Welcome! Thank you for being here. My name is Blair Imani, and I am an author, educator, and historian. I firmly believe that learning is a blessing, and my life is dedicated to learning and helping others learn. First things first: you are already smart. Intelligence is the ability to learn and apply information, and that is something that we all do every day. Even though we are already smart, we can always get smarter about the world, topics we’re not deeply familiar with, and the lived experiences of other people. Read This to Get Smarter
explores how we can become more informed, compassionate, and intentional as we work to better understand ourselves, others, and the systems around us. Getting smarter is a journey, not a destination, and a great deal of our journey will involve unlearning. Patience, mutual respect, and perseverance are important tools to carry along the way.
It might be frustrating to realize that we will never be done in our learning journeys, but it’s also exciting because we can constantly transform our perspectives as more accurate information becomes available. Many of the understandings we have been taught and socialized to believe are based on the assumptions of long dead European colonizers who worked to maintain systems of supremacy and dominance instead of presenting fact, evidence, or truth. If we do not prioritize getting smarter, then we deny ourselves the full complexity of the human experience and instead subsist on inadequate and harmful assumptions. It is not my intention to present solutions to the myriad consequences of these assumptions—instead, I offer a starting place to achieve a shared understanding. Inspired by Smarter in Seconds
, my viral thirty-second microlearning video series, Read This to Get Smarter
utilizes my signature concision to make abstract and theoretical concepts more concrete in a well-researched, well-presented, and accessible manner. I do my best to educate others from a place of humility, and I am honored that you have dedicated a fraction of your time in this life to learn from and with me.Read This to Get Smarter
is divided into chapters on identity; relationships; class; disability; race and racism; and sex, gender, and sexual Orientation. Starting with ourselves and working outward, my goal with this book is to provide an important foundation of knowledge ready to be expanded. We will get smarter using information that is strongly supported by the decolonized historical and anthropological record, sociology, and the work of scholars past and present. This book contains valuable tools such as charts on terminology and corresponding explanations, guidance for interpersonal interactions such as how to apologize, and a comprehensive timeline on the invention of race. Every journey toward getting smarter is different, so feel free to read this book in order, skip around, and take notes throughout in as much or as little time as you need. Each chapter concludes with reflection questions to help you apply your new understandings—you can think about them, discuss them with a friend, or journal about them. Our very consciousness means we can Get Smarter
and collectively experience the blessing of learning every single day. Let’s get started.
Copyright © 2021 by Blair Imani. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.