...another stunner of a book that is in some ways [Kendi's] previous work’s natural counterpart ... Instead of focusing on our racist ideas, Kendi offers up a wrenching examination of the evolution of his ... Kendi rejects the now-hackneyed notion that blacks cannot be racist because they do not have power ... He shifts our attention away from people’s ethnic identities to the racist nature of their ideas and policies, and argues that these are the things on which we should judge a person. While acknowledging the reality of racism in contemporary life, Kendi wants to free us from using tainted ideas to stigmatize people and support policies that define others as inferior ... What emerges from these insights is the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind, a confessional of self-examination that may, in fact, be our best chance to free ourselves from our national nightmare.
...an essential instruction manual ... [Kendi's] transparency serves as an invitation to all of us to accept and grow from our racist behavior. It is one of many components that makes How to Be an Antiracist so accessible ... I found myself resisting Kendi's perspective on more than one occasion. Yet in every case, either his unassailable reasoning, helpful historical context, illuminating data, or some combination of the above won me over ... How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, 'the basic struggle we're all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.'
It’s a mark of the transformative and unsettling power of Ibram X Kendi’s writing that I relaxed into How to Be an Antiracist with the comforting and self-righteous knowledge that the title was not addressing me. After all I am black; I couldn’t possibly be racist, could I? By the book’s end, I wasn’t so sure ... How to Be an Antiracist offers a way out from the tangled disingenuousness of mainstream narratives around racism ... At its simplest, the book argues that to be an antiracist is to take an active and persistent stance against racism ... In the course of How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi moves from his rigid framework and selective perception of the inequalities endured by black people as primarily explained through the prism of race; he’s increasingly inclined towards the view held by Martin Luther King Jr...of the intersection of racism with capitalism ...This vital book asks...age-old questions: When does silence become complicity? Why do we fear taking action more than the devastating consequences of inaction? Kendi’s writing is a search for a language to enable the antiracist that resides in all of us.