Becoming an Antiracist: 3 Steps and 4 Exercises

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are the steps to becoming an antiracist? How can you help make yourself a better advocate for dismantling racism?

Becoming an antiracist can help you better combat racial injustice. Ibram X. Kendi identifies three steps for learning how to be an antiracist.

Keep reading to find out what the steps are and to see some exercises to help you in your journey to becoming an antiracist.

The Process for Becoming an Antiracist

Part of becoming an antiracist is identifying your racist ideas and working to dismantle them, but another large part is changing your actions. In the previous chapter, we looked at some of the methods used and compared their success rates. In this chapter, we’ll look at how to harness the most effective techniques to achieve results. Ibram measures success by results, not by intentions.

How to Be an Antiracist is part how-to and part memoir. Author Ibram X. Kendi, like many of us, grew up in a racist society and internalized many of its ideas. Throughout much of his life, he was racist, and he describes how he changed his thoughts and actions—and how you can change yours.

Kendi’s book covers three major steps to becoming an antiracist:

  1. Learn what racism is and how it evolved.
  2. Become aware of subtle racist ideas you might have been unknowingly supporting and weaken them.
  3. Start supporting antiracist rather than racist policies.

Antiracism Exercises

Antiracism involves targeting racist policies.

  • How would you find out what some of the racial inequities are in your region? Consider connecting with antiracism groups, looking up statistics, or talking to activists.
  • How would you find out what policies are responsible for these inequities? 
  • How would you find out who or what group is responsible for implementing or maintaining these policies? 
  • How could you take power away from those responsible for racist policies? Consider supporting antiracism candidates to replace racist power, stepping into a position of power yourself, or protesting.
Becoming an Antiracist: 3 Steps and 4 Exercises

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Antiracist" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full How to Be an Antiracist summary:

  • What racism is and how it evolved
  • How you might have subtle racist thoughts and not even be aware of them
  • Why being "not racist" isn't good enough

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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