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How To Be An Antiracist: Book Discussion Series

Library staff professional development DEI book discussion

 HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST
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Discussion Questions
Chapters 5-8

Unit 2: Chapters 5-8

Discussion Questions

Unit 2:  Chapters 5 - 8: Ethnicity; Body; Culture; Behavior

In these chapters, Kendi unpacks the various ways that racism impacts perceptions of ethnicity, bodies, culture, and behavior.   

  • In Chapters 5 and 6, Kendi introduces the terms racialized ethnic groups and racialized bodies.
    • Explain what is meant by these terms, as well as how these forms of racism manifest. Thinking beyond the examples Kendi offers, identify an  example of ethnic racism or bodily racism that you can think of from recent years. 
  • In Chapter 7, Kendi explores how African American culture (cultural practices; fashion; language; music, and more) is seen by "culturally racist scholars," sociologists and apologists, and contrasts that with how he describes the experience of being a young Black male navigating "on the Ave."
    • How can we explain these differences in perspective, using the lenses of power and cultural racism?
  • Kendi connects in Chapter 8 the development of IQ tests and standardized tests with the 19th century eugenics movement, and states "... because we're talking about featureless, objective numbers, no one would ever think that racism could have played a role."
    • Had you ever thought of standardized tests in this way before?  What is the difference between the achievement gap and the opportunity gap, as Kendi describes, and how might this impact how we interpret a student's performance on standardized tests?