This book is SO good, it’s life changing. If we're to leave our children with a more equitable world, then as parents we must acknowledge our own shortcomings, be actively antiracist in raising them, and work to exclude our biases from their lives, baby proofing for racial harm as much as injury. This is true, most especially, for those growing up in predominantly white environments like Santa Cruz. This book is going to be required reading for every person who cares for my children going forward.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The book that every parent, caregiver, and teacher needs to raise the next generation of antiracist thinkers, from the author of How to Be an Antiracist and recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant.
“Kendi’s latest . . . combines his personal experience as a parent with his scholarly expertise in showing how racism affects every step of a child’s life. . . . Like all his books, this one is accessible to everyone regardless of race or class.”—Los Angeles Times (Book Club Pick)
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: PopSugar
The tragedies and reckonings around racism that are rocking the country have created a specific crisis for parents, educators, and other caregivers: How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How are kids at different ages experiencing race? How are racist structures impacting children? How can we inspire our children to avoid our mistakes, to be better, to make the world better?
These are the questions Ibram X. Kendi found himself avoiding as he anticipated the birth of his first child. Like most parents or parents-to-be, he felt the reflex to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But research and experience changed his mind, and he realized that raising his child to be antiracist would actually protect his child, and preserve her innocence and joy. He realized that teaching students about the reality of racism and the myth of race provides a protective education in our diverse and unequal world. He realized that building antiracist societies safeguards all children from the harms of racism.
Following the accessible genre of his internationally bestselling How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi combines a century of scientific research with a vulnerable and compelling personal narrative of his own journey as a parent and as a child in school. The chapters follow the stages of child development from pregnancy to toddler to schoolkid to teenager. It is never too early or late to start raising young people to be antiracist.
About the Author
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.
“Both memoir and call to action, Ibram X. Kendi’s insightful book rightly encourages the critical thinking that all adults need to engage the children they love in the most essential conversations about racism. Don’t fool yourself—silence is not a helpful strategy! If you want to raise empowered, antiracist children, read this book, take a deep breath, and start talking.”—Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race
“With the fierce devotion of a parent who demands a safer world for his child, our most trusted voice on antiracism reveals the critical role of parents, caregivers, and teachers in fostering either racist or antiracist attitudes in all children. Rendered intimate with stories from his own childhood and his parenting journey, this book is as compassionate as it is cogent and timely. Ibram X. Kendi once again lights the way.”—Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kids for Success
“The littlest human being can learn to be an antiracist. Antiracist parenting is imperative as white supremacists recruit on the internet daily; parents need to be proactive by developing the skills and language to understand the parenting journey of antiracism. With love, vulnerability, and the remarkable brilliance we have now come to expect in his books, Kendi walks us through this journey. No matter where you are as an antiracist parent or the age of your child, this book is for you.”—Bettina Love, author of We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
“A readable and approachable guide . . . Because of its scope, nearly all readers will come away from Kendi's message more aware and having found a point of resonance in their own lives. Best-selling Kendi is an antiracism trailblazer and parents, educators, and everyone else who cares for children will seek his guidance.”—Booklist (starred review)