How do you raise a human to be antiracist in a world full of racism? Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s new book “How to Raise an Antiracist” is a powerful place to start. The chapters follow the stages of child development, and Kendi’s intention is to both help parents raise antiracists, but also to create an antiracist world for their children to grow and thrive in. It will hit bookstore shelves on June 14 (publisher Open World).
Dr. Kendi will speak at 7:30 p.m. on June 23, at Town Hall Seattle. (Seattle’s Child is the media sponsor of this event.)
Part memoir, all parenting guide, Kendi’s newest book takes many thoughts and approaches outlined in the author’s bestselling 2019 book “How to be an Antiracist’’ as well as new insights gained from his own parenting journey and lays them out as a set of tools for parents and caregivers determined to end racism in the next generation. The book offers an antiracist action plan for raising kids who understand and refuse to perpetuate the institutions, systems and policies that preserve and advance racism.
One of the key tools? Talking to kids about race.
Far more than undoing racism, Kendi stresses that teaching kids to be “colorblind” leads to their denying it exists. As he has said in other forums, Kendi believes denial is the heartbeat of racism. He advises caregivers to listen to children’s feelings about race without judgment or hostility — and to use questions that engage critical thinking in frequent discussions about race. For example, a caregiver might ask “Why do you think there are so few people of color in this neighborhood?” Such discussions, Kendi suggests, should start in early childhood.
In each chapter Kendi tackles a different aspect of racism, offering his own experiences from childhood to parenthood as illustration. He goes on to reframe those experiences to support a groundwork for change laid out in previous works:
“Racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” Kendi has written. “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.”
Dr. Kendi teaches at Boston University and is the founding director of the university’s Center for Antiracist Research. He’s the author of several highly acclaimed books including the National Book Award-winning “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” “How to Be an Antiracist,” “Antiracist Baby” (a board book), and “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” co-authored by Jason Reynolds.
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi: “How to Raise an Antiracist”
June 23, 7:30 pm in the Great Hall at Town Hall Seattle.
Tickets go on sale on April 28
Sponsored by Seattle’s Child
Published May 5, 2022