June Antiracist Read: This Book is Anti-Racist, by Tiffany Jewell and Aurélia Durand
My June antiracist read was This Book is Antiracist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, written by Tiffany Jewell and illustrated by Aurélia Durand.
Here is some information about the book, from Quarto Kids:
Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.
“In a racist society, it’s not enough to be non-racist—we must be ANTI-RACIST.” —Angela Davis
Gain a deeper understanding of your anti-racist self as you progress through 20 chapters that spark introspection, reveal the origins of racism that we are still experiencing, and give you the courage and power to undo it. Each chapter builds on the previous one as you learn more about yourself and racial oppression. 20 activities get you thinking and help you grow with the knowledge. All you need is a pen and paper.
Author Tiffany Jewell, an anti-bias, anti-racist educator and activist, builds solidarity beginning with the language she chooses—using gender neutral words to honor everyone who reads the book. Illustrator Aurélia Durand brings the stories and characters to life with kaleidoscopic vibrancy.
After examining the concepts of social identity, race, ethnicity, and racism, learn about some of the ways people of different races have been oppressed, from indigenous Americans and Australians being sent to boarding school to be “civilized” to a generation of Caribbean immigrants once welcomed to the UK being threatened with deportation by strict immigration laws.
Find hope in stories of strength, love, joy, and revolution that are part of our history, too, with such figures as the former slave Toussaint Louverture, who led a rebellion against white planters that eventually led to Haiti’s independence, and Yuri Kochiyama, who, after spending time in an internment camp for Japanese Americans during WWII, dedicated her life to supporting political prisoners and advocating reparations for those wrongfully interned.
Learn language and phrases to interrupt and disrupt racism. So, when you hear a microaggression or racial slur, you’ll know how to act next time.
This book is written for EVERYONE who lives in this racialized society—including the young person who doesn’t know how to speak up to the racist adults in their life, the kid who has lost themself at times trying to fit into the dominant culture, the children who have been harmed (physically and emotionally) because no one stood up for them or they couldn’t stand up for themselves, and also for their families, teachers, and administrators.
With this book, be empowered to actively defy racism and xenophobia to create a community (large and small) that truly honors everyone. (Source)
I experienced and discussed this book with a group of coworkers and friends interested in learning the lessons for themselves, and also in sharing them with their children and students. The author has shared some truly incredible interviews and resources for readers to dig deeper and learn even more from this amazing text. Find a few of those resources below.
How to Teach and Raise Antiracist Kids, a collaboration between KidLit4BlackLives and the International Literacy Association, hosted by Kwame Alexander. Author Tiffany Jewell is a panelist along with Cornelius Minor, Karyn Parsons, Pam Allyn, and Dr. Noni Thomas López. (Video link via The Gordon School.)
Q&A with Tiffany Jewell, This Book is Antiracist, via We Need Diverse Books
On Being Comfortable with Discomfort: Tiffany Jewell Explains what it Means to be Anti-Racist, via School Library Journal
Tiffany Jewell and the book’s incredible illustrator, Aurélia Durand, have worked together to share free resources to help educators looking to read themselves and bring the text into their classrooms. What a gift. The This Book is Anti-Racist Educator’s Guide includes pre-reading activities, concrete tips to turn your classroom into an anti-racist environment, definitions, discussion questions, booklists for further reading, and more.
Additionally, the This Book is Anti-Racist team has created a Family Discussion Guide, also available for free.
Here are a few of the questions from the educator and family guides that I’m most interested in sharing with the young people in my life:
- What privileges do you hold? How can you use your privilege to disrupt racism?
- How will you listen so you are really and truly hearing what is being said?
- What does solidarity look like, feel like, taste like, smell like, and sound like?
- How will you hold the door open without falling into savorism? Who will you leave the door open for?
- When will you listen, and when will you interrupt?
You can learn from the author and illustrator every day on social media: Tiffany Jewell’s website, Instagram and Twitter; Aurélia Durand’s website, Instagram and Twitter. Engaging with these resources is valuable, but they are not a substitution for paying for the author and illustrator’s work.
The antiracist read I’m attempting for July is So You Want to Talk about Race, by Ijeoma Oluo. If you’re interested in reading this book too, I’d love to connect and discuss with you.
I try my best, but not all of my antiracist thoughts and reflections make it to the blog. Find more on Instagram.
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