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An Introduction to Dr. Joy DeGruy and Anti-Racism: Anti-Racism

Dr. Joy DeGruy, an internationally renowned educator and the author of the book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, will be working with the District this year. This guide is meant to be an introduction to her work, and to anti-racism more generally.

"The opposite of racist isn't 'not racist.' It is 'anti-racist.' What's the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots lf the problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of 'not racist.'" -- Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

Definitions and Vocabulary

What is Racism?

Racism is the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color, based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people. While anyone of any race can exhibit racial prejudice, in North America white people hold institutional power. Racism is the systemic, institutionalized discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior.

Note: the common, incorrect definition of the word "racism" is "prejudice against someone based on their skin color or ethnicity and can be committed by anyone". This definition ignores power structures and systematic discrimination embedded in culture and history, and focuses solely on individual thought and action. It is not considered an accurate definition.

What is Anti-Racism?

Anti-racism refers to examining cultural, societal, political, and personal structures to find racist structures, and then working to eliminate and transform those structures. This work can occur in every facet of our lives, from institutions and laws, to our own personal beliefs and biases. 

Implicit Bias

Myths that preserve White privilege

Books and Subject Headings

Collaborators' Note

In an effort at full disclosure, it should be noted that while the collaborators on this guide have attempted to bring together quality, relevant resources, we are not immune from the limits and hidden biases of our own privileges and perspectives as allies. We welcome and greatly appreciate any feedback and suggestions for the guide. Feel free to contact any of the following people:

  • Keri Kirkpatrick, Senior Library Technician, De Anza College Library
  • Lakshmi Auroprem, Senior Library Technician, De Anza College Library
  • Wil Byars, Senior Library Technician, De Anza College Library
  • Adriana Garcia, Administrative Assistant, De Anza College Office of Equity