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How To Be An Antiracist: Book Discussion Series

Library staff professional development DEI book discussion


Discussion Questions
Intro and Chapters 1-4

Intro & Chapters 1-4

Discussion Questions

Unit 1: Intro, Chapters 1 - 4: Intro; Definitions:  Dueling Consciousness; Power; & Biology

  • Introduce yourself: We learn a lot about Kendi's family and his own positionality in these chapters. Among other things, Kendi states he is "one generation removed from picking cotton for pocket change... outside Savannah." Introduce yourself and your own positionality; what are you "one generation removed from"?
  • What is the difference between someone who is "not racist" and someone who is "antiracist," according to Kendi's definitions?
  • Kendi has already stated unequivocally in the book's Intro that pretending to be colorblind is actually "...a mask to hide racism." He expands on this in Chapter 3, p 38, by saying it is  " ... the privilege of being inherently normal, standard, and legal" that allows some whites to not have to think about race, to dismiss or deny racism, etc.  Similarly, in Chapter 4, p 54, Kendi says the "post-racial strategy" of insisting there is only one race (i.e., the human race) is misguided and "harmful."
    • Without pushing back or fighting against these statements, explain what is meant by privilege and explain Kendi's perspective.