A remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning for ages 12 and up.
A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism--and antiracism--in America.
This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This is a remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning, winner of a National Book Award. It reveals the history of racist ideas in America and inspires hope for an antiracist future.
Stamped takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.
Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative, Jason Reynolds shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.
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As I have embarked on my own ABAR studies and work, I have cultivated a lengthy list of recommended books. Certain books appear time and again on numerous list recommendations. Of course, Ibram X. Kendi is one of the top authors. I fully admit that when I was ready to start my next read, I glanced at my curated wishlist on Amazon and grabbed this one because it was one of the least expensive. And I am glad I was led to that decision. This is a book that I think everyone should read.
Author Jason Reynolds is known for writing books more geared toward the younger generation. I think it was brilliant for him to take Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning and break it down. After all, the original is about 500 pages long. Readers are more likely to want to read a more abbreviated version. This book hits on all of the high points of the full text and delivers it in a very conversational format.
I think that aspect is key. We are talking about the need to have conversations. And reading this made me feel like I was sitting drinking a coffee or a beer with Jason while he imparted some serious knowledge on me.
Many of these names were familiar to me. But I never before realized how much I didn’t know about their full stories. I’ve been learning some, thanks to some excellent Great Courses lectures. But this really opened my eyes to even more
And while this book is written with the slightly younger set in mind, I think it is an important one for adults to read as well. It lays the foundation for learning more history than we got at school. Ideally, you will want to then move on to the full text, which I already had on order before I was finished with this one.
I also hope it will inspire some inner reflection in readers. Will you challenge what you have learned and seek out more of the story? Will you better understand the current racial climate and the experiences that your Black friends and acquaintances have had in their past and continue to face? And will you finally recognize yourself as being in one of the three groups – segregationist, assimilationist, or antiracist?
Will you have better conversations?
I know there will be some who have a problem with this book. They are the ones who have the most work to do and would benefit greatly from the education inside it. I hope more people are willing to open their minds to this conversation and are willing to use this book to help them join in. I think this is belongs on required reading lists. I am glad I included it in my reading and will definitely read it again.