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Featured by Oprah’s Book Club on the Anti-Racist Books for Young Adults list curated by best-selling author Jacqueline Woodson
A USA TODAY Bestseller
Recommended by ESSENCE, We Need Diverse Books, ellentube, Brit + Co, PureWow, Teen Vogue, Time magazine, and New York magazine
“…a clear guidebook for how to stop racism in our own hearts and minds.” —TODAY.com
Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.
“In a racist society, it’s not enough to be non-racist—we must be ANTI-RACIST.” —Angela Davis
Gain a deeper understanding of your anti-racist self as you progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing, and give you the courage and power to undo it. Each chapter builds on the previous one as you learn more about yourself and racial oppression. 20 activities get you thinking and help you grow with the knowledge. All you need is a pen and paper.
Author Tiffany Jewell, an anti-bias, anti-racist educator and activist, builds solidarity beginning with the language she chooses—using gender neutral words to honor everyone who reads the book. Illustrator Aurélia Durand brings the stories and characters to life with kaleidoscopic vibrancy.
After examining the concepts of social identity, race, ethnicity, and racism, learn about some of the ways people of different races have been oppressed, from indigenous Americans and Australians being sent to boarding school to be “civilized” to a generation of Caribbean immigrants once welcomed to the UK being threatened with deportation by strict immigration laws.
Find hope in stories of strength, love, joy, and revolution that are part of our history, too, with such figures as the former slave Toussaint Louverture, who led a rebellion against white planters that eventually led to Haiti’s independence, and Yuri Kochiyama, who, after spending time in an internment camp for Japanese Americans during WWII, dedicated her life to supporting political prisoners and advocating reparations for those wrongfully interned.
Learn language and phrases to interrupt and disrupt racism. So, when you hear a microaggression or racial slur, you’ll know how to act next time.
This book is written for EVERYONE who lives in this racialized society—including the young person who doesn’t know how to speak up to the racist adults in their life, the kid who has lost themself at times trying to fit into the dominant culture, the children who have been harmed (physically and emotionally) because no one stood up for them or they couldn’t stand up for themselves, and also for their families, teachers, and administrators.
With this book, be empowered to actively defy racism and xenophobia to create a community (large and small) that truly honors everyone.
From the Publisher
This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 lessons on how to wake up, take action, and do the work
WAKING UP: UNDERSTANDING AND GROWING INTO MY IDENTITIES
You are the only you there is. There’s so much that makes you who you are. Your identity is what makes you, YOU: it’s all the parts that make you unique.
OPENING THE WINDOW: MAKING SENSE OF THE WORLD
My history begins before me. It begins before the stories I know and the ones I long to know. My history begins hundreds and hundreds of years ago… and so does yours.
CHOOSING MY PATH: TAKING ACTION AND RESPONDING TO RACISM
When you are silent absolutely nothing changes. You are reinforcing the dominant culture. You are allowing racism to continue on. You not saying anything also tells others you are complicit (okay) with the status quo (how things are.) Being aware isn’t enough. You must take action. You can do this in many different ways.
HOLDING THE DOOR OPEN: WORKING IN SOLIDARITY AGAINST RACISM
But how do you go forth? How can you work in solidarity with others? When we bring our whole selves to the table we’re bringing our different social identities, our oppression, our agency, our superiority and privilege, our experiences, and everything else that makes us who we are.
AND STILL, TODAY, EVERY DAY IT LOOKS DIFFERENT.
I am always working to understand who I am. What does it mean for me to be a light biracial Black cis female? Action takes the form of being aware and noticing injustice and checking stereotypes. It’s using my lens of anti-racism, figuring out what it is I’m seeing, and taking action.
Remaining silent is not okay. It is not an option. Black folx, Brown folx, Indigenous folx, and Folx of the Global Majority are being harmed, oppressed, and killed every day. If you are white, light (like me), or a non-Black Person of the Global Majority, use your privilege and your proximity (or closeness) to the center of the dominant culture box to fracture the very foundation of our racist society. If you keep doing this and continue to put more cracks and dents into the structure, you’ll shake it all up so it can crumble.
Activity: Let’s go back to the imaginary box.
In your notebook, draw a box. Inside of it write down the identities you hold that are a part of the dominant culture. On the outside of the box, write down your identities that are marginalized.
Those identities of yours that are inside the box are where you hold power. This is the privilege you can spend. Use the agency that comes with those identities to work in solidarity with folx who exist outside the box.
Those identities of yours that are outside the box are where you are marginalized. This is where you have been systematically oppressed. While you do not hold privilege and power here, you do have experience and knowledge.
Sharing this, if you are able to, can be powerful in building solidarity with folx who do have agency in their identities.
This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work