Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is the host of Be Antiracist. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and the founding director of the BU…
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For a long time Don Lemon was America’s only Black prime-time news anchor. He now hosts Don Lemon Tonight on CNN every weeknight and serves as a CNN correspondent. He is also the author of a new, deeply personal and reflective book called, This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism.
Lemon shares his experience as a Black gay man, the racism and homophobia he’s faced, witnessed and battled against. He and Dr. Kendi discuss how the antiracist struggle includes the struggle against homophobia, transphobia, and all forms of bigotry targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community.
For a transcript of this episode, click here.
QUESTIONS TO INSPIRE DIALOGUE
- Don Lemon explained that he didn’t come out for the longest time because as a Black man, he already had a “strike” against him in terms of his treatment in society. How do you think about your own intersections? Are there parts of yourself that you’ve kept hidden out of fear of how society will treat you?
- Dr. Kendi admits that he was taught to fear the difference of gay and transgender people, until he was shown another way. What discriminatory attitudes and fears were you taught growing up, and how have you worked to change your own mind about them?
- Don Lemon advises us to build friendships across our cultural lines of difference. How diverse is your friend group across race, sexual orientation, gender identity and nationality? Is there a certain type of person you could do a better job of building community with?
- Dr. Kendi talks about the Equality Act at the end of the episode, and how it was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year. How familiar are you with this piece of legislation, and what can you do to support its passing in the Senate?
FURTHER READING + RESOURCES
- This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends about Racism by Don Lemon
- Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
- How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective Edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
- Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Another Country by James Baldwin
- Just Above My Head by James Baldwin
- Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
- The Price of the Ticket by James Baldwin
ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT