This Book Is Anti-racist

This Book Is Anti-racist

Book - 2020
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6
Learn about identities, true histories, and anti-racism work. This book is written so young people will feel empowered to stand up to the adults in their lives. It will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it.
Publisher: Minnneapolis, MN :, Frances Lincoln Children's Books,, 2020.
ISBN: 9780711245211
9780711245204
Characteristics: 160 pages : color illustrations ; 20 cm
Alternative Title: This book is antiracist
Contents: Waking up: understanding and growing into my identities
Opening the window: making sense of the world
Choosing my path: taking action and responding to racism
Holding the door open: working in solidarity against racism.
Summary: Learn about identities, true histories, and anti-racism work. This book is written so young people will feel empowered to stand up to the adults in their lives. It will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it.

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RoyalJellyIII
Jan 13, 2021

There is clearly a need for anti-racist resources but this book is NOT it. Not only is it teaching highly revisionist history throughout and using ridiculous language such as 'folx' (because the word 'folks' is apparently offensive to some people), it's actively encouraging kids to be obnoxious brats. Case in point, according to this book, if you encounter something you consider a perspective you disagree with, you aren't supposed to listen to the other person's opinion and engage in thoughtful discussion or debate, you are instructed to interrupt the speaker (your teacher, in the example given) to let them know all the ways they are wrong (since no doubt the average 13-year-old has all the answers).

Here's an example it gives kids of what they should do if they hear something they disagree with:

"I could just ignore them but, because I know that's a microaggression AND because my superpower is interrupting. I can take action. I can go ahead and interject. I don't need to wait for them to finish their monologue. I shouldn't let them go on because other folx might start agreeing with them."

It goes on to give kids a further example of an extremely self-righteous speech that they can use to denounce the other speaker (their teacher in this case). It should end, the book instructed in all caps: "Your classroom only teaches to the dominant culture of white supremacy."

So basically this book is telling a bunch of kids that they should interrupt their teachers at will and that listening to others' perspectives is actually a bad thing. The first is bad enough but this last part is what I think is most concerning given that this is the exact opposite of what kids need to learn if we want to have any hope of building a healthier democratic society.

A pluralistic society such as our own requires that we listen and try to understand one another and grow together from there, not to interrupt others like such kind of intolerant jerk to push our opinions out endlessly as the 'Truth'. This behavior is bad enough in adults; why would anyone want to encourage it in kids?

If your school is trying to force this drivel on your children, I highly recommend that you fight back and ask how it is consistent with basic educational values such as encouraging respect for others' opinions and the free and open exchange of ideas. I would be appalled if my kids thought it was okay to interrupt anyone mid-sentence because they disliked what they are saying without even hearing them out and launch into some self-righteous diatribe - and I hope you would be too. To use a highly overused term, though perhaps apt in this case, this book is not only poorly written and ahistorical, it's actively harmful for young readers.

v
VonHafenstaaad
Jan 13, 2021

Divisive trash.

1
13camila
Jan 11, 2021

I loved this book! A really easy read, this inclusive book breaks down antiracism with added stories from the biracial author, beautiful illustrations, and self-care activities. A must-read for those who want to learn about activism.

d
DD3333
Dec 19, 2020

Written for teen readers this books is an excellent starting point for both teens and adults. Each chapter ends with activities/questions to actively engage the reader.

s
Sarahachisholm
Oct 13, 2020

This book is incredible! A must read for both kids (slightly older kids) and adults. The book has nice digestible chapters which are only a couple pages long, so it's easy to pick up and put down in those busy times. I got it for my kid and I learned so much.

a
alyx_reads
Jun 08, 2020

Wow! A very important topic that I haven't seen done before. I loved the straight-forwardness and understanding with rich details. I thought that the most compelling and thoughtful parts of the book was on her own experiences. I also really appreciated the workbook to make this. book more interactive and fun. My one question, and why I rated it at 4 stars instead of 5 - was on how dense the vocabulary was. The reader is equipped with a glossary in the back, but I wonder if it would have helped the reader to incorporate those definitions in callouts or at the front or back of each chapter. I think more callouts could have supported this book, though the illustrations were beautiful!

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