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Nonfiction Review: This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell

Title: This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work
AuthorTiffany Jewell with illustrations by Aurelia Durand
Year Published: 2020

Category: YA nonfiction (anti-racism)
Pages: 150
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map)USA

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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.

Review: I am someone who likes a beautiful notebook and prompts to answer and think about so this book worked well for me. It's aimed at teenagers with more explanation about anti-racism than I need, but the personal stories and definitions are great for those starting out on the journey to awareness, learning the vocabulary, and figuring out where they stand in all of this work.

And the illustrations! They are so wonderful and evoke the emotions and ideas of the text very well.

There are chapters on personal identity, where we fit in the broader context, how we see the world, what that means for us and others, how we can listen (and really hear), and how we can speak up. What does justice look like for us? The final chapter asks what the reader's justice anthem is and I had no problem answering that question:

Ella's Song by Sweet Honey in the Rock has been the song that moves me for decades and has since I saw them perform it live over 30 years ago

Challenges for which this counts: 
This counts for the Popsugar challenge because it has the word 20/Twenty in the title

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