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October 6, 2020
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Acclaimed author and anti-racism educator Ibram X. Kendi's brand-new book, Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action, offers a space for meaningful reflection. Get those pens poised: In this excerpt, we're sharing five thought-provoking journal prompts to help you check in on your relationship with race, racism, and active allyship.
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The heartbeat of racism is denial. Each day, we are discouraged from actively reflecting on our ideas and actions toward particular racial groups. Each day, we are encouraged to deny whenever we are being racist. What fuels racism is refusing to self-reflect, defining racist in a way that exonerates us, constantly declaring that we are not racist. All the time. No matter what we say or do.

We must continuously reflect on ourselves so we can reflect on our society. We must continuously strive to be anti-racist so we can build an anti-racist society, an anti-racist society not governed by fear and hate and cynicism but one of equity and justice and truth. An anti-racist society governed by curiosity, and love, and hope, honoring humanity in all its fullness.

5 journaling prompts to reflect on racism:

  1. Have you ever described yourself as "not racist"? What does "not racist" mean to you? Why do you think so many people are invested in believing they are not "racist"?
  2. Describe the most racist moment of your life and why it was racist. What should you have done or said differently?
  3. List and describe five major experiences that have most influenced how you relate to racial issues.
  4. Describe the first time you challenged (or thought about challenging) racism.
  5. Describe an anti-racist state. How would it be any different from society right now?
Reprinted with permission from How To Be an Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action by Ibram X. Kendi, copyright © 2020. Published by One World, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
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Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi
Author and historian

Ibram X. Kendi is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices. He is a National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi is a contributor writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent. He is also the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University. In 2020, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.