August 2019 Calls for Contributors

Call for Contributors: Antiracism in America

The Activist History Review invites proposals for our September 2019 issue, “Antiracism in America.”

In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.”- Angela Davis

The Activist History Review invites proposals for our September 2019 issue, “Antiracism in America.”

In America’s contemporary political climate, individuals, their ideas, and their policies are frequently deemed “racist.” Most of us understand what it means to call something “racist” or what it is intended to mean. Very simply, a racist individual, idea, or policy deems one racial group as inferior or superior to another racial group in any way. This definition (which was posited by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in his 2016 National Book award-winning work “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America”) can manifest itself in many different ways. A person can be racist in their day-to-day treatment of other individuals. An idea can be racist in its preferential view towards one race over another. And a policy can be racist when it unequally advantages or disadvantages one race over another. When truly broken down to its simplest definition, this is not a very complex concept. Racism under this definition is glaring, obvious, and uncontestable. In America, this has materialized in the form of white supremacy. 

Yet, we currently live in a country where this definition is debated by refuting racism at the individual level, i.e. when individuals are called out for their racist ideas or behaviors they quickly retort: “I am not racist” or “that was not racist,” or even more vehemently, “I’m the least racist person in the world.” Clearly, a large faction of America does not understand what it means to be “racist.” Or maybe, more specifically, they do not understand what it means to be the opposite of racist. As Dr. Ibram X. Kendi explains in his next book, “How to Be an Antiracist,” the opposite of racist is not “not racist.” The opposite of being racist is an “antiracist,” or someone who believes in the equity of all races and fights for racial justice by actively confronting inequality. There is no such thing as “not racist” or “the least racist.” Someone or something is either racist or antiracist at any given moment. It must be one or the other, but as Dr. Kendi illustrates, these identities are not fixed…”we can be racist one minute and antiracist the next.”

Image 1: Dr. Kendi’s new book “How to Be an Antiracist,” One World, 2019.

The study of racism and what it means to be racist has long been discussed in academic circles, but this opposite of racism–antiracism–has not been explored as deeply. Therefore, The Activist History Review is seeking contributions for our upcoming September issue on “Antiracism in America.” The issue will kick off with a review of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s new book “How to Be An Antiracist” by Executive Editor Michael T. Barry Jr. and will continue on through the month, featuring significant works from a wide variety of multidisciplinary scholars. Articles should address what it means to be an antiracist in America, how Americans have historically acted as antiracists, and/or what the future of antiracism in America looks like.

Potential topics include:

·      Specific antiracist protests or movements in American History.

·      Racism and antiracism in modern American politics.

·      Icons of antiracism, profiles of antiracist leaders: bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Frantz Fanon. James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Malcolm X,  etc. 

·      Strategies in antiracism.

·    Antiracist solidarity i.e. work between antiracists and various marginalized communities: LGBTQIA+,   disabled, labor activists, etc.

· Antiracism and feminism.

·      The history of antiracist policy.

·      The possibilities of antiracist policy in the future.

·      Antiracism in academia, higher ed.

·      Antiracism in childhood education.

·      Antiracism in the healthcare industry.

·      Antiracism in the arts.

·      Antiracism in labor.

·      Antiracism and religion.

·   Critical Whiteness Studies, structural racism and antiracist reactions/protests to structural racism

Please submit a 250 word proposal for a 1250-1500 word article to activisthistory@gmail.com no later than Friday, August 30th at 11:59pm. Proposals should also include a short author bio of no more than 100 words.

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