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How to Be a (Young) Antiracist

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Hardcover
$19.99 US
On sale Jan 31, 2023 | 208 Pages | 978-0-593-46160-0
Age 12 and up | Grade 7 & Up
Reading Level: Lexile 1120L
The #1 New York Times bestseller that sparked international dialogue is now a book for young adults! Based on the adult bestseller by Ibram X. Kendi, and co-authored by bestselling author Nic Stone, How to be a (Young) Antiracist will serve as a guide for teens seeking a way forward in acknowledging, identifying, and dismantling racism and injustice.

The New York Times bestseller How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi is shaping the way a generation thinks about race and racism. How to be a (Young) Antiracist is a dynamic reframing of the concepts shared in the adult book, with young adulthood front and center. Aimed at readers 12 and up, and co-authored by award-winning children's book author Nic Stone, How to be a (Young) Antiracist empowers teen readers to help create a more just society. Antiracism is a journey--and now young adults will have a map to carve their own path. Kendi and Stone have revised this work to provide anecdotes and data that speaks directly to the experiences and concerns of younger readers, encouraging them to think critically and build a more equitable world in doing so.
A Brief Word before We Begin . . .
As I’m sure you’ve deduced from that whole “Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestsellerHow to Be an Antiracist” statement on the cover, this book is . . . inspired by the #1New York Times bestseller How to Be an Antiracist, the paradigm-shifting memoir written by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.
And the inspired by is very important. Because this book is structured differently than its source of inspiration. Hence me, your beloved narrator, Nic Stone, including thispre-intro as a bit of a road map for the nonlinear journey you’re about to take through Dr. Kendi’s life.
Said journey is broken up into three parts (or acts, if we want to get all narratively fancy with it):
INSIDE: Facing Yourself
The concepts covered here—definitions, dueling consciousness, power, biology, behavior, Black, and White—are all about turning inward and are focused on examining the paradigms, aka foundational thoughts and ideas, that form our views of ourselves and other people.
OUTSIDE: Facing the World
Once we’ve done some self-examination and rejiggering, it’ll be time to turn outward and take a microscopic-level look into the ways that racism permeates the world we live in and intersects with other forms of people being awful to each other. We’re talking color, ethnicity, body, gender, orientation, class, culture, and space.
UPSIDE DOWN: Flipping the World Over
This is where we get about that action, boss. We’re moving from failure to success and digging into whatI—Nic—call the Four C’s of Changemaking: cogency, compassion, creativity, and collaboration. We’ll also make sure we have a solid grip on the power of pushing forward in spite of obstacles. And I know that a lot of you readers feel like you’re ready to get out there and tear down the vile walls of racism, so, like, why not just jump to this section first, right?
Well, you could, obviously . . .
But in my humble opinion, it would behoove you to read the other two sections first.
Because as you, dear reader, will come to discover, being antiracist is more than a quick and easy decision you make. (And you don’t have to make it right now, by the way. Do yourself—and the world—a favor by reading the book first.)
Being antiracist is . . . Well, I won’t spoil it.
Just buckle up and get ready for the ride.


BEGINNING IN THE MIDDLE: Your (Racist) Introduction
The year is 2000, and you, Ibram X. Kendi, are seventeen years old.
You hate wearing suits. And ties.
Hate it.
Today, though, you’re in a suit and tie—black button-down, black slacks, golden-brown blazer, slick boots the color of the half-and-half you’ve seen adults pour into coffee, and the brightest, boldest tie you could find. You’re also standing somewhere you never expected to be, about to do something you never expected to do.
It’s your senior year of high school, and you’re mere months from graduation. Gettingthere felt like a hard-fought battle with one arm tied behind your back. So beinghere? In this chapel with upward of three thousand people seated in rows that curve around the long, arched pulpit, all waiting to hear what YOU have to say? Flanked by two other Black high schoolers also dressed to the nines and waiting for their turns at the mic?
Yeah, this feels real good.
It’s the perfect cap to a series of events that turned your world—both outer and inner, your sense of yourself and your capabilities—completely upside down. True, your competitors in the final round of the Prince William County Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest are a lot (book) smarter than you are. They certainly get better grades than the ones that make up your sub-3.0 GPA. And their SAT scores are hundreds of points higher than yours. You barely cracked 1000 . . .
But you are here, just like they are.
You won your high school oratorical competition, as you presume they did. You moved on to a countywide round, which they did as well. You were voted “best before the judge,” which is how you wound up right here beside them on this makeshift stage.
And the best part: Just like them, you’re headed to college.
Now, this might not sound like a huge deal—obviously, you’re eventually going to college, right? Your parents both went, and from what you’ve heard, that’s what all smart people do after graduating from high school. No-brainer.
The truth is, though, for a while you didn’t feel very smart. You’d dropped out of your IB English class because you couldn’t get your head around Shakespeare.There’s no way I’m smart enough for a university, you thought.
But being on this stage isn’t the first time you’ve been proven wrong about yourself. And as you’ll soon come to discover, the fiery speech you’re about to give is only the beginning.
The whole college thing had come as a huge surprise: A few weeks prior, you’d been minding your basketball business, running layup lines during a typical pre–home game warm-up session. Catch the pass, dribble forward, then gently leap and let the ball roll off your fingertips. Run to the opposite line and repeat.
But then the gym door opened, and in strode your dear ol’ dad. Six-foot-three and two hundred pounds. Waltzed right onto the court, long arms waving to get your attention.
Your gut reaction: wide-eyed, breath-stopping embarrassment. As much as you love your pops, his blasé-blah attitude toward what you’ll eventually come to call the “White judge”—a personified name for the overwhelming sense that power-bearing White people are evaluating your every move . . . something Dad couldn’t care less about—really got under your skin back then. Prevent his true feelings from showing on his face? Nope. Keep his voice down? No way. Avoid making any sort of scene? Forget about it.
It scared you to have an African American father who lived by his own rules. It was the precise type of attitude that might’ve gotten him lynched in the past or shot down by a vigilante civilian or law enforcement official now.
But at any rate, there he was. So you jogged over to meet him.
He looked really geeked. Which was weird.
When you reached him, he handed you an envelope. Told you to open it. Like . . . right then and there at the half-court line before a game. Witheverybody watching. Including all the White people.
Of course, you complied.
It was an acceptance letter from Hampton University, one of the two colleges you’d applied to for the sole purpose of being able to say you’d tried.
That acceptance letter flipped your worldview on its head. Despite the test scores and report cards, you were smart enough to go to college after all. The other school you applied to, Florida A&M University, is the one you’ll wind up attending, so you clearly got in there too (though you don’t know that yet).
Standing on that court in front of your dad, a number of faulty ideas faded from your mind. So did your sense of what you would later come to know as the “White gaze.” With that letter in your hand, the stuff you believed about “intelligence” being proven by grades and test scores? It lost a bit of its validity.
Granted, you’ve still got a lot of ideas to unlearn and replace. You’re not yet a reader, but you will be soon. And eventually, you’ll look back and see a number of things through a cleaner lens.
But this moment on the basketball court is one you won’t forget. It’s the moment you awaken to the idea of something . . . more.
Now back to the MLK oratorical contest. You’re up first.
And before you begin, you should know: You’ll come to recall the “speech” you’re about to give with . . . theopposite of pride.
For now, though, you’re fired up. Ready to roll. Primed and pumped to share whatyou think is an updated version of Dr. King’s dream.
So you take your place, and you begin.
“What would be Dr. King’s message for the millennium?
“Let’s visualize an angry seventy-one-year-old Dr. King . . .”
[It was joyous, our emancipation from enslavement . . . But . . .]
“Now, one hundred thirty-five years later, the Negro is still not free . . .
“Our youth’s minds are still in captivity!
“They* think it’s okay to be those who are most feared in our society!
“They think it’s okay not to think!
“They think it’s okay to climb the high tree of pregnancy!
“They think it’s okay to confine their dreams to sports and music!”

*They as in Black youth.

(Applause, applause, and more applause.)
“Their minds are being held captive, and our adults’ minds are right there beside them.
“Because they somehow think that the cultural revolution that began on the day of my dream’s birth is over.
“How can it be over when many times we are unsuccessful because we lack intestinal fortitude?”
(Everybody claps.)
“How can it be over when our kids leave their houses not knowing how to make themselves, only knowing how to not make themselves?”
(Everybody claps.)
“How can it be over if all of this is happening in our community?”
And then . . . with everyone at the edge of their seats, hanging on your every word, you drop your voice for the finale:
“So I say to you, my friends, that even though this cultural revolution may never be over,
“I still have a dream . . .”
And the crowd goes wild.
A crowd full of African American adults. (You’re in a Black church, after all.)
Validation.
But the thing is . . . you’re wrong. And everyone who agreed with you by way of applause is also wrong.
It’ll take you some time to realize that your words aren’t as virtuous as the resounding applause has made you believe they are. Eventually, you realize that it’ll take more than a surprise pair of college admission letters and a spot in the finals of an oratorical contest to shift your sense of yourself and other Black people.
In this moment, though, with the approval of Black men, women, and children ringing in your ears, you don’t realize it . . .
But everything you said is racist.
Later, you’ll wonder: Was it your poor sense of yourself that generated your poor sense of your people? Or was it your poor sense of your people that fueled your poor sense of yourself?
Both were evident in that speech.
For instance . . .
You mentioned our youth’s minds being “in captivity” . . . but what exactly are they in captivity to?
You mentioned Black youth’s okay-ness with being feared . . . but is that their fault alone?
Your mentioned Black youth being cool with not thinking . . . which is little more than a remix of the old adage that Black kids don’t value education as much as their non-Black counterparts. But is that actually true?
Number three is particularly insidious—a word you’ll come to use that basically means EVIL in a dastardly villain–type of way. Because it hasn’t occurred to you that evenyou had fallen prey to the precise thing you were shouting down. Remember your shock at getting into not one, buttwo colleges? Said shock came from your belief that you were a lousy student. Thing is, that mess you spouted came frommessages—from Black people, White people, and the media—that told you the lousiness was rooted in your race. That (naturally) put a damper on your motivation to put forth more effort, which then re­inforced number three up there: Black people just aren’t very studious.
On and on the cycle went because you’d bought that racist idea hook, line, and sinker. To the point where you were primed and ready to preach it—and the others—to a crowd full of Black people on MLK Day in the form of a revised “I Have a Dream” speech.
That’s the thing about racist ideas: They make people of color think less of themselves . . . which makes them more vulnerable to racist ideas (these areinternalized racist ideas, but we’ll get to that later). And then on the flip side, the same racist ideas make White people thinkmore of themselves, which further attracts them to racist ideas. And all of this tends to happen inside of people without anyone realizing it. Yourself included.
Because that’s the goal of that dastardly villain, Racist Ideology: It manipulates us into thinkingpeople—and therefore people groups—are the problem instead of the policies that perpetuate the racial inequities.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
What you need to know before we jump back in time to the beginning of your story:
Racism is real and dastardly villainous, and denial is what keeps its ugly heart beating.
Racist is more an adjective than a noun, and it’s not an insult; anyone whotakes it as an insult or tries to use it as one likely doesn’t know what the word actually means.
Not racist is not a thing in the fight for a more equitable world; there isracist and there is antiracist.
Color-blind as applied to race is also not a thing; it, likenot racist, is a part of the denial that keeps lifeblood pumping through that ugly and insidious heart ofracism.
At this point in your life, you are racist most of the time. Yes, you read that right. You, IXK, a youngBlack man, currently subscribe to a lot of racist ideas.
But you won’t forever. And that’s what this book is about: the journey to being fully human and to seeing others as fully human.
And you will come to see the movement from racist to antiracist as always ongoing—requiring understanding and snubbing racism based on flawed ideas about biology, ethnicity, body, culture, behavior, color, space, and class—because antiracism also involves standing ready to fight at racism’s intersections with other forms of prejudice and bigotry.
It’s time to learn what it truly means to be ANTIRACIST.
Praise for How to Be a (Young) Antiracist By Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone:

2024 Bank Street Best Children’s Books


★"Heartbreaking, soaring, fulfilling, a deep-dive, this should be canon in high school classrooms and reprinted in pocket-size format for carrying around." –School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

★"This important book is sure to inspire in those who do listen, investigate, and reflect on “that dastardly villain racism,”much welcome discussion and debate both in and out of the classroom. It’s essential reading." –Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"...a notably effective adaptation. Successfully broadens the reach of the original to a younger audience." —Kirkus Reviews

"...an incredibly accessible read geared to teens... guided by Stone's energetic narration; kids will definitely see themselves in his [Kendi's] journey." — The Boston Globe

"The young person's version gives teens the tools they need to create a more just society and encourages them to undo some of the damage created by generations before them." — The Root

"Attention to gender, sexuality, class, and honest self-critique makes for an ambitiously inclusive addition to a growing booklist of youth-oriented racial equity work, but the concluding four c’s of changemaking—cogency, compassion, creativity, collaboration—are on full display here in a standout text." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"[A] book that illuminate[s] how each of us are gradually drafted into the thinking, the lies and distorted truths which can render a person unable or at least unwilling to challenge the systems and practices which masquerade as normal, as functional and fair. In reality, many of those systems drive and sustain vast inequality along with pervasive belief in group inferiority or superiority. [A] book that seems to want to equip young people living now, in the midst of surround-sound injustice, open and almost gleeful bigotry – in public and in private – with the language and the skills to recognize they too have been drafted. Then it calls on them to decide if, where, and how they will revolt against that system." —Time Magazine

A Brightly Best YA Books of 2023
#2 NY Times Bestseller List
#7 Indie Bestseller
© Janice Checchio
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is 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. View titles by Ibram X. Kendi
© Nic Stone
Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. You can find her on her website: nicstone.info. View titles by Nic Stone

Educator Guide for How to Be a (Young) Antiracist

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Discussion Guide for How to Be a (Young) Antiracist

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

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About

The #1 New York Times bestseller that sparked international dialogue is now a book for young adults! Based on the adult bestseller by Ibram X. Kendi, and co-authored by bestselling author Nic Stone, How to be a (Young) Antiracist will serve as a guide for teens seeking a way forward in acknowledging, identifying, and dismantling racism and injustice.

The New York Times bestseller How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi is shaping the way a generation thinks about race and racism. How to be a (Young) Antiracist is a dynamic reframing of the concepts shared in the adult book, with young adulthood front and center. Aimed at readers 12 and up, and co-authored by award-winning children's book author Nic Stone, How to be a (Young) Antiracist empowers teen readers to help create a more just society. Antiracism is a journey--and now young adults will have a map to carve their own path. Kendi and Stone have revised this work to provide anecdotes and data that speaks directly to the experiences and concerns of younger readers, encouraging them to think critically and build a more equitable world in doing so.

Excerpt

A Brief Word before We Begin . . .
As I’m sure you’ve deduced from that whole “Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestsellerHow to Be an Antiracist” statement on the cover, this book is . . . inspired by the #1New York Times bestseller How to Be an Antiracist, the paradigm-shifting memoir written by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.
And the inspired by is very important. Because this book is structured differently than its source of inspiration. Hence me, your beloved narrator, Nic Stone, including thispre-intro as a bit of a road map for the nonlinear journey you’re about to take through Dr. Kendi’s life.
Said journey is broken up into three parts (or acts, if we want to get all narratively fancy with it):
INSIDE: Facing Yourself
The concepts covered here—definitions, dueling consciousness, power, biology, behavior, Black, and White—are all about turning inward and are focused on examining the paradigms, aka foundational thoughts and ideas, that form our views of ourselves and other people.
OUTSIDE: Facing the World
Once we’ve done some self-examination and rejiggering, it’ll be time to turn outward and take a microscopic-level look into the ways that racism permeates the world we live in and intersects with other forms of people being awful to each other. We’re talking color, ethnicity, body, gender, orientation, class, culture, and space.
UPSIDE DOWN: Flipping the World Over
This is where we get about that action, boss. We’re moving from failure to success and digging into whatI—Nic—call the Four C’s of Changemaking: cogency, compassion, creativity, and collaboration. We’ll also make sure we have a solid grip on the power of pushing forward in spite of obstacles. And I know that a lot of you readers feel like you’re ready to get out there and tear down the vile walls of racism, so, like, why not just jump to this section first, right?
Well, you could, obviously . . .
But in my humble opinion, it would behoove you to read the other two sections first.
Because as you, dear reader, will come to discover, being antiracist is more than a quick and easy decision you make. (And you don’t have to make it right now, by the way. Do yourself—and the world—a favor by reading the book first.)
Being antiracist is . . . Well, I won’t spoil it.
Just buckle up and get ready for the ride.


BEGINNING IN THE MIDDLE: Your (Racist) Introduction
The year is 2000, and you, Ibram X. Kendi, are seventeen years old.
You hate wearing suits. And ties.
Hate it.
Today, though, you’re in a suit and tie—black button-down, black slacks, golden-brown blazer, slick boots the color of the half-and-half you’ve seen adults pour into coffee, and the brightest, boldest tie you could find. You’re also standing somewhere you never expected to be, about to do something you never expected to do.
It’s your senior year of high school, and you’re mere months from graduation. Gettingthere felt like a hard-fought battle with one arm tied behind your back. So beinghere? In this chapel with upward of three thousand people seated in rows that curve around the long, arched pulpit, all waiting to hear what YOU have to say? Flanked by two other Black high schoolers also dressed to the nines and waiting for their turns at the mic?
Yeah, this feels real good.
It’s the perfect cap to a series of events that turned your world—both outer and inner, your sense of yourself and your capabilities—completely upside down. True, your competitors in the final round of the Prince William County Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest are a lot (book) smarter than you are. They certainly get better grades than the ones that make up your sub-3.0 GPA. And their SAT scores are hundreds of points higher than yours. You barely cracked 1000 . . .
But you are here, just like they are.
You won your high school oratorical competition, as you presume they did. You moved on to a countywide round, which they did as well. You were voted “best before the judge,” which is how you wound up right here beside them on this makeshift stage.
And the best part: Just like them, you’re headed to college.
Now, this might not sound like a huge deal—obviously, you’re eventually going to college, right? Your parents both went, and from what you’ve heard, that’s what all smart people do after graduating from high school. No-brainer.
The truth is, though, for a while you didn’t feel very smart. You’d dropped out of your IB English class because you couldn’t get your head around Shakespeare.There’s no way I’m smart enough for a university, you thought.
But being on this stage isn’t the first time you’ve been proven wrong about yourself. And as you’ll soon come to discover, the fiery speech you’re about to give is only the beginning.
The whole college thing had come as a huge surprise: A few weeks prior, you’d been minding your basketball business, running layup lines during a typical pre–home game warm-up session. Catch the pass, dribble forward, then gently leap and let the ball roll off your fingertips. Run to the opposite line and repeat.
But then the gym door opened, and in strode your dear ol’ dad. Six-foot-three and two hundred pounds. Waltzed right onto the court, long arms waving to get your attention.
Your gut reaction: wide-eyed, breath-stopping embarrassment. As much as you love your pops, his blasé-blah attitude toward what you’ll eventually come to call the “White judge”—a personified name for the overwhelming sense that power-bearing White people are evaluating your every move . . . something Dad couldn’t care less about—really got under your skin back then. Prevent his true feelings from showing on his face? Nope. Keep his voice down? No way. Avoid making any sort of scene? Forget about it.
It scared you to have an African American father who lived by his own rules. It was the precise type of attitude that might’ve gotten him lynched in the past or shot down by a vigilante civilian or law enforcement official now.
But at any rate, there he was. So you jogged over to meet him.
He looked really geeked. Which was weird.
When you reached him, he handed you an envelope. Told you to open it. Like . . . right then and there at the half-court line before a game. Witheverybody watching. Including all the White people.
Of course, you complied.
It was an acceptance letter from Hampton University, one of the two colleges you’d applied to for the sole purpose of being able to say you’d tried.
That acceptance letter flipped your worldview on its head. Despite the test scores and report cards, you were smart enough to go to college after all. The other school you applied to, Florida A&M University, is the one you’ll wind up attending, so you clearly got in there too (though you don’t know that yet).
Standing on that court in front of your dad, a number of faulty ideas faded from your mind. So did your sense of what you would later come to know as the “White gaze.” With that letter in your hand, the stuff you believed about “intelligence” being proven by grades and test scores? It lost a bit of its validity.
Granted, you’ve still got a lot of ideas to unlearn and replace. You’re not yet a reader, but you will be soon. And eventually, you’ll look back and see a number of things through a cleaner lens.
But this moment on the basketball court is one you won’t forget. It’s the moment you awaken to the idea of something . . . more.
Now back to the MLK oratorical contest. You’re up first.
And before you begin, you should know: You’ll come to recall the “speech” you’re about to give with . . . theopposite of pride.
For now, though, you’re fired up. Ready to roll. Primed and pumped to share whatyou think is an updated version of Dr. King’s dream.
So you take your place, and you begin.
“What would be Dr. King’s message for the millennium?
“Let’s visualize an angry seventy-one-year-old Dr. King . . .”
[It was joyous, our emancipation from enslavement . . . But . . .]
“Now, one hundred thirty-five years later, the Negro is still not free . . .
“Our youth’s minds are still in captivity!
“They* think it’s okay to be those who are most feared in our society!
“They think it’s okay not to think!
“They think it’s okay to climb the high tree of pregnancy!
“They think it’s okay to confine their dreams to sports and music!”

*They as in Black youth.

(Applause, applause, and more applause.)
“Their minds are being held captive, and our adults’ minds are right there beside them.
“Because they somehow think that the cultural revolution that began on the day of my dream’s birth is over.
“How can it be over when many times we are unsuccessful because we lack intestinal fortitude?”
(Everybody claps.)
“How can it be over when our kids leave their houses not knowing how to make themselves, only knowing how to not make themselves?”
(Everybody claps.)
“How can it be over if all of this is happening in our community?”
And then . . . with everyone at the edge of their seats, hanging on your every word, you drop your voice for the finale:
“So I say to you, my friends, that even though this cultural revolution may never be over,
“I still have a dream . . .”
And the crowd goes wild.
A crowd full of African American adults. (You’re in a Black church, after all.)
Validation.
But the thing is . . . you’re wrong. And everyone who agreed with you by way of applause is also wrong.
It’ll take you some time to realize that your words aren’t as virtuous as the resounding applause has made you believe they are. Eventually, you realize that it’ll take more than a surprise pair of college admission letters and a spot in the finals of an oratorical contest to shift your sense of yourself and other Black people.
In this moment, though, with the approval of Black men, women, and children ringing in your ears, you don’t realize it . . .
But everything you said is racist.
Later, you’ll wonder: Was it your poor sense of yourself that generated your poor sense of your people? Or was it your poor sense of your people that fueled your poor sense of yourself?
Both were evident in that speech.
For instance . . .
You mentioned our youth’s minds being “in captivity” . . . but what exactly are they in captivity to?
You mentioned Black youth’s okay-ness with being feared . . . but is that their fault alone?
Your mentioned Black youth being cool with not thinking . . . which is little more than a remix of the old adage that Black kids don’t value education as much as their non-Black counterparts. But is that actually true?
Number three is particularly insidious—a word you’ll come to use that basically means EVIL in a dastardly villain–type of way. Because it hasn’t occurred to you that evenyou had fallen prey to the precise thing you were shouting down. Remember your shock at getting into not one, buttwo colleges? Said shock came from your belief that you were a lousy student. Thing is, that mess you spouted came frommessages—from Black people, White people, and the media—that told you the lousiness was rooted in your race. That (naturally) put a damper on your motivation to put forth more effort, which then re­inforced number three up there: Black people just aren’t very studious.
On and on the cycle went because you’d bought that racist idea hook, line, and sinker. To the point where you were primed and ready to preach it—and the others—to a crowd full of Black people on MLK Day in the form of a revised “I Have a Dream” speech.
That’s the thing about racist ideas: They make people of color think less of themselves . . . which makes them more vulnerable to racist ideas (these areinternalized racist ideas, but we’ll get to that later). And then on the flip side, the same racist ideas make White people thinkmore of themselves, which further attracts them to racist ideas. And all of this tends to happen inside of people without anyone realizing it. Yourself included.
Because that’s the goal of that dastardly villain, Racist Ideology: It manipulates us into thinkingpeople—and therefore people groups—are the problem instead of the policies that perpetuate the racial inequities.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
What you need to know before we jump back in time to the beginning of your story:
Racism is real and dastardly villainous, and denial is what keeps its ugly heart beating.
Racist is more an adjective than a noun, and it’s not an insult; anyone whotakes it as an insult or tries to use it as one likely doesn’t know what the word actually means.
Not racist is not a thing in the fight for a more equitable world; there isracist and there is antiracist.
Color-blind as applied to race is also not a thing; it, likenot racist, is a part of the denial that keeps lifeblood pumping through that ugly and insidious heart ofracism.
At this point in your life, you are racist most of the time. Yes, you read that right. You, IXK, a youngBlack man, currently subscribe to a lot of racist ideas.
But you won’t forever. And that’s what this book is about: the journey to being fully human and to seeing others as fully human.
And you will come to see the movement from racist to antiracist as always ongoing—requiring understanding and snubbing racism based on flawed ideas about biology, ethnicity, body, culture, behavior, color, space, and class—because antiracism also involves standing ready to fight at racism’s intersections with other forms of prejudice and bigotry.
It’s time to learn what it truly means to be ANTIRACIST.

Praise

Praise for How to Be a (Young) Antiracist By Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone:

2024 Bank Street Best Children’s Books


★"Heartbreaking, soaring, fulfilling, a deep-dive, this should be canon in high school classrooms and reprinted in pocket-size format for carrying around." –School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

★"This important book is sure to inspire in those who do listen, investigate, and reflect on “that dastardly villain racism,”much welcome discussion and debate both in and out of the classroom. It’s essential reading." –Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"...a notably effective adaptation. Successfully broadens the reach of the original to a younger audience." —Kirkus Reviews

"...an incredibly accessible read geared to teens... guided by Stone's energetic narration; kids will definitely see themselves in his [Kendi's] journey." — The Boston Globe

"The young person's version gives teens the tools they need to create a more just society and encourages them to undo some of the damage created by generations before them." — The Root

"Attention to gender, sexuality, class, and honest self-critique makes for an ambitiously inclusive addition to a growing booklist of youth-oriented racial equity work, but the concluding four c’s of changemaking—cogency, compassion, creativity, collaboration—are on full display here in a standout text." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"[A] book that illuminate[s] how each of us are gradually drafted into the thinking, the lies and distorted truths which can render a person unable or at least unwilling to challenge the systems and practices which masquerade as normal, as functional and fair. In reality, many of those systems drive and sustain vast inequality along with pervasive belief in group inferiority or superiority. [A] book that seems to want to equip young people living now, in the midst of surround-sound injustice, open and almost gleeful bigotry – in public and in private – with the language and the skills to recognize they too have been drafted. Then it calls on them to decide if, where, and how they will revolt against that system." —Time Magazine

A Brightly Best YA Books of 2023
#2 NY Times Bestseller List
#7 Indie Bestseller

Author

© Janice Checchio
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is 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. View titles by Ibram X. Kendi
© Nic Stone
Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. You can find her on her website: nicstone.info. View titles by Nic Stone

Guides

Educator Guide for How to Be a (Young) Antiracist

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

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Discussion Guide for How to Be a (Young) Antiracist

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Videos from the 2024 First-Year Experience® Conference are now available

We’re pleased to share videos from the 2024 First-Year Experience® Conference. Whether you weren’t able to join us at the conference or would simply like to hear the talks again, please take a moment to view the clips below.   Penguin Random House Author Breakfast Monday, February 19th, 7:15 – 8:45 am PST This event

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