[Book Review] Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Book Cover for Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Title: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
Author: Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
Genre: nonfiction; history; race; social justice; YA
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) A remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning for ages 12 and up.

A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism–and antiracism–in America.

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 is a remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning, winner of a National Book Award. It reveals the history of racist ideas in America and inspires hope for an antiracist future.

Stamped 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, Jason Reynolds 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.

Review: 5/5 stars

There’s an old adage that says something like “If we don’t learn our history we are doomed to repeat it” or something similar. While reading this book on my own and with students, I found myself thinking about that over and over again, because this “not history book” taught me so much about the intentional cyclical nature of American racism. While times have seemingly changed, policies and practices written and built against people of color have not – they’ve adapted and gotten more slick.

This book is so digestible and so full of content that I thought I knew about it. I consider myself a pretty well-informed person, and while I knew quite a bit about some of the current policies in place, but I didn’t really comprehend the larger implications of the historical precedents set up from the foundations of this country. The way Reynolds breaks down such difficult and troubling concepts so that anyone can understand them is brilliant.

When you read this, there’s a charge at the end – what will you do now that you know what you know? For me, that question is so crucial to what the book is all about. You’ve learned the history, now how are you going to make a change for the present, and your future? For me, it’s to pass this book on to as many people as I can, talk to them about it as they read, and to continue to engage in those tough discussions.

Author: chelsea usher

Reader. Writer. Book Reviewer. Teacher. Traveler

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