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How to Write an AntiRacist Book Review…

September 21, 2020

In today’s critical times, it’s important for readers to write reviews that promote racial tolerance or antiracist book reviews. For some, this task might prove to be a challenge.  I’d like to outline a few ways to do this: 

1) Give the book an equal-status role. Describe the book from an equal-status role and use phrases or words that respect the content of the work from it’s racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. 

2) Respect and recognize the value of identities, cultures or differences within the book. Discuss what you liked about the book by recognizing the value of the identities, cultures, or differences. For example, share your feelings about the protagonist but do so from a place of knowledge and awareness.  Take some time to learn more about the race or culture to gain a better understanding and context of the main character or protagonist. 

3) Don’t reflect negative stereotypes or show prejudice or misconceptions about the book. If you disliked a part of the book, do so from a place that does not reflect negative stereotypes or show prejudice or misconceptions. Be honest in your feelings but be mindful in your responses. In fact, being open, thoughtful and careful about what may have frustrated you or made it difficult for you to like is a huge step in fostering understanding and thoroughness within the review. 

4) Put the book in context by sharing similar books or series. Round up your review by offering similar books, series, or suggestions that you might compare this too. Uplift where this book fits with the genre or cannon that you enjoy. 

5). Give the book a fair rating. If you enjoyed the book, then give it a high rating but don’t rate it low, if you were confused, couldn’t connect or didn’t understand a racial or cultural aspect of the book.

Overall, taking the time to respect the racial, ethnic or cultural aspects of the work on a equal-status and finding the place to value the complexity as well as “differentness” of the book will help to build an AntiRacist Book Review that is appreciated and understood. 

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments. 

I’m author Alicia McCalla. Sign-up for my newsletter to get updates, learn about my latest projects and purchase my Sistas with Skills, Swords, and Superpowers Stories and Merchandise!

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