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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 16

A downloadable copy of this guide can be found here.

Goals for Chapter 16

  • Compare and contrast the definitions of 'protests' and 'demonstrations'
  • Critique the usefulness of this book club

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?
  • On page 212, Kendi flips the concept of courage and fearlessness, saying “I gain strength from fear.” What does he mean by this? How can you gain strength from fear?
  • What is the difference between a protest and a demonstration? (see page 215)
    • Was that a new distinction for you?
    • If it is, why do you think you haven’t been taught that distinction before?
  • On page 213-214, Kendi lists a large number of ways in which anti-racist actions fail due to misplaced blame. What are anti-racist failures you’ve seen, and where does the blame lie? Is that the right place?
  • What are ways this book group serves anti-racist purposes? What are ways in which having this club could hinder those goals?

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?

Additional Materials

“The Performance of ‘Antiracism’ Curricula” by Kevin J. Gutierrez

“What’s So Critical About Critical Librarianship” by Emily Drabinski (whole thing is 57 min long minutes but 34:20 - 43:50 are particularly relevant)