I think this book is a great resource and I like how easy it is to read. If you are far along in your journey of becoming anti-racist, a lot of the information in this text will be something that you are probably already familiar with. However, I still think it's worth getting the book just for the sake of accessing the long list of resources that the author provides in each chapter and summarizes at the end of the book. It's a very thorough list of books, videos, podcast, articles, etc. that will help you learn even more.
But... let begin with the format of the book...
Each chapter of this book is a response to a question that the author has been asked, which I like, because it reflects the open conversation that he intents to have. I believe all of the questions come from white people and, as the author explains in the intro, this is meant to create a bridge between Black and white people and help clarify all the misinformation that we've been fed through the news and other media outlets. Each questions is answered in three parts, first we get some sort of quick response with the author's own experience, then we "rewind" to talk about the historical background for his response and then we get into the "Talk it, Walk it" section where he shares about the next steps to take in order to become anti-racists; this is the part of the chapter were he also provides a lot of different resources to help us continue learning.
There was a lot of information in the book that I already knew about, but there is also a lot of information that I learned. As I mentioned before if you are already far along in your journey to become anti-racist, there is very little in this book that will be new to you. However, I do appreciate that the author has chosen to speak directly with white people; his audience are those who are just getting start with this kind of work and still need a lot to learn. So, this is an easy read for those of us who already have done the homework.
So that brings me to my my next point... is this a good book to teach students about being anti-racist?
Because of the format of the book, I think that the questions in each chapter would be really useful to open up a conversation in the classroom. The historical references are so simplified that it would make it easier for teenagers to understand. However, I don't think this is a book I would read with my students as a class. I would probably use parts of the book to start conversations after reading something else (maybe a newspaper article, something more current... ) that will lead us to have a discussion about race inequalities. I do believe this is a book a teacher should read and it as reference; I think we need as many book as we can in our toolbox, how we use them will definitely depend on where we are at with out students in our conversations revolving about race. I do think that if you are a beginner, these questions will help you frame the discussion in a more informed way.
I do believe that as teachers, it's our responsibility to educate about the injustices of our society, and inspire our students to affect change. We are doing what we can right now, but they are the future... they deserve better.
I hope you enjoyed this review, and as always, send me a message if you want to discuss further. I love engaging in productive conversations.
Welcome to Jime's Book Club. Each month I read a different novel and I write about it. Some of these novels are great for the classroom and, if they are, I will give you tons of tips on how to incorporate them in your classroom. If they are not, I will tell you not to use them!