Written By: Ibram X. Kendi
Illustrated by: Ashley Lukashevsky
For Ages: 3 years and up
Topics Covered: Racism, Antiracism, Community Involvement, Self-Empowerment, Oppression, Social-Emotional Learning, Family.
In this rhyming hardcover version of the board book, readers are introduced to 9 steps that anyone can take to begin their antiracist journey. The reader playfully follows along while Antiracist Baby takes their own steps to learning about how the world functions oppressively for some, and what they can do about it. By having the main character be a baby, it truly emphasizes how early we should be starting these conversations.
Something that is unique about this story is how much information is conveyed in so little words. You might think having 9 antiracism tips in one book for kids could make the story too wordy and long, but it doesn’t. With brightly colored and engaging illustrations, the reader (or listener) takes to heart what it means to act in an antiracist way everyday, bumps along the road and all. There is no endpoint to our antiracist journey, a fact that probably causes a lot of people aggravation when they want to be “done” with learning and doing the hard work of self-reflecting. Being antiracist is a lifestyle, one that we as parents and educators can choose to start from the beginning. With tools like this book, it is helping to turn the tide just a little bit faster.
In the back of the book is a letter from the author, and it provides clear talking points and information about how to approach these discussions with kids. I think we already know where this book needs to go, and that’s on every single bookshelf, basket, pile, backpack, and hand possible.
Antiracist Baby was kindly sent to us by Penguin Kids, but all opinions are our own. The book will be released tomorrow!
IBRAM X. KENDI is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices. He is a National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi is a contributor writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent. He will become the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University.
Kendi is the author of THE BLACK CAMPUS MOVEMENT, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize, and STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS IN AMERICA, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016. At 34 years old, Kendi was the youngest ever winner of the NBA for Nonfiction. He grew up dreaming about playing in the NBA (National Basketball Association), and ironically he ended up joining the other NBA.
His third book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, was a #1 New York Times Bestseller and made several Best Books of 2019 lists. His much anticipated fourth book with Jason Reynolds, STAMPED: RACISM, ANTIRACISM, AND YOU, was also a # 1 on the New York Times Bestseller. His first board book, ANTIRACIST BABY, was recently published and was a #1 Indie Bestseller.
Kendi has published fourteen academic essays in books and academic journals, including The Journal of African American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Black Studies, Journal of African American Studies, and The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture. He has published op-eds in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, London Review, Time, Salon, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Paris Review, Black Perspectives, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He commented on a series of international, national, and local media outlets, such as CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Al Jazeerah, PBS, BBC, Democracy Now, OWN, and Sirius XM. A sought after public speaker, Kendi has delivered hundreds of addresses over the years at colleges and universities, bookstores, festivals, conferences, libraries, churches, and other institutions in the United States and abroad.
Kendi strives to be a hardcore antiracist and softcore vegan. He enjoys joking it up with friends and family, partaking in African American culture, weight-lifting, reading provocative books, discussing the issues of the day with open-minded people, and hoping and pressing for the day the New York Knicks will win an NBA championship and for the day this nation and world will be ruled by the best of humanity.
Ashley is an illustrator + visual artist born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She’s currently based in Echo Park, Los Angeles. Ashley likes to eat noodles and sit in the sun like a sleepy cat.
She uses illustration and visual art as a tool to strengthen social movements for racial justice, immigrant justice, climate justice, mental health and LGBTQIA+ liberation. Ashley thinks that in order to tear down harmful systems, we need to be able to envision a world without them. She is trying to draw what that world looks like.