Stand Up and Speak Out Against Racism

Publisher: Walker Books

The author, a social activist, engineer and broadcaster, visited young people in schools and asked them what they wanted to know about racism and how to fight for racial justice. She has tried to answer those questions in this thoughtful, even-handed volume.

First answering how racism originated and why it became so entrenched, then moving on to how it manifests today, the author leads the reader to the final section of the book: what to do about it. There are many practical realistic suggestions, like asking why a racist joke is funny, or chatting to someone being bullied, and apologising if you’re the one at fault, even if it was by mistake.

Throughout, it’s made clear that many societies have prejudices of some kind, as determined by the dominant culture. The differences between nationality, ethnicity and race are clarified, as is the definition of religious discrimination and internalised racism, among other terms.

Written in an accessible, clear way, with reminders to take a breather if it’s getting overwhelming, this book offers a way into complex topics for upper primary aged readers. It could provoke class discussions about, for instance, why so many schools have no Black or minority ethnic teachers.

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