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Book Review: How to be Antiracist

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I recently read “How to be Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi as part of a learning project. Now that I have finished the book, I decided to write a book review. It’s something I do to help synthesize and reflect on what I have read.


This is a collection of my notes from each chapter in the book, along with my overall thoughts and recommendations.


Racist ideas make people of color think less of themselves, which makes them more vulnerable to racist ideas. Racist ideas make White people think more of themselves, which further attracts them to racist ideas. -Kendi 5

I highlighted this because it shares how racist ideas are lose-lose. It’s a loss for people of color because they shouldn’t think less of themselves and it’s a loss because we, white people, should not think more of ourselves. I want to live in a world where everyone thinks highly of themselves.

…I didn’t realize that to say something is wrong about a racial group is to say something is inferior about that racial group. I did not realize that to say something inferior about a racial group is to say a racist idea. -Kendi 7

Similar to Kendi, I also learned something new here. I did not realize referring to saying something wrong about a racial group and making them sound inferior is a racist idea. This extends to your racial group. If I were to say, “Yeah, those types of white people are stupid” or something of that nature, it would be a racist idea because I would be putting those people below me.

Internalized racism is the real Black on Black crime. -Kendi 8

I know what “internalized” means and I know what “racism” means, but I hadn’t seen the two together before. I also hadn’t previously heard the idea “Black on Black” crime before. Here, I understand the internalized racism as something that we don’t know is within is, thanks to an experience, a story, or something else told to us by society or the people around us. And for the Black on Black crime, I believe he is talking about people in the Black community dividing themselves (similar to the quote before) and saying one type is inferior and the other is superior. He says that’s the real crime, more so than the other crimes you might be thinking of, specifically for the Black community.

This is the consistent function of racists ideas—and of any kind of bigotry more broadly: to manipulate us into seeing people as the problem, instead of the policies that ensnare them. -Kendi 8

This is important to remember. People are not the problem. It’s the policies that encourage racist ideas.

Denial is the heartbeat of racism, beating across ideologies, races, and nations. -Kendi 9

Denying that racism doesn’t exist. It does and we must actively work to fight against it.

The opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” It is “antiracist.” What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an antiracist. -Kendi 9

I want to push for racial equality. The problems around racism in the US are rooted in the power and the policies. We must not forget this.

It is descriptive, and the only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it. -Kendi 9

I think this is the phase I’m in: learning to identify and describe racism. I want to be able to dismantle it as well. This book feels like a new set of glasses. I can see race and racism more clearly than before.

The language of color blindness—like the language of “not racist”—is a mask to hide racism. -Kendi 10

I used to take this approach, saying “I’m color blind.” I used to think this was the right approach. I even recall one of my Latin American classes freshman year in college. My professor said, “There is no race. We are all part of the human race.”

Her intentions were good. My intentions were good, but Kendi shows how this is not the correct approach. If we erase race from the picture, then we will no longer have the language or the ability to see the problems that exist.

By erasing race, you ignore the problems that exist around it. We don’t want that. We want to see race, see the policies and issues around it, and then fix them together.

The good news is that racist and antiracist are not fixed identities. -Kendi 10

This is probably one of the most important things he says in the book. It’s not a fixed identity. We can be racist one moment and antiracist the next. Our goal is to strive for antiracism. We will inevitably make mistakes, but that’s okay, as long as we learn from them and get back on track.

I no longer care about how the actions of other Black individuals reflect on me, since none of us are race representatives, nor is any individual responsible for someone else’s racist ideas. -Kendi 10

I like the phrase “race representative.” It’s the same for any race. We can not take one individual’s actions and use it to generalize across a whole category of people. This is the issue with the single story. It’s a trap we often fall into when we want to categorize people. This leads to stereotypes, which is not antiracist.

it requires understanding and snubbing racism based on biology, ethnicity, body, culture, behavior, color, space, and class. -Kendi 11

I had to look up “snubbing”, but I believe the point here is for us to say we can’t associate racism with one of these characteristics. Otherwise, we would be generalizing. Individuals can have racist ideas, but it has nothing to do with these traits.

Chapter 1

Definitions anchor us in principles. -Kendi 13

Completely agree. Hence, why I added a glossary at the bottom with definitions. One reason was to anchor us. The other was to remember after I finished the book.

Racism is a marriage of racist policies and racist ideas that produces and normalizes racial inequities. -Kendi 17

It’s these two pieces—policies and ideas—that produce racial inequities. I feel like the policies are things we can vote as a country to change. The ideas are things that must be deconstructed and broken down i.e. stories, stereotypes, etc. None of this will be easy, but we can do it.

A racist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial inequity between racial groups. An antiracist policy is any measure that produces or sustains racial equity between racial groups. By policy, I mean written and unwritten laws, rules, procedures, processes, regulations, and guidelines that govern people. There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups. -Kendi 18

My guess then for achieving this is to hire politicians who push for antiracist policies and then as voters, we voice our opinions and thoughts and hope that we can write and rewrite laws, rules, procedures, etc. to be antiracist.

A few questions for me to look up in the future are:

  • What are some examples of both racist and antiracist policies?
  • How were they written into legislation?
  • Who were the politicians that supported them?
  • Which organizations funded them

I think having this information would allow me to better understand the policy side of racism.

Racism itself is institutional, structural, and systemic. -Kendi 18

I highlighted this sentence. He prefers to use the word racism as opposed to institutional, structural, or systemic because all of these are racism.

Someone reproducing inequity through permanently assisting an overrepresented racial group into wealth and power is entirely different than someone challenging that inequity by temporarily assisting an underrepresented racial group into relative wealth and power until equity is reached. -Kendi 19

I’d like to focus on his word choice of “temporarily” here. He’s suggesting we can fight racial inequality by assisting an underrepresented racial group for a brief period and until there is equity.

I think this is something that I hadn’t heard before. It seems fair and hopefully something we could get a lot of people behind. I think the important part when discussing this kind of assistance is having the facts to back yourself up and explain why it’s not fair in its current state.

The most threatening racist movement is not the alt right’s unlikely drive for a White ethnostate but the regular American’s drive for a “race-neutral” one. -Kendi 19

I had to look up “white ethnostate” because I didn’t know what it meant. It means a state in which only those who are white may be citizens or live there.

We talked about it earlier, but we don’t want a “race-neutral” country. Quoting what I wrote earlier,

Be erasing race, you ignore the problems that exist around it. We don’t want that. We want to see race, see the policies and issues around it, and then fix them together.

The construct of race neutrality actually feeds White nationalist victimhood by positing the notion that any policy protecting or advancing non-White Americans toward equity is “reverse discrimination.” -Kendi 19

Again, I think here it’s important to keep race neutrality in mind, and having a simple way to explain why it’s not good for people of color or non-whites. I also think the “temporary lift” argument should be reiterated because then we can at least say this isn’t forever. These new policies would be there to bring us closer to racial equity.

An antiracist idea is any idea that suggests the racial groups are equals in all their apparent differences—that there is nothing right or wrong with any racial group. Antiracist ideas argue that racist policies are the cause of racial inequities. -Kendi 20

I believe this wholeheartedly and hope that others do too. We may be different in apparent differences but there is nothing wrong with any racial group. Again, we point back to the racist policies to explain the causes of racial inequities.

In the United States, African Americans are 25 percent more likely to die of cancer than Whites. -Kendi 21

This is a fact and a data point to show that we still have racist policies. It makes me go, “I see the data. Now help me understand what racist policies are causing this and how we can fix it?” My first guess is access to healthcare.

“Racist” and “antiracist” are like peelable name tags that are placed and replaced based on what someone is doing or not doing, supporting or expressing in each moment. These are not permanent tattoos. No one becomes a racist or antiracist. We can only strive to be one or the other. -Kendi 22

Again, I like that he reiterates this because it reminds us that these labels—racist and antiracist—are not part of our identity. It’s something we strive for in moments throughout our lives.

Chapter 2

The stiffer sentencing policies for drug crimes—not a net increase in crime—caused the American prison population to quadruple between 1980 and 2000. -Kendi 25

Again, this goes back to policy. The government made drug crimes have harsher consequences which led to an influx in the prison population.

Yet African Americans are far more likely than Whites to be jailed for drug offenses. Nonviolent Black drug offenders remain in prisons for about the same length of time (58.7 months) as violent White criminals (61.7 months). -Kendi 25

I can’t even comprehend this. “Nonviolent Black drug offenders remain in prisons for about the same length of time as violent white criminals.” How is that fair? How does that make any sense? The question then is, is this a policy, or are the length of these determined by racist judges? Either way, it makes me angry. There is no reason the nonviolent Black drug offender who was selling weed needs to be in prison for as long as the violent white criminal who killed someone.

They fed me the mantra that education and hard work would uplift me, just as it had uplifted them, and would, in the end, uplift all Black people. -Kendi 27

I feel like this is the mantra that society tells a lot. “Work hard, and you will be rewarded.” This fails to recognize that members of the Black community face challenges that others don’t, due to racist policies and ideas.

[Reagan] “stronger law enforcement” sent more Black people into the clutches of violent cops, who killed twenty-two Black people for every White person in the early 1980s. -Kendi 27

This is terrible. We don’t need stronger law enforcement for any reason. Police should not need to kill people and the fact that the ratio of Black people killed to white people is 22-to-1 should tell you something. There are racist within the police force or racist policies. Something is broken and we need to fix it.

The White body no longer presents itself as the American body; the Black body no longer strives to be the American body, knowing there is no such thing as the American body, only American bodies, racialized by power. -Kendi 33

This part left me scratching my head. When I think of “the American body”, I think of anyone who is American. There is no one way to define an American, which I think is what he is saying when he says “there is no such thing as the American body”. And then the “racialized by power” I believe refers to how race was used to create a power hierarchy.

Chapter 3

Race: A power construct of collected or merged difference that lives socially -Kendi 35

My immediate thought was, “If it’s a power construct, shouldn’t we eliminate it? Is that what color blindness is?” But yet again, that brings us back to the point we said earlier. If we eliminate race, we will fail to recognize the inequality that exists in today’s society.

The question I would ask is, “Will we ever be able to remove the power construct created by race?”

But Black New Yorkers with the wherewithal to do it were separating their children from poor Black children in poor Black neighborhoods, just like White New Yorkers were separating their children from Black children. -Kendi 35

This reminds me of the redlining policies used back in the day to separate where you could buy real estate based on the color of your skin. I guess that these Black New Yorkers lived within the same school district as these poor Black neighborhoods. Instead of sending their kids there, if they had the money, they sent them to the schools where the white New Yorkers lived.

It’s sad. I wish everyone had access to good schools and a good education, no matter the socioeconomic or race of your neighborhood. Unfortunately, that is far from reality it seems.

The gift of seeing myself as Black instead of being color-blind is that it allows me to clearly see myself historically and politically as being an antiracist, as a member of the interracial body striving to accept and equate and empower racial difference of all kinds. -Kendi 37

This is beautiful. I loved reading this line. Here he explains how seeing his own skin color empowered him. It allowed him to understand, and to have a desire to fight the racial injustice and be an antiracist. It’s inspiring.

Race creates new forms of power: the power to categorize and judge, elevate and downgrade, include and exclude. Race makers use that power to process distinct individuals, ethnicities, and nationalities into monolithic races. -Kendi 38

Yes! I had no idea. I think as humans, we LOVE to categorize. Some categories don’t mean much, but others create power as he says here. Race is one of the most important ones.

If I were to go back, I would better understand who the original “race makers” were and what he means by monolithic races.

The root problem—from Prince Henry to President Trump—has always been the self-interest of racist power. Powerful economic, political, and cultural self-interest—the primitive accumulation of capital in the case of royal Portugal and subsequent slave traders—has been behind racist policies. -Kendi 42

This one was hard for me to understand. I know Trump supports racist ideas, but when he says, “always been the self-interest of racist power”, I’m feeling confused. Is this because Trump is white and therefore, the racist policies he advocates for are out of his self-interest? Maybe that’s the case.

One interesting exercise would be to answer these two questions:

  • How do you help someone realize they support racist ideas or policies?
  • How do you convince them to understand your side? (i.e. antiracist)

“If you have so many Black kids, you should have more Black teachers,” -Kendi 43

This was Kendi talking to one of his elementary school teachers and asking why she was the only Black teacher. I wrote a note to myself. What’s the story behind this? Why weren’t there more Black teachers and how does that look today?

I was wondering if it was related to redlining at all, or something else. Either way, it would be interesting to investigate further.

Chapter 4

He acted that way because he is Black. She acted that way because she is Asian. We often see and remember the race and not the individual. This is racist categorizing, this stuffing of our experiences with individuals into color-marked racial closets. An antiracist treats and remembers individuals as individuals. “She acted that way, ” we would say, “because she is racist.” -Kendi 44

I think this can be so common when we try to justify someone’s behavior or actions who is different from us. This is dangerous. It leads to the single story which we talked about earlier. As he says, individuals should be treated as such. I have committed this racist categorizing in the past (not necessarily with the Black community, but with other racial groups) and it’s an area where I want to improve being an antiracist.

I could see when the White teacher overlooked raised non-White hands and called on White hands. -Kendi 45

This is terrible. A white teacher calling on white hands isn’t right. Any teacher only calling on students of the same race as themselves isn’t right. I wish this didn’t happen.

During the 2013-14 academic year, Black students were four times more likely than White students to be suspended from public schools, according to Department of Education data. -Kendi 45

This makes me upset. Why is this? What are the racist policies in play here and how do we fight against this? Can we fight against this from the outside? This could be researched further.

Scholars call what I saw a “microaggression”, a term coined by eminent Harvard psychiatrist Chester Pierce in 1970. -Kendi 45

I remember hearing this term in college, but never quite understood it. The term is still a bit of a mystery. Kendi uses his explanation a bit further down as we’ll see.

Asking us questions about the entire Black race. -Kendi 45

Again, Kendi already said this, but individuals do not represent races. You can’t ask a Black person, “What do Black people think about X?” And this isn’t limited to the Black community. It’s for any race. No one can be a race representative. This doesn’t exist.

I use the term “abuse” because aggression is not as exacting a term. Abuse accurately describes the action and its effects on people: distress, anger, worry, depression, anxiety, pain, fatigue, and suicide. -Kendi 46

This. This is what Kendi uses instead of microaggression. As you can see, nothing good comes from these abusive words or actions.

The Black child is ill-treated like an adult, and the Black adult is ill-treated like a child. -Kendi 47

Wow, this was a powerful sentence. It’s as if whatever treatment will lead to worse punishment. This is racist behavior and probably happens way more than we know it. They accused the Black teenager of something they didn’t do, then tried as an adult to get a harsher punishment. And it’s the Black adult who is not treated like a child. We can call this out, but how do we truly stop this racist behavior?

Biological racism rests on two ideas: that the races are meaningfully different in their biology and that these differences create a hierarchy of value. -Kendi 48

The only memory or experience that comes to mind is the one around athleticism. I remember a white friend in high school trying to tell me that people who were Black were more athletic. Like it was in their blood or biology. And he said that was why you had a higher chance of becoming a professional athlete if you were Black. It was wrong to say. This I believe this idea falls under biological racism. But it’s something I could explore further.

When scientists finished drawing the map of “our miraculous genetic code,” when they stepped back and looked at the map, one of the “great truths” they saw was “that in genetic terms, all human beings, regardless of race, are more than 99.9 percent the same,” Clinton declared. -Kendi 52

Probably one of my favorite sentences from the book. Previously, I thought of humans as being the same (or at least wanting to think we were made the same). This doesn’t account for the privilege, opportunity, etc. It only accounts for our genetic makeup, but to hear that we’re 99.9% the same is powerful knowledge. I feel like this kind of information can support antiracists, particularly those of us that are white, to fight against racism and push for racial equity.

“The most important fact of life on Earth is our common humanity.” -Clinton -Kendi 52

We’re all humans. We need to push for racial equity so that everyone is treated the same and given the same opportunities.

Singular-race makers push for the end of categorizing and identifying by race. -Kendi 54

We’ve discussed why this is the wrong approach already. I highlighted it though because I hadn’t heard the term “singular-race makers.” Sometimes having the words or labels to explain things can help the discussions.

They fail to realize that if we stop using racial categories, then we will not be able to identify racial inequity. If we cannot identify racial inequity, then we will not be able to identify racist policies. If we cannot identify racist policies, then we cannot challenge racist policies. If we cannot challenge racist policies, then racist power’s final solution will be achieved: a world of inequity none of us can see, let alone resist. -Kendi 54

Reading this, it’s powerful. Each sentence builds on the previous idea until we get to the root of the answer to why we can’t eliminate race. The goal is to achieve racial equity. The only way we can do that is by pushing for antiracist policies and ideas.

For my own sake, I summarize this paragraph like so:

  • no racial categories? -> can’t identify racial inequity
  • no racial equity? -> can’t identify racist policies
  • no racist policies? -> can’t challenge racist policies
  • can’t challenge racist policies? -> a world of inequity

To be antiracist is to recognize the reality of biological equality, that skin color is as meaningless to our underlying humanity as the clothes we wear over that skin. -Kendi 54

Now that are starting to recognize biological equality, that skin color means nothing about our humanity, we can strive to be antiracist.

Chapter 5

Guilty for freeing the White cops who beat Rodney King in 1991 and the Korean storekeeper who killed fifteen-year-old Latasha Harlins that same year after falsely accusing her of stealing orange juice. —Kendi 57

I haven’t heard these stories before, but they sound terrible. These are further stories that I want to know. Both to continue fighting for their justice, but to also know what happened and how we can prevent people from suffering in these ways in the future.

And two years after that, the justice system freed another group of NYPD officers who’d blasted forty-one bullets at the body of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed twenty-three-year-old immigrant from Guinea. —Kendi 57

Amadou’s story is one I did not know. I want to continue hearing these stories so that I may fight for racial justice in their names.

Throughout the 1990s, the number of immigrants of color in the United State grew, due to the combined effects of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the Refugee Act of 1980, and the Immigration Act of 1990. —Kendi 59

I learned about these a bit in school, but it’s been so long that I have forgotten. Things for me to further investigate:

  • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
  • Refugee Act of 1980
  • Immigration Act of 1990

The racializing serves the core mandate of race: to create hierarchies of value. —Kendi 62

This feels strange to hear. I used to think of race as “another category to describe people.” But clearly, there is so much I don’t understand. It’s a construct and was used to “create hierarchies of value.” Being able to defend this side is something I’m still articulating. It’s a work in progress, but at least now I understand there is more beyond what I originally thought.

To be antiracist is to view national and transnational ethnic groups as equal in all their differences. —Kendi 63

I believe Kendi mentioned this because of the difference in racism faced by people of color born in the US vs. those who immigrated. Either way, I view them equally in all their differences.

I respected him for his willingness to reflect on his own hypocrisy. —Kendi 65

This was part of Kendi’s story he told where he was talking to a student who had some internal racism. For me, as a white male, I think I have internal racism and hypocrisy that I may not even know of. Part of this new lens I am wearing is to acknowledge whatever I was taught or learned or grew up with that is racist, unlearn it, and strive to be more antiracist. And I hope soon I can reflect on my own hypocrisy. We should all.

Why are Black immigrants not doing as well as other immigrant groups? —Kendi 67

This was fascinating to me. According to Kendi, Black immigrants are the most educated among immigrant groups, yet they earn lower wages and have the highest unemployment rate of any immigrant group in the US. This is something to be explored further.

As sociologist Suzanna Model explained in her book on West Indian immigrants, “West Indians are not a black success story but an immigrant success story.” —Kendi 67

I have not heard of West Indian immigrants before this. This is another thing to be explored further and understand why she considers it an immigrant success story instead of a black success story.

Chapter 6

Unarmed Black bodies—which apparently look armed to fearful officers—are about twice as likely to be killed as unarmed White bodies. —Kendi 73

2x as likely. I had to let that sink in. This is more evidence to show that we have a serious issue. One is racism and the other is police violence. If they are unarmed, people should not be dying—Black or white.

Around Thanksgiving in 1995, Princeton political scientist John J. DiIulio Jr. warned of the “coming of the super-predators,” especially young bodies like mine in “Black inner-city neighborhoods.” DiIulio later said he regretted using the term. —Kendi 75

I hadn’t heard of the term “super-predator” before. I defined it in the glossary at the bottom of this article.

Also, I wrote it down because I have a family that immigrated over from Italy with the last name DiIulio so I wondered if he was related to us. Either way, it doesn’t sound like it was a good thing what he did.

“Communities with a higher share of long-term unemployed workers also tend to have higher rates of crime and violence.” —Kendi 78

I wrote this down because I didn’t know this. Long-term unemployment leads to higher rates of crime and violence. It makes me think of universal basic income. If we only give people money without giving them a job, does this mean we will still have high crime rates and violence? Or is this data related to the fact that crimes and violence happen when people don’t have money to survive? This would be interesting to learn more about.

Sociologist Karen F. Parker strongly linked the growth of Black-owned businesses to a reduction in Black youth violence between 1990 and 2000. —Kendi 78

This is incredible! Having this data, and then being able to easily find Black-owned businesses, we can do more to reduce violence, support community, and fight racism. More Black-owned businesses were tied to a reduction in Black youth violence. Let us support and encourage more Black-owned businesses. Two things come to mind:

  1. It should be easy for people to find Black-owned businesses
  2. It should be easy for members of the Black community to start businesses

I don’t know if either of these two things is true right now, but if not, it feels like an actionable thing we can do to support the Black community.

In recent years, the University of Chicago Crime Lab worked with One Summer Chicago Plus jobs program and found a 43 percent reduction in violent-crime arrests for Black youths who worked eight-week-long part-time summer jobs, compared with a control group of teens who did not. —Kendi 79

Again, ties back to employment. One thing we could focus on to help the Black community is to make it easier for members to start businesses. Then, connect them to Black youth in the summer and it’s a win-win for all!

…researchers have found a much stronger and clearer correlation between violent-crime levels and unemployment levels than between violent crime and race. —Kendi 79

Race doesn’t lead to violent crimes. Unemployment does. How do we fix that? I don’t have an answer, but I think reading more about unemployment would be a good place to start.

Antiracists say Black people, like all people, need more higher-paying jobs within their reach, especially Black youngsters, who have consistency had the highest rates of unemployment of any demographic group, topping 50 percent in the mid-1990s. —Kendi 80

It all comes back to employment. We need to ensure businesses are paying Black employees the same that they would for non-Black employees. How can we ensure this? Part me of things we could help with jobs in tech. Tech has higher-paying jobs. How can we support and get more Black youngsters these opportunities?

There is no such thing as a dangerous racial group. —Kendi 80

I loved the ending of this. It’s true. Race doesn’t make you dangerous. Your actions do.

Chapter 7

…Black people like me as bilingual, and in an act of cultural antiracism recognized “the legitimacy and richness” of Ebonics as a language. —Kendi 82

This is beautiful. I remember learning about Ebonics, or African American English as they called in school, in my linguistics class and found it fascinating. I think originally I thought of it more as a dialect and less as a language, but I would love to investigate it further. I used to be a foreign-language nerd so I value bilingualism and learning about languages.

Why is Ebonics broken English but English is not broken German? —Kendi 83

I think this is a fantastic counterpoint to make if someone debates you and says, “Ebonics is broken English.” I don’t think I know enough about Ebonics to fully defend it, but I think this is the start of the exploration for me.

The idea that Black languages outside Africa are broken is as culturally racist as the ideas that languages inside Europe are fixed. —Kendi 83

This is a fantastic point and one I hadn’t thought of. In almost all of my linguistic classes in college, we associated Black languages as “broken” or “pigeon” languages. I think it was based on the definition of a language, but that makes me ask myself, “Well is the definition of language racist, or was it created to put hierarchy of language in place?” Something to explore further.

My first taste of culture was the Black church. Hearing strangers identify as sister and brother. —Kendi 85

I wondered if this was the origin of the slang terms “brothers” and “sisters”. I wanted to know if it originated in the Black community. I know nowadays, it’s very common (at least for me) to call my friends brothers. And you see this too with the term “bro” short for brother. I would love to explore that further.

“This statue was made by one of you men. If we lions knew how to erect statues, you would see the man placed under the paw of the lion.” Whoever creates the cultural standard usually puts themself at the top of the hierarchy. —Kendi 90

Yes! I highlighted this because of his point. Those who instill these cultural standards usually place themselves at the top. Coincidence? Not. I would love to take this idea and expand upon it with a few ideas.

Chapter 8

But some of my White friends could have studied harder, too, and their failures and irresponsibility didn’t somehow tarnish their race. —Kendi 93

How is this fair to Kendi or anyone in the Black community? To take an individual’s actions and use it to tarnish the race? Even if it were positive, it seems wrong to say, “Ah, yes, because [person] is smart, that means all [race] people are smart.”

One of the fundamental values of racism to White people is that it makes success attainable for even unexceptional Whites, while success, even moderate success, is usually reserved for extraordinary Black people. —Kendi 93

This. Why do some white people believe this? How do we fix it? Individual success or failure should not be representative of the individual’s race. I wonder if this is at all related to the Olympics? Or if that’s one example of this? I don’t know.

But policies determine the success of groups. And it is racist power that creates the policies that cause racial inequities. —Kendi 93

The solution is to ensure that those creating the policies represent everyone in the community instead of one. We must ensure all voices can participate.

To be an antiracist is to recognize there is no such thing as racial behavior. —Kendi 94

Remember, behavior ties back to the individual, not the race.

All we have are stories of individual behavior. But individual stories are only proof of the behavior of individuals. —Kendi 94

Same as before. I keep mentioning it but do not let the single-story define a race. Individuals tell stories. Those stories represent that person’s experience. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Antiracism means separating the idea of a culture from the idea of behavior. Culture defines a group tradition that a particular racial group might share but that is not shared among all individuals in that racial group or among all racial groups. —Kendi 95

I found this quite interesting. It’s difficult sometimes. Separating what you think stems from “culture” vs. behavior of an individual. When I studied foreign languages in college, it included culture. Now, I am second-guessing what I believe is culture and might be behavior. This could be something to explore more.

My classmates and I would get higher scores—two hundred points, as promised—than poorer students, who might be equivalent in intellectual strength but did not have the resources or, in some cases, even the awareness to acquire better from through high-priced prep courses. —Kendi 100

When we talked about systemic racism in college, this example stood out. I think about the SAT and ACT prep courses my peers could afford, but I couldn’t. This creates an unfair advantage for those who can afford it. I feel like the education system should address this.

But then, it makes me question all the education courses that cost money. Are those all racist? I want to say no, but I would have to dive deeper.

The use of standardized tests to measure aptitude and intelligence is one of the most effective racist policies ever devised to degrade Black minds and legally exclude Black bodies. —Kendi 101

I never thought about it this way, but now I understand. And it makes me wonder, the people who created this, did they knowingly create it with these racist ideas in mind? Or is the ignorance that caused this, or the lack of voices from different communities when they decided to require this? Who knows.

What if we realized the best way to ensure an effective educational system is not by standardizing our curricula and tests but by standardizing the opportunities available to all students? —Kendi 103

Yes! I loved this idea so much. How can we make this happen? What actions can I take as an individual to push the system towards this approach? This is part of why I love organizations like freeCodeCamp. They are working to make opportunities like learning how to code accessible to all.

In other words, the racial problem is the opportunity gap, as antiracist reformers call it, not the achievement gap. —Kendi 103

Reframing the problem as an opportunity gap. With the right opportunities and access to resources, we can lift all people.

Whenever the antiracist sees individuals behaving positively or negatively, the antiracist sees exactly that: individuals behaving positively or negatively, not representative of whole races. —Kendi 104

Individuals represent themselves, not races. That is the most important takeaway from this chapter.

Chapter 9

But because inequities between the races overshadow inequities within the races, Dark people often fail to see colorism as they regularly experience it. Therefore, Dark people rarely protest policies that benefit Light people, a “skin color paradox,” as termed by political scientists Jennifer L. Hochschild and Vesla Weaver. —Kendi 110

I found this interesting to hear about this. I didn’t know about colorism before. And it’s interesting to hear that Dark people don’t see it because they don’t experience it.

When they arrive, Light Latinx people receive higher wages, and Dark Latinx people are more likely to be employed at ethnically homogeneous jobsites. —Kendi 110

This makes me sad to hear. That those with lighter skin receive higher wages. How can we fix this? Wage transparency?

Dark African Americans receive the harshest prison sentences and more time behind bars. —Kendi 110

Again, what policies can we put in place to fix this? No one chooses the color of their skin. We are born without choice.

“She’s cute…for a Dark girl,” was the best some of them could muster for darker-skinned women. Even Dark gay men heard it: “I don’t normally date Dark-skin men, but…” —Kendi 112

Are these ideas perpetuated from society? Part of me thinks it could be related to the fashion industry? Do we need to show more darker-skinned people?

To be an antiracist is to eliminate any beauty standard based on skin and eye color, hair texture, facial and bodily features shared by groups. To be an antiracist is to diversify our standards of beauty like our standards of culture or intelligence, to see beauty equally in all skin colors, broad and thin noses, kinky and straight hair, light and dark eyes. To be an antiracist is to build and lie in a beauty culture that accentuates instead of erases our natural beauty. —Kendi 113

Ah yes! The media and fashion industry are the ones with the most impact in this direction. I think it’s a combination of movies, ads, tv shows, and products.

Chapter 10

Blacks were ten times more likely than Whites to have their ballots rejected. —Kendi 124

How is this okay? Why isn’t this illegal? Why can ballots be rejected and who has the power to reject them? This frustrates me.

A total of 179,855 ballots were invalidated by Florida election officials in a race ultimately won by 537 votes. —Kendi 124

The corruption is frustrating. Why don’t we have laws in place to prevent this? Or is this about ethics? Either way, I can’t believe something like this could happen.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to do what is right in the face of it,” as the anonymous philosopher tells us. —Kendi 124

This reminds me of the line by Ben Solo where he says to Rey, “I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it.” That is courage. Finding the strength to do the right thing when you are afraid.

Months before being assassinated, Malcolm X faced a fact many admirers of Malcolm X still refuse to face: Black people can be racist toward White people. —Kendi 127

I don’t know the story of Malcolm X’s assassination, but the main reason I highlighted this was the latter half of the sentence. Racism can go both ways. I have seen a few folks online saying this is not the case. I believe it’s related to thinking the members of the Black community don’t have the power to be racist, but I believe Kendi breaks that down later. It would be helpful to understand the other side of the argument though.

Whenever someone classifies people of European descent as biologically, culturally, or behaviorally inferior, whenever someone says there is something wrong with White people as a group, someone is articulating a racist idea. —Kendi 128

A reminder that this type of behavior or expression is racist. Kendi also goes on later to say that the only thing wrong with someone is when they express a racist idea.

When Alicia Garza typed “Black Lives Matter” on Facebook in 2013 and when that love letter crested into a movement in 2015, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani called the movement “inherently racist.” —Kendi 129

Sad to hear that the mayor believed this to be racist. I think a lot of people who don’t understand it thinks this. Note to self: read the original letter by Alicia Garza.

Chapter 11

Powerless Defense: The illusory, concealing, disempowering, and racist idea that Black people can’t be racist because Black people don’t have power. —Kendi 136

Here it is. He calls it “powerless defense” saying that Black people can’t be racist because they don’t have power. Power is not evenly distributed. We know this. But I believe it to be incorrect to say Black people don’t have power. Power comes in many forms—money, influence, control, etc.

Instead, I’d rather say Black people do have power and I want to do my part as an antiracist to distribute it to them so it’s more even.

By 2013, in the middle of Obama’s presidency, only 37 percent of Black people were pointing to “mostly racism” as the cause of racial inequities. —Kendi 139

The point here is most people didn’t accept the idea or believe that racism was the cause of racial inequities. I wonder if we did survey people again if that number would be higher in 2020.

Quietly, though, this defense shields people of color in positions of power from doing the work of antiracism, since they are apparently powerless, since White people have all the power. —Kendi 140

I think there are a lot of people with power in the Black community who have an interest in doing the work of antiracism. Is it more on the white people to do it since we created a lot of the systems and hierarchies that led to racist policies and racist ideas? Absolutely. Does that mean we shouldn’t work together with people of color in positions of power? No. I think we can all work together.

Like every other racist idea, the powerless defense underestimates Black people and overestimates White people. —Kendi 140

I don’t like this assumption. I believe we should all work together to fight racism.

Every single person actually has the power to protest racist and antiracist policies, to advance them, or in some small way, to stall them. —Kendi 140

The belief that one individual can make a difference. This is an idea that I support.

Note that I say limited Black power rather than no power. White power controls the United States. But not absolutely. —Kendi 141

I agree with Kendi here. It is limited power - for now. The goal should be to equalize it as much as possible.

The saying “Black people can’t be racist” reproduces the false duality of racist and non-racist promoted by White racists to deny their racism. —Kendi 143

I had to reread this a few times to understand it. I think what he is saying is that white racists believe there is a duality between racist and not-racist. Not-racist could mean color blindness or denying the idea that racism still exists. And here, he is saying when Black people say they can’t be racist, it falls along the same lines of the non-racist ideas of white racists. Instead, I think he means that Black people can be racist or antiracist. Their race does not abstain from choosing racism over antiracism.

But reports immediately surfaced in the 1960s that Black officers were as abusive as White officers. —Kendi 147

Kendi shared data related to Black vs. white officers and their violence towards Black people. Here, you can see that both groups (Black and white) were equally abusive. Therefore, I think we can say the issue is with police violence in general.

A 1966 study found Black officers were not as likely to be racist as Whites, but a significant minority expressed anti-Black racist ideas like, “I’m telling you these people are savages. And they’re real dirty.” —Kendi 147

This example illustrates members of the Black community expressing racist ideas - calling another group inferior in their race. It is the same ideas as if I, as a white person, called a group of other white people savages and said they were dirty. It doesn’t matter that I share the same race as them. It is still a racist idea.

In a 2017 study that surveyed almost 8,000 officers, they found that,

Only 6 percent of White officers co-signed the antiracist idea that “our country needs to continue making changes to give Blacks equal rights with Whites,” compared to 69 percent of Black officers. —Kendi 147

Wouldn’t it be great if we could require police officers around the US to take a class on antiracism? I wonder if that would change this statistical.

Under Clarence Thomas’ directorship from 1980 to 1986, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission doubled the number of discrimination cases it dismissed as “no cause.” —Kendi 148

I wrote this down as something to investigate further. It is racism, but I want to know more about Clarence Thomas and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Chapter 12

Antiracist anticapitalist: one who is opposing racial capitalism. —Kendi 151

I did not realize capitalism could be racist. This is something I need to learn more about.

…“ghetto” began to describe unrespectable Black behavior on the North Broad Streets of the country. —Kendi 151

I remember hearing and using this word growing up. We described places that were dirty and unsafe. It was normal to use. I didn’t think it to be racist, but now I understand. Now, I don’t use it as much (or try not to).

When we say poor people are lazy, we are expressing an elitist idea. When we say Black people are lazy, we are expressing a racist idea. —Kendi 151

This example helped differentiate the two—elitist vs. racist ideas.

To be an antiracist is to equalize the race-classes. To be antiracist is to root the economic disparities between the equal race-classes in policies, not people. —Kendi 152

Again, we are rooting the issue in policies, not people.

Constructs of “ghetto Blacks” (and “White trash”) are the most obvious ideological forms of class racism. —Kendi 152

The white trash is one I have heard used often (and arguably, used myself). This is another reminder that I can express a racist idea even if it’s towards a race to which I belong.

This stereotype of the hopeless, defeated, unmotivated poor Black is without evidence. Recent research shows, in fact, that poor Blacks are more optimistic about their prospects than poor Whites are. —Kendi 155

Stereotypes are a negative thing. They don’t benefit anyone. The second piece was enlightening as well. I don’t think I ever compared the two, but at least that is evidence to help dismantle the stereotype.

Ghetto also became as much an adjective—ghetto culture, ghetto people—as a noun, loaded with racist ideas, unleashing all sorts of Black on Black crimes on poor Black communities. —Kendi 156

Another reminder to be mindful of our words. It sounds like ghetto has not brought any positive outcomes to the world.

I saw poor Blacks as the product of racism and not capitalism, largely because I thought I knew racism but knew I did not know capitalism. —Kendi 156

This book has made me realize how much I don’t know. I have learned more about racism, but it’s opened up a lot more questions.

Antiracist policies cannot eliminate class racism without anticapitalist policies. —Kendi 158

This part. I think I need to understand this more before I agree with the author.

But Du Bois discussed it. An antiracist anticapitalism could seal the horizontal class fissures and vertical race fissures—and, importantly, their intersections—with equalizing racial and economic policies. —Kendi 160

What would an alternative economic system look like for us in the US? That’s the question that comes to mind when I hear this.

“I believe in markets and the benefits they can produce when they work,” [Elizabeth] Warren said when asked what that identity meant to her. “I love the competition that comes with a market that has decent rules…The problem is when the rules are not enforced, when the markets are not level playing fields, all that wealth is scraped in one direction,” leading to deception and theft. “Theft is not capitalism,” Warren said. —Kendi 161

This is the kind of capitalism I think of. A free market with level playing fields. It has been a while since I’ve studied economics, but could be worth revisiting to understand the racist side Kendi refers to.

Capitalism is essentially racist: racism is essentially capitalist. —Kendi 163

This sentence alone opened up more questions than it answered. I don’t know if the chapter explained his take on this enough for me to understand. I think I’ll have to revisit after reading a few other resources.

To be antiracist is to recognize neither poor Blacks nor elite Blacks as the truest representative of Black people. —Kendi 164

Agreed! It goes back to the earlier idea that no individual represents a race. In all races, we have poor people and elite people.

Chapter 13

…we will find good and bad, violence and nonviolence, in all spaces, no matter how poor or rich, Black or non-Black. —Kendi 169

Another point to support the idea that anyone can be good or bad. It’s not specific to any one race.

To be antiracist is to recognize there is no such thing as the “real world,” only real worlds, multiple worldviews.” —Kendi 171

The context around this was when someone said historically Black colleges and universities do not represent “the real world”, this was his response. The point is there are multiple real worlds and multiple worldviews. No reason to say one isn’t valid.

Low-income Black students who have at least one Black teacher in elementary school are 29 percent less likely to drop out of school, 39 percent less likely among very low-income Black boys. —Kendi 177

Hearing this statistic makes me ask myself, “How do we get more Black teachers in elementary schools?” I want everyone to succeed in school.

“The minority assimilated into the dominant culture, not the other way around,” Barack Obama wrote. “Only white culture could be neutral and objective. Only white culture could be nonracial.” Integration (into Whiteness) became racial progress. —Kendi 177

This makes me sad. One should not have to give up their culture to “fit in” or feel welcomed. We should welcome all cultures. Racial progress should be the celebration of different cultures in one space.

The logical conclusion of antiracist strategy is open and equal access to all public accommodations, open access to all integrated White spaces, integrated Middle Eastern spaces, integrated Black spaces, integrated Latinx spaces, integrated Native spaces, and integrated Asian spaces that are as equally resourced as they are culturally different. —Kendi 180

Ideally, we should have spaces with equal representation and integration. I would love to know how to make this happen. I have been a part of creating space, but it was predominantly white most times. I have a few ideas, but hearing more would help.

To be antiracist is to support the voluntary integration of bodies attracted by cultural difference, a shared humanity. —Kendi 180

This relates to the quote from Obama earlier. We should support the integration of bodies of people from different cultural backgrounds. Celebrate the difference and rejoice in the shared humanity.

To be antiracist is to equate and nurture differences among racial groups. —Kendi 180

Yes! I think one of the most important qualities a person can have is kindness and tolerance. Be kind to those around you, no matter the differences. Be tolerant of those who don’t look, act, sound, or behave like you. Welcome them with open arms and learn what makes them unique.

Chapter 14

Black women remain twice as likely to be incarcerated as White women. —Kendi 189

How do we address this? I assume this pertains to racism in the justice system. I think I need actionable tasks that I can perform as an individual to fight these different forms of racism.

After the imprisonment of Black men dropped 24 percent between 2000 and 2015, Black men were still nearly six times more likely than White men, twenty-five times more likely than Black women and fifty times more likely than White women to be incarcerated. —Kendi 190

Same issue as above. The fact that it dropped 24 percent amazed me, but there is still work to do. How can change the odds to be more equal? And address the racism within the system.

Black men raised in the top 1 percent by millionaires are as likely to be incarcerated as White men raised in households earning $36,000. —Kendi 190

This is shocking. Shocking. This is more data to support the fact that people are treated differently based on the color of their skin.

Chapter 15

Queer racism produces a situation where 32 percent of children being raised by Black male same-sex couples live in poverty, compared to 14 percent of children being raised by White male same-sex couples, 13 percent of children raised by Black heterosexuals, and 7 percent of children raised by White heterosexuals. —Kendi 193

Before reading this book, I didn’t know queer racism was a thing. These stats are awful. 1/3 of children raised by Black male same-sex couples live in poverty. Why is that? How do we fix this? My guess is it’s related to employment opportunities and equal pay, but I don’t have data to back that up.

To be queer antiracist is to see the new wave of both religious-freedom laws and voter-ID laws in Republican states as taking away the rights of queer people. —Kendi 197

This sentence confused me. I don’t understand why a religious-freedom law would take away the rights of queer people. My naive self would say we want religious freedom so that anyone can practice any religion. And the voter-ID laws I thought were a good thing because it gives us a way to ensure people only vote once.

I wish Kendi elaborated on this more. I need to do some investigating myself.

It is best to challenge ourselves by dragging ourselves before people who intimidate us with their brilliance and constructive criticism. —Kendi 199

I think this suggestion applies to many areas of life. We should take the challenge. We should get uncomfortable and learn to hear constructive feedback from others. It will force us to think deeper, get creative, and find new ways to solve problems, like racism.

Chapter 16

To be antiracist is to let me be me, be myself, be my imperfect self. —Kendi 205

Treating individuals as they are - individuals, not race representatives.

On January 1, 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation as a “necessary war measure.” —Kendi 206

I noted this for myself. I want to know more about the Emancipation Proclamation and why Lincoln declared it a necessary war measured

Antiracist power must be flexible to match the flexibility of racist power. —Kendi 213

I think the takeaway here is that it must be adaptive because the opposing side will shift over time. We will have to think on our feet as antiracists.

The most effective demonstrations (like the most effective educational efforts) help people find the antiracist power within. —Kendi 215

I believe we all have the power to be antiracist. Once we hear that story that evokes emotion from within, we can unlock the side that fights for antiracism to improve the world for those around us.

Chapter 17

Are we willing to transform the antiracist power we gather within us to antiracist power in our society? —Kendi 218

Yes! Again, having actionable tasks to make this happen would help. I think Kendi wants us (readers who now strive to be antiracist) to come up with those on our own.

I acknowledge the definition of antiracist (someone who is supporting antiracist policies or expressing antiracist ideas). —Kendi 225

Yes, I do. And I will strive to be more antiracist from here on out.

Chapter 18

N/A. I didn’t have anything highlighted in this chapter.


Looking at the word count for this article, I think we can agree I learned a lot from this book. More than I would have imagined. It is clear to me the difference between racism and antiracism. We are not one or the other. They are not part of our identity. Yet, we can strive to be one or the other. From here on out, I will strive to be more antiracist.

Looking Further

I mentioned how I am leaving this book with more questions than I knew I had before. I am writing them down here for my own sake with the hopes that I will explore them in the future.

  • What are some examples of both racist and antiracist policies?
  • How were they written into legislation?
  • Who were the politicians that supported them?
  • Which organizations funded them?
  • What is the relationship between wealth, power, and underrepresented racial groups?
  • What kind of racism exists in the medical field? Why are African Americans 25 percent more likely to die of cancer than whites?
  • What is the current state of law enforcement and it’s the relationship to racism where I live?
  • What is the American body? What’s its relationship to racism?
  • Who were the race makers? Who created the construct of race? Why was race created?
  • Will we ever be able to remove the power construct created by race?
  • What is the history of redlining policies? Do they still exist?
  • How do you help someone realize they support racist ideas or policies?
  • How do you convince them to understand your side? (i.e. antiracist)
  • How do we get more Black teachers?
  • What’s the relationship between Black teachers and redlining?
  • What can we do to remove racism in schools?
  • What are examples of microaggressions that we might not realize?
  • What is Black athletic racism? How does it relate to biological racism?
  • What is Rodney King’s story?
  • What is Latasha Harlins’ story?
  • What is Amadou Diallo’s story?
  • What was the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965?
  • What was the Refugee Act of 1980?
  • What was the Immigration Act of 1990?
  • Am I related to John J. DiIulio?
  • If we only give people money without giving them a job, does this mean we will still have high crime rates and violence? Or is this data related to the fact that crimes and violence happen when people don’t have money to survive? Does this relate to universal basic income?
  • How easy is it to find Black-owned businesses?
  • How to fix unemployment?
  • How to ensure Black employees are paid the same as non-Black employees for the same job?
  • How can we support and get more Black youngsters opportunities in tech?
  • What more can I learn about Ebonics as a language?
  • What is the relationship between pigeon languages and racism?
  • What is the origin of the word “bro”?
  • How do you change the minds of a group of people (e.g. white people in the US)?
  • What’s the relationship between Black athletes at the Olympics and racism?
  • What is culture vs. what is a racist idea?
  • Are all paid education courses racist?
  • Racism and education.
  • What is the history of standardized tests and racism?
  • What actions can an individual take to help standardize opportunities available to all students in the education system?
  • How to fix darker-skinned people receiving the same wages as lighter-skinned folks?
  • What policies can we put in place to ensure Dark African Americans receive fair prison sentences compared to white Americans?
  • Is racism around the color of skin (light vs. dark) perpetuated from the fashion industry?
  • What is the racism around ballots being rejected for Blacks?
  • Why don’t we have laws in place to prevent ballots from being invalidated?
  • What’s the relationship between voter ID laws and racism?
  • Why do people who admire Malcolm X believe Black people can’t be racist toward white people?
  • What’s the story behind Black Lives Matter? What did Alicia Garza’s letter say?
  • Why can’t we make police officers take an antiracism class?
  • Why is there so much racism in the police departments?
  • Who was Clarence Thomas and what was the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?
  • What’s the relationship between capitalism and racism?
  • Can we eliminate class racism without anticapitalist policies?
  • What’s an alternative economic system to capitalism?
  • What was Elizabeth’s Warren take on capitalism?
  • How can you get more people of color and people from different cultures in a primarily white space?
  • How to address the fact that Black women are more likely to be incarcerated than white women?
  • Why do same-sex couples have a higher chance of living in poverty?
  • Why would a religious-freedom law take away rights from queer people?
  • What steps can I take to be more antiracist?

There is so much more to learn. This is only the beginning and the reason why I said in my previous post that this was 1%. I’ve only learned 1%, but it’s a start.

Recommend Book?

It should be obvious at this point, but if not, yes, I recommend the book. There is some controversy around a few of the other points, but either way, it’s worth the read. You will learn a lot, especially if this is your first foreran into antiracism.

If you read it and would like to discuss any parts, let me know! Send me a DM on Twitter.


I learned a lot of new terms while reading this book (some not unique to anti-racism either). I wrote some in my own words and others are in the words of the author.

  • affability - friendliness
  • agonize - cause someone mental anguish, cause them to suffer, to worry
  • anachronistic - something that belongs to an earlier time (e.g. a sword in modern warfare)
  • amelioration - improvement
  • antiracist - “One who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.” (Kendi 13)
  • antiracist anticapitalist - “One who is opposing racial capitalism.” (Kendi 151)
  • assimilationist - someone who advocates for racial or cultural integration
  • behavioral antiracist - One how is making racial group behavior fictional and individual behavior real.
  • bigotry - intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself
  • biological racism - also called scientific racism, a belief that there is evidence to support or justify racism
  • Black Panther - a member of the Black Panther Party, “a socialist political organization founded by Marxist college students” (Wikipedia)
  • bodily antiracist - “One who is humanizing, deracializing, and individualizing nonviolent and violent behavior.” (Kendi 69)
  • brethren - an old word meaning brothers (bible)
  • color antiracism - “A powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to equity between Light people and Dark people, supported by antiracist ideas about Light and Dark people.” (Kendi 107)
  • conk - “a hairstyle popular among African-American men from the 1920s to the 1960s”
  • covert - not openly acknowledged or displayed, secret
  • cultural antiracist - “One who is rejecting cultural standards and equalizing cultural differences among racial groups” (Kendi 81)
  • curse theory - “claims all Black peoples are inferior because of the biblical story of Ham, has also had a negative impact of ideals of racism and race issues throughout the United States history(M.L.P. Graduate Studies Blog)
  • dissident - in opposition to official policy
  • Ebonics - American Black English, regarded as a language, rather than a dialect of standard English
  • emancipated - liberated
  • ethnic racism - “a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to inequity between racialized ethnic groups and are substantiated by racist ideas about racialized ethnic groups” (Kendi 56)
  • Episcopalian - of or advocating government of a Church by bishops
  • eugenics - “the study of how to arrange reproduction within a human population to increase the occurrence of heritable characteristics regarded as desirable” (Google)
  • eugenicist - someone who believes in eugenics
  • exodus - mass departure of people
  • exonerate - absolve someone from blame or fault (especially from an official body like a politician)
  • gender antiracism - “A powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to equity between race-genders and are substantiated by antiracist ideas about race-genders.” (Kendi 181)
  • genial - friendly and cheerful
  • internalized racism - “both conscious and unconscious beliefs internally in a racial hierarchy where whites are ranked higher than people of color” (Wikipedia)
  • jezebel - a shameless woman
  • lackey - servant
  • Latinx - a person of Latin American origin (gender-neutral)
  • melanin - “a dark brown or black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye in people and animals” (Google)
  • overt - done or shown openly (PDA)
  • paucity - scarcity
  • patriarch - “the male head of a family or tribe” (Google)
  • polygenesis - “a theory of human origins which posits the view that the human races are of different origins.” (Wikipedia)
  • microaggression - “[Derald Wing Sue] defines microaggressions as ‘brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.‘” (Kendi 46)
  • migrant advantage - an advantage that one group of migrants has, that others may not
  • oratorical - “relating to the art or practice of public speaking” (Google)
  • queer antiracism - “A powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to equity between race-sexualities and are substantiated by antiracist ideas about race-sexualities.” (Kendi 193)
  • race - “A power construct of collected or merged difference that lives socially.” (Kendi 35)
  • racial inequity - “Racial inequity is when two or more racial groups are not standing on approximately equal footing.” (Kendi 18)
  • repatriated - sent back to their own country
  • singular-race makers - “people who push for the end of categorizing and identifying by race” (Kendi)
  • snubbing - ignoring disdainfully
  • space antiracism - “A powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity between integrated and protected racialized spaces, which are substantiated by antiracist ideas about racialized spaces.” (Kendi 166)
  • suasion - persuasion as opposed to force or compulsion
  • superpredator - “a youth who repeatedly commits violent crimes as a result of being raised without morals (Wiktionary)
  • transnational - “extending or operating across national boundaries” (Google)
  • unflappably - with calmness in a crisis
  • white ethnostate - “a proposed type of state in which residence or citizenship would be limited to white people and would exclude non-whites such as Black people, non-white Hispanics, Jewish people, Muslims, etc” (Wikipedia).
  • yaller - “also called ‘high yellow’, a term used to describe a light-skinned person of white and black ancestry” (Wikipedia)

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