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How To Be An Antiracist: Book Discussion Series

Library staff professional development DEI book discussion


Discussion Questions
Chapters 9-12

Discussion Questions

Unit 3: Chapters 9, 10, 11, 12: Color; White; Black; Class

1. Chapter 9 addresses colorism, or racist ideas and policies that lead to inequities between light- and dark-skinned people. Kendi unpacks his own struggles with colorism, from his honey contact lenses to his pledge to date only dark-skinned women. In Chapter 11, he exposes racism from Blacks directed at other Blacks as a means of debunking the saying that "Black people can't be racist." Address one of the following:

  • Explain Kendi's ultimate position on how to be an antiracist in regard to standards of beauty; give examples.
  • Kendi gives numerous examples of Black on Black racism in Chapter 11. Which one of the scenarios surprised you the most, and why?

2. In Chapter 10, Kendi states that "...ordinary white people benefit from racist policies, though not nearly as much as racist power, and not nearly as much as they could from an equitable society." (p 129)  Identify a racist policy or racist power that "ordinary white people" like us benefit from. How might that policy or power be changed to be more equitable and more antiracist?

3. As described in Chapter 12, what is the " intersection" of race and class, and how does this intersection disproportionately and negatively impact people of color? Give examples.