How Not To Be A Racist

Or, more specifically: “How to be an Anti-Racist.”

That’s the topic of tomorrow’s (Sunday, January 14) 12th annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration in Westport. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi — winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction — keynotes the 3 p.m. event, at the Westport Country Playhouse.

He’ll be joined by Chris Coogan and the Good News Gospel Choir, along with the Weston High School Jazz Ensemble. Students from the Regional Center for the Arts will present a dance piece too.

Kendi’s book — “Stamped From the Beginning” — examined the history of racial ideas in the US.

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

An assistant professor of African American history at American University, he’s spent his career studying racist and anti-racist ideas and movements. He speaks nationally on issues like #BlackLivesMatter, and social justice.

Kendi began his research assuming that the major adherents of racist ideas were hateful and ignorant, and that racist policies like slavery, Jim Crow and mass incarceration resulted directly from them.

But as he dug deeper, he realized that political, economic and cultural self-interest lie behind the creation of racist policies — which, in turn, lead to racist ideas that rationalize deep inequities in everything from wealth to health.

Kendi’s address is free, and open to the public. It will be followed by an audience Q-and-A session. He’ll also sign books, which are available for sale at the event. The Westport Weston Family YMCA will provide childcare and activities in the studio adjacent to the theater.

The MLK celebration is co-sponsored by the Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport and the Westport/Weston Interfaith Council.

4 responses to “How Not To Be A Racist

  1. Christine Bisceglie

    Thank you Dan for this information. I have no TV due to the barrage of blah and conspicuous absence of King Like leadership. Newspapers I do read but missed this announcement. I was given Dr. Kendi’s book for Christmas. Have not yet read his book but it came with rave reviews by the respected giver. I’ll be in the audience and leaving with a signed copy and a raised conscious, thanks to you !

  2. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Self-awareness, while important and laudable is only the 1st step. What tangible actions are necessary to eliminate non-minority oppression of minorities and who among the non-minority are willing to lead by example? Lip service serves no one,

    • Christine Bisceglie

      Yes, one second step for anyone , is to become a member of the NAACP ,national and local level.

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

        I agree wholeheartedly. I hadn’t done so. I’m going to. Thank you Christine. What’s your relationship to Tony Bisceglie?