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stay up

racism, resistance, and reclaiming Black freedom

By Khodi Dill
Illustrated by Stylo Starr
Interest Age: 14+
Grade: 8+
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RI.11.1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Reading Level: Lexile 1190L
Hardcover : 9781773218076, 296 pages, September 2023 , 9.0" x 6.0"
Paperback : 9781773218083, 296 pages, September 2023 , 9.0" x 6.0"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773218090, 296 pages, October 2023 Audiobook : 9781773218113, January 2024

Table of contents

the land

author’s note




section I: the know-up


chapter 1: the gut knows whussup

Intuition (gut feeling) as a way of knowing, Childhood and early experiences of racism, police and policing

chapter 2: black ain’t a colour; it’s a concept

Social construction of race, Biracial identity, Bahamian and Canadian identity, Wealth inequality


section II: personal liberation


chapter 3: don’t be hatin’ (yourself)

Self-worth and self-confidence, How white supremacy breaks down Black confidence and self-worth; Claiming that confidence as resisting white supremacist structures

chapter 4: how to show love, and rage, too

How Black emotions (especially joy and rage) are suppressed in a white supremacist society, Art as a means of expressing these emotions and as an act of resistance

chapter 5: black like you.

Blackness contains multitudes, The joy and possibility inherent in expressing one’s own Blackness and not what Blackness is assumed to be


section III: social transformation


chapter 6: make the old school new

The many ways schools and western education upholds white supremacist standards through, clothing, language and other means

chapter 7: pick your battles and your team

strategies for confronting racism and resisting oppression, Finding community to share in this fight, The importance of connecting with one’s ancestors/spirituality




further reading



A New Kids’ Books That Encourage Compassion, Connection, Hope and Inclusion —The Toronto Star

“Eloquent and inspiring . . .” —STARRED review, Booklist

An incisive, innovative, and inviting take on fighting oppression and fighting for racial justice.

Racism is a real and present danger. But how can you fight it if you don’t know how it works or where it comes from? Using a compelling mix of memoir, cultural criticism, and anti-oppressive theory, Khodi Dill breaks down how white supremacy functions in North America and gives readers tools to understand how racism impacts their lives. From dismantling internalized racism, decolonizing schools, joining social justice movements and more, Dill lays out paths to personal liberation and social transformation.

Vibrant, dramatic collages by stylo starr complement Dill’s propulsive voice. Fueled by joy and hope as much as by rage and sorrow, this groundbreaking book empowers racialized young people to be confident in their identities and embrace the fullness of their futures.


"A brilliant piece of scholarship and an energizing call to action. A must-read for every young person who wants to understand the world we live in—and to change it."

- Karina Vernon, Associate Professor of English, University of Toronto, and author of The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology

“Eloquent and inspiring . . . Teens will appreciate this straightforward, honest, and respectful offering.”

- Booklist, *starred review, 09/15/23

“Dill combines his own lived experiences, moments from the sociopolitical context and equity theories to show the impact and presence of racism and how to individually and collectively resist. The beautiful art creates a perfect balance of theory and praxis.”


- Toronto Star, 10/18/23