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Ibram X. Kendi on the Next Steps for an Anti-Racist Society

We were joined by Dr Kendi for an exclusive event as he talked about his new book 'How To Raise an Antiracist'

Ibram X. Kendi shot to global fame with his book How To Be an Antiracist, which reshaped the conversation about racial justice when it was published in 2019, selling over 1 million copies in the US and 100,000 copies in the UK. In July 2022 he came to the Intelligence Squared stage for an exclusive event to talk about his new book How To Raise an Antiracist. 

How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How do kids at different ages experience race? How are racist structures impacting children? How can we inspire our children to avoid our mistakes, to be better, to make the world better?

These are the questions Kendi found himself avoiding as he anticipated the birth of his first child. Like most parents or parents-to-be, he felt the reflex to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But, as Kendi argued, it is only by teaching our children about the reality of racism and the myth of race from the earliest age that we can actually protect them and preserve their innocence and joy. And he drew on a century of scientific research and his own compelling personal story to make his case.

Kendi was joined in conversation by BBC news presenter Razia Iqbal. Is Kendi right that no child is too young to be taught about antiracism? Or, as other African American thinkers have argued, is there a danger in making every child a representative of their race? 

Praise for Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Raise an Antiracist

Don’t fool yourself — silence is not a helpful strategy! If you want to raise empowered, antiracist children, read this book, take a deep breath, and start talking.’—Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race

Parents need to be proactive by developing the skills and language to understand the parenting journey of antiracism. With love, vulnerability, and the remarkable brilliance we have now come to expect in his books, Kendi walks us through this journey.’ — Bettina Love, author of We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom



Ibram X. Kendi

One of America’s best known scholars on race and bestselling author of How To Raise an Antiracist

Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is the author of many books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and three No 1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an Antiracist, which was also a Sunday Times bestseller; Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. His latest book is How To Raise an Antiracist. In 2020, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Razia Iqbal

Journalist and broadcaster

Razia was special correspondent at the BBC for over three decades and from 2011 to 2023 anchored Newshour on the BBC World Service. She is currently teaching at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, where she holds the John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professorship.