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Ibram Kendi targets young adults with new ‘How to Be a (Young) Antiracist’ book, tour

Book ‘will serve as a guide for teens seeking a way forward in acknowledging, identifying, and dismantling racism,’ publisher stated

Ibram Kendi and co-author Nic Stone arrived in Cambridge, Mass., this week to promote their new book, “How to Be a (Young) Antiracist,” a young adult spinoff of Kendi’s 2019 bestseller “How to Be an Antiracist,” The Harvard Crimson reported Tuesday.

“From Texas to California, the authors and their publisher, Penguin Teen, collaborated with independent bookstores to host moderated panel discussions for fans of all ages,” The Crimson reported, adding Cambridge, home of Harvard, was the final stop.

The new book is “aimed at readers 12 and up” and “will serve as a guide for teens seeking a way forward in acknowledging, identifying, and dismantling racism and injustice,” publisher Penguin Random House stated on its website.

Kendi, a humanities professor at Boston University and founding director of its Center for Antiracist Research, said he was “excited to be able to end this tour here at home,” according to The Crimson.

The book reading and signing was held at Temple Beth Shalom, sponsored by Porter Square Books and Cambridge Public Schools.

“Pews were packed” for the sold-out event, the campus newspaper reported.

“How to Be a (Young) Antiracist” presents a “fictional retelling of Kendi’s life and experiences with racism,” using an “array of stories from Kendi’s youth to introduce anti-racist concepts and definitions to young readers,” according to The Crimson.

Kendi explained his definition of “anti-racism” in a 2019 interview with NPR: “I don’t really define racist at all by intent.”

“If the effect of a policy is an injustice or an inequity, it’s racist,” he said. “If a policy is leading to inequity, [one] can call that policy racist.”

When an audience member at the Cambridge event asked him what motivates his writing, Kendi said it comes from “knowing that there are many people in this country who can’t tap out of being harmed by racism,” according to The Crimson.

MORE: Ibram Kendi launches ‘new antiracist newsroom’

IMAGE: The Harvard Crimson/Courtesy of bbgb books

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