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How to Be an Anti-Racist Book Club Guide

This guide includes the curriculum you need to run a book club based on Ibram X. Kendi's How to Be an Anti-Racist, as well as supplementary reading and videos.

Chapter 13

A downloadable copy of this guide can be found here.

Goals for Chapter 13

  • Identify the differences between Black-only spaces and white-only spaces
  • Understand the implications of generalizations in context of racism and anti-racism

Discussion Questions

Go over the group agreements, then discuss the following questions:

  • How has it been for you since the last meeting? Did anything from the book stick with you during that time?
  • What were your “aha!” moments while reading this chapter?
  • Kendi talks about his relationship with Professor Mazama, listing the things she’s taught him and the impact it’s had. Who have been your mentors and teachers?
    • What worldview did they impart to you?
    • Was that worldview racist or antiracist?
  • Kendi talks about the need and reaction to Black spaces as a way to separate and protect themselves from racism. How do we as a library create space for Black students?
  • What are the similarities and differences between Kendi’s description of Black-only spaces, and the concept of ‘safe spaces’? (see pg 175 especially)
  • Does creating space for Black students necessarily translate to having less space for White people? When does it, and when does it not?
  • Talk about Nashay’s experiences with the HBCU and the HWCU, and her reaction to it (p170-173).
    • Nashay generalizes some experiences (botched transcript = HBCUs are bad) and individualizes some (stolen money = financial aid officer’s sole action). Why might she have done this? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this?
    • What are scenarios in which you generalize or individualize in your life? Why?

Wrap up: Depending on time, you may ask people to put these in chat

  • What is a specific action you can take in the next week that is anti-racist?
  • What worked today? What didn’t work?