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December 2018 – Stamped from the Beginning


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Stamped from the BeginningStamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi


Publication Date: 
List Price: $32.99 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 592
ISBN13: 9781568584638
Imprint: Nation Books


Book Description:

Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America - more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.


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Stamped from the Beginning


Kendi’s history of racist ideas in America is indeed a history, but the historical information/topics are not limited to racist ideas; although, he succeeds in delivering that history (definitively) as well. If a reader is unprepared to see the frailty of icons while involved in complicated American race relations, the text is startling. The assimilationist’s thought and actions of icons are deciphered in a manner that does not diminish the icons, but the effects of assimilationist thoughts and action as revealed by Kendi might leave one a bit uncomfortable. A history America’s racist political policies and the power maintaining reasons behind them are discussed in detail in the text. It will be difficult for a reader to leave the text without questioning her or his own assimilationist versus antiracist thoughts.  Kendi argues against uplift persuasion (making oneself acceptable to majority class) and educational persuasion (trying to educate the majority class to a relationship of equality) with history; he makes it clear that as long is white supremacy is the consistent thought of America  . . . equality is improbable. It was a great read, and an astute reader will leave the text with a list of articles, books, and authors that will expand one’s humanity.     

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