Like most parents or parents-to-be, Ibram X. Kendi 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.
Kendi talks at length about his own parenting journey, noting his own errors, false assumptions, lessons learned, and intentions for the future. His humility in modeling continual self-improvement helps make this 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.
[A] knockout combination of memoir and parenting guide ... Kendi succeeds marvelously in connecting the personal to the systemic, showing how structural inequalities have personal costs ... This will be an invaluable resource for any parent or teacher who want to set kids on the path to antiracism early.
Kendi explains the connections between ableism and racism, and he ends with a chapter summarizing the current debates about anti-racist education in school and presenting a clear, impassioned case for why all children benefit from anti-racist instruction ... The author’s vulnerability about his own parenting mistakes and schooling mishaps clarifies racist structures with empathy, clarity, and hope for change. While Kendi’s overuse of rhetorical questions and tendency to self-flagellate sometimes feel grating, the book is an excellent introduction to how racism impacts children across the life span ... A useful anti-racist memoir about how anti-racism can make the world safer for all children.