Anti-Racism Book Club launches in October

Chris Bird, Managing Editor

Intercultural Exchange at Madison College will be hosting meetings every Thursday in October from 34 p.m. through Microsoft Teams to read and discuss the 2019 book by American author and historian Dr. Ibram X. Kendi titled How to Be an Antiracist. 

Dr. Kendi’s book discusses concepts of racism, addresses policies and larger social and systemic arrangements, and asks us to examine them as well as our own beliefs and what we may, even implicitly, be supporting in our society. Encouraging readers to imagine what an antiracist society would look like, Dr. Kendi presents ideas that could serve as a guide towards playing an active role in building such a thing through individual actions and systemic changes. 

“The book club is an opportunity to connect with others and deepen our understanding of what it means to be antiracist in mindset and behavior,” wrote Student Program Advisor Breanna Stapleton Welch. 

Kendi is writing from his personal experience as a Black U.S. American male, and each reader is going to process the book through their own identity and lived experience. I think that will make the book club discussions especially meaningful.” 

Madison College will be able to provide at least 25 copies of Dr. Kendi’s book, which will be mailed to students who sign up for the book club. There will potentially be more copies available in the form of audiobooks and e-books if students should need them. 

This book club will give students an opportunity to not only experience Dr. Kendi’s book for themselves, but share their perspectives and hopefully understand the experiences that others have with this book and the topics being covered. Reading this book and participating in the book club meetings may help give some useful knowledge and context to those planning to attend the Madison College Talks event on Nov. 4, where Lucía Nuñez, Madison College’s Vice President of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement, and Dr. Kendi will be leading an open conversation on antiracism and the society we live in. 

Sharing one’s own perspective and experiences may seem intimidating, but the book club events can provide a structured outlet for those interested in exploring the book’s topics and how they connect with Dr. Kendi’s work. I’m excited to work with Ro and the students in the book club to build a space where we can have those deep conversations and build a meaningful connection,” wrote Stapleton-Welch.