I now see why this has been a bestseller. I mean, I loved his first book, so I figured I would like this one, too, but his first book was a straight up history, and this one was much more of a genre mish-mash. I didn’t at all realize going in that a large portion of it would be memoir, and that turned out to be the best part of the book!
I finished this book on January 6th. It is ruining my reviews, so I’m just going to do the most basic review I can manage for a book that really deserves more than that.
The book is broken down into chapters that cover different aspects of racism, i.e. gendered racism, whitness, blackness, sexuality, etc. Each chapter is linked back to Kendi’s definition of racism (furthering his work from his first book, where he distinguishes between racists, antiracists and assimilationists). As I mentioned before, each chapter includes a significant amount of memoir from Kendi, as he reflects on his own antiracism journey in conjunction with social theory and history. Many of his ideas are sort of paradigm shifting and in contradiction to the kind of antiracism ideas you hear in general discourse, or even more academic and activist works, and I found them all interesting, but it was his own personal story that brought the book together.
One thing to note: I did the audio and was verrry distracted by it for like the first 1/3. It’s read by the author, and he does this weird reading technique that I found very jarring. I eventually got used to it, but I think I would have preferred he just read/talk normally.
Read Harder Challenge 2021: A nonfiction book about anti-racism.