Bodley Head acquires Kendi's antiracism guide

Bodley Head acquires Kendi's antiracism guide

Bodley Head will publish a “game-changing” exploration of tackling racism, How To Be an Antiracist, by academic and writer Ibram X Kendi in August 2019.

Will Hammond, deputy publishing director, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Random House US, where the book will be published by Christopher Jackson at One World. It will be published in August 2019.

In How To Be an Antiracist Kendi “uses his extraordinary gifts as a teacher and story-teller to present a radical new way to think about racism,” Bodley Head said. The author “demolishes the myth of the ‘post-racial’ society and building from the ground up a vital new understanding of racism – what it is, where it is hidden, how to identify it and what to do about it”.

Kendi "explores with extraordinary courage and humility his own journey from racism to antiracism over the course of his childhood and education and provides a comprehensive account of the misconceptions that so often cloud people’s understanding", the blurb reads. "He considers arguments about what race is and whether racial differences exist and the complications that arise when race intersects with ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality."

The author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Bodley Head), which won the National Book Award 2016, Kendi is also founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University in Washington DC. He is professor of history and international relations at the university and also a columnist at the Atlantic.

Hammond said: “By bringing out into the open our most hidden fears and anxieties and addressing them with candour, warmth and uncompromising intelligence, Ibram changes our whole perspective on this most challenging of subjects with an almost shocking clarity and force. Anyone who has the slightest interest in understanding racism will need to have read this game-changing book.”