My Review | Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and YouStamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this book following the murder of George Floyd in my hometown of Minneapolis and, like many in the world, I wanted to learn more about how to move from being an ally to becoming actively ant-racist. This book is meant for younger readers based on the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning. The book reviews the history of racism and racist ideas from the colonial period to the present. The authors repeatedly say that the book is not a history book and there is plenty of subjective material presented with the facts. It’s hard for anyone to read about some historically revered figures in an unfavorable light. Thomas Jefferson is one of the most consequential people in American history. He is admirable is a thousand ways, but, of course, you can’t reconcile all of that with the fact that he owned slaves. This book is aimed at 15-year-olds, who traditionally have been fed a whites-only version of our history in the American school system, but everyone could benefit. History as fable or propaganda is not history. We all need all of the facts and this book tells us a fuller history of America and the many racist ideas the country has supported and pursued. Since we are living in a world where history is repeating itself, with fascists and segregationists and white supremacists, it’s imperative to understand the underpinnings and aim for an antiracist future.

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One Response to My Review | Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You

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