Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning
Spring 2020 Kids Indie Next List
— Bryce Lucas, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL
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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 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.
Praise For Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning…
"An amazingly timely and stunningly accessible manifesto for young people....At times funny, at times somber but always packed with relevant information that is at once thoughtful and spot-on, Stamped is the book I wish I had as a young person and am so grateful my own children have now."
—Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming
"Teens are often searching for their place in the world, in Stamped, Reynolds gives context to where we are, how we got here, and reminds young people-and all of us-that we have a choice to make about who we want to be. This unapologetic telling of the history of racism in our nation is refreshingly simple and deeply profound. This is the history book I needed as a teen."
—Renée Watson, New York Timesbestselling and Newbery Honor-winning author of Piecing Me Together
"Jason Reynolds has the amazing ability to make words jump off the page. Told with passion, precision, and even humor, Stamped is a true story-a living story-that everyone needs to know."—Steve Sheinkin, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Bomb and Born to Fly
"Reading this compelling not-a-history book is like finding a field guide to American racism, allowing you to quickly identify racist ideas when you encounter them in the wild."
—Dashka Slater, author of The 57 Bus
* "Readers who want to truly understand how deeply embedded racism is in the very fabric of the U.S., its history, and its systems will come away educated and enlightened. Worthy of inclusion in every home and in curricula and libraries everywhere. Impressive and much needed."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "An epic feat... More than merely a young reader's adaptation of Kendi's landmark work, Stamped does a remarkable job of tying together disparate threads while briskly moving through its historical narrative."—Bookpage, starred review
* "Reynolds (Look Both Ways) lends his signature flair to remixing Kendi's award-winning Stamped from the Beginning...Told impressively economically, loaded with historical details that connect clearly to current experiences, and bolstered with suggested reading and listening selected specifically for young readers, Kendi and Reynolds's volume is essential, meaningfully accessible reading."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316453691, 320pp.
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
About the Author
Ibram X. Kendi is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is an Ideas Columnist at The Atlantic, and a correspondent with CBS News. He is the author of five books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction; How to Be an Antiracist; STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and Antiracist Baby, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. Discuss each of the three positions: assimilationist, segregationist, antiracist. In what ways do people, past and present, demonstrate their imperfections by embodying ideas from one or more of these positions?
2. In what ways is racism woven into the fabric of American institutions? Where do you see evidence of this today?
3. Nigerian author Chinua Achebe (1930–2013) shares the following African proverb in his acclaimed novel Things Fall Apart: “Until the lions have their own historians, this history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” How does Reynolds’s truth-telling about Thomas Jefferson compare to narratives typically told about him as one of our nation’s founding fathers? How does this African proverb help shed light on why the storyteller matters when learning about events of the past and present?
4. At the beginning of Stamped and in chapter 13, Reynolds asserts, “Life rarely fits neatly into a box. People are complicated and selfish and contradictory.” Who are some of the complicated political figures, past and present, and what makes them complex?
4. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington had distinct strategies and approaches to Black liberation. What does liberation mean to you? In what ways are some approaches to liberation in fact not always liberatory?
5. Marcus Garvey spotlighted the issue of colorism, its origins, and the dangers of it. Is colorism equally as destructive as racism?
6. Reynolds demonstrates how racist ideas in the fields of science and mathematics—from eugen-ics to the creation and purposes of IQ and standardized tests—have been created and used to oppress Black and Brown people. How do we decide what to believe about a scientific claim?
7. When describing Black political movements such as the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Reynolds states, “The shift went from fighting for civil rights to fighting for freedom. The difference between the two is simple. One implies a fight for fairness. The other, a right to live” (p. 175). Expound on this idea. In what ways do you make a distinction between fairness and life?
8. Discuss the legacy of coded racial policies such as the Southern Strategy, the War on Drugs, and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that devastated Black communities and the ways this continues today. How do racist policies tarnish or delegitimize the ideals and purposes of government?
9. In Stamped, Reynolds exposes and debunks the myths of several master narrative themes such as: America is a meritocracy and anyone who works hard enough can succeed; truth and justice (or law and order) should be valued; people should be colorblind. In what ways is a color blind-ness approach toward race not only disingenuous but dangerous?