Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X Kendi

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X Kendi

I suggest taking your time with Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X Kendi. the thickness lives up to the intimidation. After all, it distills centuries of anti-Black racism.

However, even though I am late to the Summer 2020 hype, it lives up to it. Stamped from the Beginning doesn't read like a typical history book (or at least I wouldn't know how a typical history book reads since I don't read thick, academic-driven texts like this often). Kendi tells the story of the creators and perpetrators of anti-Black racism with care. We see them not as monsters but as men who are capable of monstrosity, which helps us all take responsibility.

I love the way Kendi broke down the major players into 3 different categories-- Segregationists, Assimilationists, and Antiracists. Segregationists perpetuated the belief that the races should be distinct, even going so far as to perpetuate the notion that the races are part of different species. Assimilationists perpetuated the belief that Black people have the potential to become equal to white people, usually using religion, breeding, or respectability. Antiracists perpetuated the belief that racism should be abolished entirely, including within the systems built on white supremacy. Antiracists should not be confused with colorblindness, as this was actually an Assimilationist tactic. The players that fell within these categories did not fall neatly along the lines of Black and white. There were Black Assimilationists and white Antiracists.

Stamped from the Beginning was chock-full of history I had never heard of, including the not-so-pristine pasts of our revered historical figures. I recommend this book, as it isn't boring history, and it is stories that should be told, but again, pace yourself.


Get the book HERE

Get the audiobook HERE


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