The Chasing Joy Unlearning Week 2
This week’s book recommendation: How to Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi
Hi friends. Hope you’re well
I hope you’re taking care of yourself
I hope you’re checking in on your friends and making sure they’re doing the same
I hope you’re taking this time to do some personal inventory and evaluating your individual role both in upholding systems of oppression in the past and the role you want to take to dismantle them now and in the future
If you’re feeling really overwhelmed you’re not alone. My loving reminder is to take this one day at a time and one step at a time so that you can make it sustainable so that you don’t quit
I had a lot of really really challenging conversations this week.
I’m so grateful to have my sister who has been an accountability partner in our anti-racism work and someone who I know will have compassion for me and at the same time hold me to our mutually high standards of doing better when we know better - of doing what’s right even when it’s hard and uncomfortable
I also keep reminding myself of how grateful I am for therapy. I’m so grateful I had the tools and motivation to unlearn the people-pleasing behaviors that kept me small for so long.
I don’t think I could do this work without that.
This week’s book recommendation is How to be an AntiRacist by Ibram X Kendi
keep in mind these are heavy books and it’s ok if you don’t read all four in one month but please make a plan so that you can read them
In How to Be an AntiRacist
Ibram explains how the opposite of racism isn’t neutrality but antiracism. He clearly defines both and why there is no such thing as neutrality. Each chapter explains a different facet of racism and it’s opposite, antiracism.
This book feels like taking off many layers of blinders. One of the biggest takeaways for me personally was the way that Ibram explained two facets within racism - segregation and assimilation and how both those ideologies are both racist. If I’m reflecting honestly I think growing up I heard and believed a lot of the assimilation ideas and didn’t realize they were racist.
Personally I really appreciate learning through a combination of personal story and historical context so this has been such a helpful book for me because that’s exactly what Ibram does. I really appreciate how vulnerable he is about his own understanding of racism and anti-racism. It’s a reminder that no one is perfect and that to be anti-racist is a practice, not a destination you can arrive at and become complacent.
I definitely feel like my US history needs some brushing up and this book has been a really helpful re-education.
If you’re an audiobook person I also really appreciate that Ibram reads his book.
I remember my guest Kelsey Patel telling me how hard that process is. But as a listener, it feels really special to listen to the author read their own work.
I highly recommend this book.