Ibram X. Kendi: 'Racism Isn't An Identity, It's What You're Doing In The Moment'

Ibram X. Kendi: 'Racism Isn't An Identity, It's What You're Doing In The Moment'Ibram X. Kendi: 'Racism Isn't An Identity, It's What You're Doing In The Moment'

Ibram X. Kendi: 'Racism Isn't An Identity, It's What You're Doing In The Moment' Note: Audio for Part Two of this interview will be available tomorrow. The writer Ibram X. Kendi has made a name for himself tackling one of the most important, and one of the most sensitive topics in America today. His 2017 book Stamped from the Beginning is a history of racist ideas in America, and his new book is called How To Be an Antiracist. It starts with a moment in Kendi's own life: He was a high school senior taking part in an oratorical contest honoring Martin Luther King Jr., delivering a speech that ultimately won him first place. "And in this speech, in which I thought I was being so progressive and so radical, in fact I was expressing a litany of anti-black ideas particularly, about black youth," he says. "I talked about 'black youth don't value education' and I talked about 'black youth keep climbing the high tree of pregnancy,' that 'black youth are not trained well by their parents,' and this majority-black crowd of 3000 largely clapped. And really, that was the moment in which I recognized just how many racist ideas, anti-black racist ideas I had consumed over the course of the '90s — a time that many of these ideas were mainstream." On the definition of antiracist I define an antiracist — and I should say that the book, as you know, is sort of anchored on all of these definitions, because ...
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