How to Be an Antiracist

Welcome to the Ohio State University Libraries guide to "How to Be an Antiracist."

Related Resources

How to Be an Antiracist book cover

Explore The Ohio State University Libraries Resources

The Ohio State University Libraries provides access to a wide variety of resources. This page features resources that can help you explore themes in How to Be and Antiracist.

Author's Books

Kendi, Ibram X. The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965-1972. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. New York: Nation Books, 2016. 

Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be An Antiracist. New York: OneWorld, 2019.

Kendi, Ibram X. Be Antiracist: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action. New York: One World, 2020. 

Kendi, Ibram X. and Ashley Lukashevsky. Antiracist Baby. New York: Kokila., 2020.

Reynolds, Jason and Ibram X. Kendi. STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2020.

Kendi, Ibram X. and Keisha N. Blain. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019. New York: One World, 2021. 

About the Book

Welcome to The Ohio State University Libraries Guide to How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, This guide offers resources for those who want to explore issues central to the book.


About the book

How to Be an Antiracist 

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the
conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward
liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At it’s core,
racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value;
its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of
different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different
sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class
and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value
ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Dr. Kendi takes readers through a widening
circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary
possibilites—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand
their posionous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and
in ourselves.

How does How to Be an Antiracist relate to my life experience?
You will find many themes and events in the book that relate to your life. During your lifetime, you will encounter new  communities, cultures, ideas, and relationships. 

  • systematic injustice
  • community activism
  • decision-making
  • economic injustice  
  • policing
  • anti-racism
  • perseverance
  • mass incarceration
  • integrity  
  • social justice

Discussion Questions

Questions for readers (adapted from Antiracist Reading Guide )
We hope you enjoy reading "How to Be and Antiracist."

  1. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi shares his own experience with racist thinking. How does his honesty help give us space to acknowledge and name our own racist behaviors and attitudes?  
  2. The book’s central message is that the opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” The true opposite of “racist” is antiracist. “The good news,” Kendi writes, “is that racist and antiracist are not fixed identities. We can be racist one minute and an antiracist the next.” What does it mean to have to constantly reaffirm your identity as an antiracist? Is there any benefit to the fact that you can’t just decide you are “not racist” or an antiracist and be done with it?
  3. What is the first step you, personally, will take in striving to be an antiracist? How will you check yourself and hold yourself accountable if you notice you, or someone else, is being racist?
  4. Kendi thinks that we should assess candidates as being racist or antiracist based on what ideas they are expressing and what policies they are supporting—and not what they say is in their bones or their heart. Do you agree with him? Why or why not?
  5. Anyone who values immigrants from European countries and devalues immigrants from Latin America is guilty of racism. Have you ever been guilty of this type of racism? Discuss the unique resilience and resourcefulness people possess if they leave everything in their native country behind and immigrate to another, as Kendi examines in the chapter on Ethnicity.
  6. Kendi believes we can defy the odds, heal society of racism, and create an antiracist society. Do you? Why is hope so central to the antiracist movement?
  7. In 2019, FBI released data from 2018 that show 350 hate crimes were reported in Ohio, with 71 reported in Columbus. Columbus has the highest number of reported hate crimes in Ohio with racially based hate crimes being the most-reported. How do the issues in How to Be an Antiracist relate to Ohio’s reported hate crimes? To the United States in general?

How to Be an Antiracist Reading Guide by Ibram X. Kendi' 


African American and African Studies Librarian and Comparative Studies Librarian

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Leta Hendricks
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222B Thompson Library 1858 Neil Avenue Columbus, OH 43210