Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds

“This book, this not history history book, this present book, is meant to take you on a race journey from then to now, to show why we feel how we feel, why we live how we live, and why this poison, whether recognizable or unrecognizable, whether it’s a scream or a whisper, just won’t go away.”

Described as a book containing history and rooted in the here and now, rather than as a traditional history book students read in school, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds is an adaptation or remix of a longer work by Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America). Written to be more accessible to younger audiences, this work presents a history of racism in America, drawing parallels to how racist notions and theories that have been perpetuated in centuries past still strongly pervade America today with deep, toxic roots in the very infrastructure, policies, and foundations of the country.

Divided into five sections highlighting different periods of history, spanning from 1415 to the present day, this title explores a multitude of historically significant people, events, movements, and ideas that have actively disseminated or combated racist theories and practices in America. Within this exploration, there are three types of people who are specifically defined and deemed crucial to understanding when considering racism: (1) segregationists, which Reynolds colloquially terms “the haters;” (2) assimilationists, or those who are accepting of Black people when they are more like White people; and (3) antiracists, or those who love Black people for who they are.

Overall, this title is eye-opening, enlightening, and extremely educational, in addition to being very accessible to read. It is also a very timely and important read in light of the growing racial and social justice movements occurring in our own time, as well as in response to the many conversations that are starting to explicate and explore the racial dynamics in existence today within the United States. I definitely plan to read Kendi’s longer work, which was a National Book Award Winner in 2016, but would highly recommend this adaptation for everyone and anyone, especially teenagers and young adults, as Reynolds is an absolute delight to read. This book is available in the following formats:

Book on CD

Overdrive eAudiobook

Overdrive eBook

Academic Overdrive eBook

Playaway

Never Stop Learning

One of the ways we can cope with difficult times in a positive and constructive manner is to educate ourselves. Take the time and effort to seek out the facts. It’s not easy and it’s not comfortable and for most of us (myself included) it’s a continual learning experience. As citizens – of this city, this state, this country, this world – it’s our job to do this.

Here are some resources from the library and some links that can help.

Stamped: Racism, Anti-racism and You by Jason Reynolds (also available on Overdrive)

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Brown

Just Mercy: a Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (also available on Overdrive)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

Please note that there are waiting lists on most of these titles. The Library is working on adding more copies both in hard copy and e-book form. Please place a reserve on any you find interesting and we’ll get a copy to you asap!