Dr. Inram X. Kendi is a New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award winner, and the Founding Director of The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in Washington, DC. He is a professor of history and international relations.
Kendi's title encompasses his main thesis: simply not being racist isn't enough. We must actively choose to be "antiracist," working to undo racism and its component polices in order to build an equitable society. 'Not being a racist' isn't the opposite of 'being a racist.' An anti-racist is being in an active state of combating racist policies and systems. There is no safe space, he writes, between racist and not a racist. There is no neutral." He suggests all of us are racists sometimes and not others, and we all need to work at anti-racism - at seeing all humans as as fully whole as all the rest.
In Skipjack, Celie is a perfect example of someone trying to be an anti-racist. Her friend Ava is quick to criticize her when she doesn't succeed. Ava is in her own way also a racist - how could the girls not have been back in the 1960's?
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