Books: Non-Fiction

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

Book — Non-fiction. By Ibram X. Kendi. 2016. 608 pages.
This book chronicles the origins and growth of anti-Black racist ideas, and their power, over the course of U.S. history.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, All US History
Themes: African American, Immigration, Native American, Racism & Racial Identity

 Stamped from the Beginning The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America book coverIn his 2016 book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues that racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W. E. B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope. [Description from the publisher.]

Democracy Now! interview with Ibram Kendi

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