Stamped Lib/E: Racism, Antiracism, and You; A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning (Compact Disc)
“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
A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism--and antiracism--in AmericaThis 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 remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It 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 written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book 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.