Anti-racism for Beginners


GTIN: 9781910020487 SKU: ARB Categories: ,


The destructive and dehumanizing effects of racism are quite rightly receiving increased attention. In this short, introductory text, Neil Thompson welcomes this new emphasis but warns against the dangers of oversimplifying complex issues. This is an ideal book for anyone wanting to understand the importance of anti-racism and guidance in taking the necessary steps to deal with racism


“This succinct book offers a starting point for engagement with anti-racism providing a number of sensible frameworks for action that are built on reflective questioning and can be applied to a plethora of situations. Whilst you can read the book quickly, the ideas put forward will prompt deep thinking and undoubtedly lead to those critical conversations that enable learning. Even for those conversant with the field, there are many compelling insights in this text to guide action.”

Professor Charlotte Williams OBE (from the Foreword)

“I remember first encountering Neil Thompson’s work as a student.  His extensive work on values reassured me early on that social work was the right profession for me.  I felt inspired and pleasantly surprised that tackling discrimination and oppression was regarded as a core value. This aligned perfectly with my own values. I’m confident this book will firmly resonate with many social workers and others and will be considered as another valuable resource to educate, empower and equip people from all backgrounds in policy, practice and education for decades to come. ‘One world, one race … the human race!’”

Wayne Reid, co-editor, ‘Outlanders: Hidden Narratives from Social Workers of Colour from Black & Other Global Majority Communities’

“Once more, Neil Thompson provides a publication that is not only informative and thought provoking, but also produced in a format that is easy to understand and engage with. He certainly achieves one of his principal aims regarding the need for solidarity in tackling racism alongside other unacceptable forms of discrimination. I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a terrific starting point, but also as a pathway to furthering knowledge on this essential topic.”

John McGowan, General Secretary, Social Workers Union

“Recent events have once again highlighted the ignorance of the press and media in understanding the issues related to racism. These important matters have been polarized into simplistic representations of deep and emotive issues by the media, which are not helpful to those of us aiming to adopt an anti-discriminatory approach. Neil navigates the reader through a vast array of some very complex debates in his no-nonsense way. In this book, he shares his own value base and points out the consequences for not adopting an anti-racist and anti-discriminatory stance. He does this sensitively, enabling the reader to not only understand the complexity of racism but more importantly how to challenge it.”

Dr Suki Desai, independent researcher

“Neil Thompson is a world-leading author and this wonderful and authentic book adds weight to the impact of his body of work. Racism is one of the greatest challenges facing contemporary us today. With creative and critical intent, Neil dissects the concept of racism and powerfully illustrates its complex intersections between theory and practice and presents anti-racism as an urgent issue demanding personal and professional engagement. It will be essential reading for anyone looking to understand anti-racism and will undoubtedly be a leader in the field.”

Professor Jason Powell, McMaster University, Canada

“Anti-Racism for Beginners is an essential guide and tool for understanding basic yet often misunderstood language and concepts around racial discrimination and social action. The reader-friendly descriptions and illustrations are presented in ways that enhance comprehension, while also building trust and connection necessary for reducing roadblocks to anti-racist behaviours and organizational practices. Although indicated for ‘beginners’, this book is a timeless resource for individuals of various developmental stages of understanding anti-racism.”

Dr Tashel Bordere, Assistant Professor, University of Missouri

“In the wake of the terrible death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests throughout the globe there has never been a better time to publish a beginner’s guide to anti-racism. In this refreshing new book Neil Thompson identifies the multi-dimensional nature of racism and helpfully discusses the pitfalls and subtle intricacies involved in tackling it. Although aimed at beginners, its clear and readable style has much to offer more seasoned campaigners in the fight for a fairer world.”

Paul Stepney, Adjunct Professor, Tampere University, Finland

“Neil Thompson is a highly respected, internationally recognized author, and he has now added yet another excellent volume to his completed works. This very timely book provides a very clear exploration of racism is and its foundations at the personal, cultural, and structural levels. The descriptions and examples provide readers with impeccable clarity and focus about issues that accompany racist attitudes and practices. The practical suggestions for anti-racist practice and opportunity for reflection on personal attitudes are incredibly helpful. I will certainly be using this book in my university courses to help students develop a solid understanding of racism and how to counter racist practices, both in their professional careers and everyday lives.”

Professor Darcy Harris, King’s University College at Western University, London, Canada

“This book approaches complexity with curiosity, respect, and intellectual rigour. Written in Dr Thompson’s open and engaging style, it will feel immediately relatable and support engagement with the subject. It is heartening to see racism against Romani, Traveller and Jewish people highlighted, aspects of racism that are often neglected. This book will become a ‘must have’ text for students, qualified social workers and other professionals.”

Allison Hulmes, National Director for Wales, British Association of Social Workers

“Events in 2020 and since have again brought to the fore how racism blights our society and the work that remains to be carried out. Neil Thompson sets out, in an accessible manner, some of the ideas and thinking that can help people struggling with the discomfort, feelings of guilt and powerlessness experienced when beginning to explore these issues. As a white Welshman, he also situates this work as being everyone’s responsibility, through our professional values as well as our humanity. He highlights how racism impacts the whole of society and is the daily lived reality for people of colour. In that, this is a very useful beginner’s guide that explores some of the terminology and definitions before opening out areas for further development. In his inimitable style, Neil offers clarity and simple learning points to help those looking to develop their thinking, making this a useful resource to help people on their journey.”

Abyd Quinn Aziz, Programme Director, Cardiff University MA Social Work


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