Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning (Large Print / Library Binding)
“Before we begin, let’s get something straight. This is not a history book.”
I wish this “not a history book” had been available when I was a young adult. Jason Reynolds is absolutely right, this is nothing like the books I read when I was in school.
What I appreciate is the direct and open dialogue about the fact that race is still a topic that Americans are not comfortable talking about. He tells the readers “Let’s all take a deep breath. Inhale. Hold it. Exhale and breathe out.”
Something I say quite often at work when talking about the topic of race, racism and antiracism is that we all need to get comfortable talking about the uncomfortable. Emmanuel Acho really has brought this concept to the limelight with his YouTube series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” and his book of the same name that was released in November 2020. We need to sit in the discomfort in order to move the needle on racism in America.
In 2021, I am starting to tackle the book Stamped From The Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. I am talking my time with this 583 page book to digest, learn and unpack all it has to offer. Leading up to starting that this year, in 2020 I read Stamped, the young adult adaptation or “remix” of the original.
At first, I purchased it for my middle school aged daughter. My goal was for both of us to read it as a way to open up dialogue about these critical topics. I wanted her to have a more realistic picture of America’s history and why we are where we are today. I also wanted to get her more comfortable talking about racism so when she sees it, she feels empowered, educated, and knowledgeable enough to speak out against it.
I read Stamped prior to her starting and could not put it down. Jason’s writing style is so engaging and flows in such a way that I kept turning the pages. I learned about Segregationists, Assimilationists and Antiracists. I learned about who has the title of “World’s First Racist”. I learned about the history of slavery and the progression into mass incarceration. I learned about the politicians behind continuing structural racism on both sides; Democrats and Republicans.
If you are starting on your antiracism learning journey, this is a great place to start. Jason Reynolds has a unique way of making a difficult topic easier to journey through and absorb. From my perspective, this should be required reading for all middle to high school age students, parents wanting to dialogue with their kids to start raising a generation of antiracists willing to take action, and anyone overwhelmed by the sheer size and density of Stamped From the Beginning as a preview.— Erin Dewsbury-Ribeiro
Spring 2020 Kids Indie Next List
“This is a book about big ideas. Ideas that, in the past, have only been laid out and talked about by adults. Now, Jason Reynolds has taken those ideas and traced them clearly through history so they can be presented and understood by a younger audience. Today, everyone grows up in a world affected by racism, so everyone should be able to understand its origins and the ways it creeps into the world. In Stamped, Reynolds speaks directly to young readers to give them the tools to understand the many forms racism can take, how they came to be, and how to deal with them.”
— Bryce Lucas, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL
About the Author
Jason Reynolds is the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including When I Was the Greatest, Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Long Way Down, and Look Both Ways. He is a National Book Award finalist; the recipient of a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and multiple Coretta Scott King Honors; and the winner of a Kirkus Prize, two Walter Dean Myers Awards, and an NAACP Image Award, among other honors. He lives in Washington, D.C and invites you to visit him online at JasonWritesBooks.com. Ibram X. Kendi is the New York Times bestselling author of Stamped from the Beginning, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, The Black Campus Movement, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize, and How to be an Antiracist. He is a professor of history and international relations and the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. One of America's leading antiracist voices and a frequent public speaker, Dr. Kendi is also a columnist at The Atlantic. He lives with his family in Washington, D.C. He invites you to visit him online at IbramXKendi.com.