Do you fondly remember doing activity books when you were a kid? Are you still working out how to turn your antiracist aspirations into a life of action?* W. Kamau Bell ( a Black American man) and Kate Schatz (a white American woman) have put together an antiracist activity book that is perfect for adults and older teens. It is US focused, so while antiracism is necessary around the world, the specifics of history and law won’t apply.
Not everyone will appreciate the nostalgic format of crossword puzzles, word scrambles, fill in the blanks, and pages for coloring. But I did! The exercises are not just for fun. I thought the coloring pages to illustrate redlining were a brilliant way to take knowledge from abstract to visceral. I really enjoyed it, though because I had a locked PDF advance reader copy, I couldn’t actually interact with the book as intended. Still, I will really enjoy coloring the Audre Lord quote:
To acknowledge privilege is the first step in making it available for wider use.
The book does a great job of walking the reader step by step through concepts and linking those concepts to direct action. I particularly appreciated that Bell and Schatz presented history as choices that were made, those choices were driven by desire to create and protect wealth, and they link those choices to the world we live in today. There was a lot of information that wasn’t new to me, but it was really nice to have it all in one place and used as context for the current state of affairs.
This would be a good companion book to any antiracist library. I think it’s important to have many tools in your toolbox, and this one is nice for people who find journaling hard. It’s me, I find journaling hard.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Workman Publishing Company and NetGalley. My opinions are freely and honestly given.
*That’s a trick question, achieving perfect antiracism is nearly impossible, the point is to keep working at it.