When it comes to racism, neutrality is not an option.
No one thinks of themselves as racist - and yet the divisions and inequalities of racism are all around us. In this bold and uncompromising book, Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, explains why this is - and why not being racist is not enough.
He explains that racism is so engrained in our history and our society that we often fail to recognise it, especially in ourselves. It is also so taboo that we are scared to admit it when we do. But we all occasionally think or even do things that are racist, including people of colour. And the most common of these careless, ignorant, self-harming and racist acts is when we deny that racism has anything to do with us.
This is why being an antiracist is so hard: it requires us to shake off our fears and assumptions and be honest with ourselves.
Using his extraordinary gifts as a teacher and story-teller, Kendi helps us in this task by describing with moving humility his own journey from racism to antiracism. He provides a comprehensive account of the misconceptions that so often cloud our understanding - from arguments about what race is and whether racial differences exist - and the complications that arise when race intersects with ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality.
In the process he demolishes the myth of the 'post-racial' society and builds from the ground up a vital new understanding of racism - what it is, where it is hidden, how to identify it and what to do about it.
Ibram X. Kendi is founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University in Washington, DC, where he is a Professor of History and International Relations. His previous books are
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Winner of the National Book Award 2016, and
The Black Campus Movement, Winner of the W. E. B. Du Bois Book Prize. He is also a columnist at the