Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Hi, I’m Sarah. I am in 9th grade and live in Ketchum, ID. I enjoy playing board games, reading, mountain biking, Nordic and alpine skiing, playing with my family, snowmobiling, and being outside.
Not the running race kind, no—the other kind of race. The societal construct used to gain and reign over others, to assign roles and ascribe stereotypes and ultimately, greatly shape the history of America.
Race: a very complicated subject.
In this remix of Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, Jason Reynolds masterfully illustrates the history of racism, and by association, race. From the world’s first racist, Gomes Eans de Zurara, in 1415 to the Black Lives Matter movement current-day, this book explores the nooks and crannies of race and how it molds itself into history. It explains what it means to be racist, what it means to be antiracist, what assimilation and segregation is and why. It tells the intricate politics that race creates, why it benefited some and caused relentless suffering for others; how it was used as a power play and a curse word and a battle cry. It brings stories from the slave ships, the rise of the Black Panther movement, Jim Crow Laws and the communist party. It doesn’t bury the past, it reveals it: the flaws of uproars, the evilest parts of history rearing their ugly heads.
It’s a book full of pain and despair, but also one of hope: friendships made and battles one and how far we’ve come from declaring some of our brethren subhuman. It’s a manifesto, full of aspirations for an antiracist world, a world in which everyone is treated equally, where race doesn’t define your identity.
“To know the past is to know the present. To know the present is to know yourself.” – Ibram X. Kendi. This is not a history textbook. This is the story of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. This is a story that everyone needs to hear. This is the story that we must listen to in order to create a better world for everyone in it, in order to dream of a future better than the past we’ve had.