An essential guide for Arab-Canadians and a fascinating resource for anyone interested in the dynamics of immigration and...



According to the authors, Canadians must seize the historical moment in order to re-examine and strengthen relationships between Arab-Canadian communities and the nation as a whole.

Ghanem (Two Boys from Aden College, 2012) and Nasrallah believe that recent events provide an ideal opportunity to engage with mainstream Canadian culture and explore “the potential convergence of values owing to the Arab Spring struggle for democracy, dignity, and development.” The authors begin by offering a brief overview of Canadian immigration policies—both past and present—as well as current demographic information about Arab-Canadians: location, age, education, employment, income and gender. After laying this groundwork, the authors then address the cultural diversity within disparate groups lumped together under the broad category of Arab-Canadians. For instance, Ghanem, who hosts a radio show in Ottawa called Dialogue with Diversity, draws upon past interviews with guests from different backgrounds in order to present their distinct experiences, challenges and triumphs. Of particular note is the chapter titled “The Hot Issue of Women and Hijab,” in which the realities of a culture clash are perhaps most evident: acceptable modes of dress, the prospect of dating outside of the community and even the practice of female genital mutilation. In the final chapter, Ghanem and Nasrallah call for greater understanding between the generations and also suggest ways for Arab-Canadians to fully participate in all aspects of society, from sports to politics, media, academia, business and the armed forces. As the authors posit in their central, overarching question: “[A]re we heading toward a new paradigm, a new phase of shedding that prejudicial state of mind that saw most Arabs as antimodernity, antidemocratic, and anti-assimilation to the mainstream Canadian value system?” Despite occasional editing issues, the book is well-organized and full of interesting factoids about Canadian immigration, both in general terms and specifically with regard to the Arab diaspora.

An essential guide for Arab-Canadians and a fascinating resource for anyone interested in the dynamics of immigration and assimilation.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-1478387299

Page Count: 174

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.


Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet