Monday, July 13, 2020

STAMPED:  RACISM, ANTIRACISM, AND YOU by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.  New York:  Little, Brown and Co., 2020. 294p  ISBN 978-031645369-1 hc. $18.99     Gr. 7-12     YA 305.8

Acclaimed writer of teen fiction, Jason Reynolds, takes the contents of Ibram X. Kendi’s book, STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS IN AMERICA, and gives it a conversational voice.  Beginning with the roots of racism, including the fabrication of a Biblical black race started by Noah’s disobedient son Ham, the period of 1415 - 1728 was a time of establishing the superiority of whites and suppressing those with dark skin.  By de-humanizing blacks, the wealthy white majority was able to utilize them as an enslaved work force and grow their own fortunes.  It all boiled down to money.  After the abolition of slavery, the suppression of blacks gave extra political power to the white ruling class that has endured to this very day.  The book is broken up into five sections of time that follow new ways of maintaining white supremacy as modernization brings readers into the twenty-first century.  Is the United States doomed to repeat cultural mistakes from the past?  Not if you identify those mistakes by reading this eye-opening book.  There are twenty pages of source notes at the end of the book, along with a complete index – just in case you want to re-check some facts.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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