and International Relations. His previous book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, won the National Book Award 2016.

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Praise for How To Be an Antiracist

“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

“No less than a road map for social change through a remarkable, personal and deeply touching journey. If you take the business of fighting oppression seriously and want to make a difference, this is something you need to read”

Leslie Thomas, QC

“In this compelling call-to-action Kendi gives us the tools to make changes in our own lives and society at large. A must-read for anyone who wishes to be a force for good”

June Sarpong, author of Diversify

“How to Be an Antiracist could hardly be more relevant. At its core is a superficially simple idea that, somehow, when you read it, feels like a light switch being flicked on”

Owen Jones

“Well-written and enjoyable, realistic but brimming with hope. Kendi makes clear how we all must engage in the essential soul-searching to understand our own racism and the personal action required to become antiracist”

Lord Herman Ouseley, former Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality and of Kick It Out

“Shocking and provocative … he uses his personal story to make his arguments so skilfully that the book is both a memoir and a strident call to arms”

Irish Times

“So vital. 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

“This is no guidebook to getting woke. Rather, it is an extension of Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. 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 colour, navigate this difficult intellectual territory. Essential”

Kirkus (Starred Review)

“One of the US’s most respected scholars of race and history… Kendi’s argument is brilliantly simple … he rejects the idea that racism is born out of ignorance. Racism, history shows, is born out of its profitability and utility … His honesty … is one of the most powerful elements in this compelling book’ AFUA HIRSCH, Guardian”

Afua Hirsch, Guardian

“Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative… How To Be An Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society”

The Voice

“Transformative and unsettling… How to Be an Antiracist offers a way out from the tangled disingenuousness of mainstream narratives around racism… [and] encourages self-reflection on the compelling truth”

Colin Grant, Observer

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