Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi Book Review
Ibram X. Kendi’s book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America put’s systemic racism on blast by detailing an unchanging oppression.
Recent tensions in America are soaring with the Black Lives Matter movement and protests pushing for major reforms in our government and laws. Even today, laws and ideologies from the Jim Crow era are still present today. From mass incarceration and targetting of the black population to the direct segregation of funds, support and privileges offered to other communities are ever present.
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Author Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram Xolani Kendi or Ibram X. Kendi (i.e., Rogers Ibram Henry) is the #1 best-selling American author. He is an award-winning writer, historian, and scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America. He was born on August 13 in 1982 in Jamaica neighborhood of New York City. He attended private Christian middle schools as a part of his early education and graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School in Virginia in 2000. After studying in several universities, Ibram Kendi finally gained his Ph.D. in African American studies in 2010.
Ibram Kendi worked as an assistant professor at the University of Florida’s department of African American studies in 2016. That was when he published his first book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.
In 2017, his career took a new turn, and he began teaching as a professor of history and international relations at the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Near the end of 2017, Kendi became a center of the spotlight after founding The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University and serving as an Executive Director. Meanwhile, Kendi was already an active antiracism-supporter and a publisher of works in magazines and news articles about black people’s movement.
In June 2020, Kendi announced that he would be joining Boston University as a history professor in July, where he will be serving as a Founding Director of the Boston University for Antiracist Research.
As an author and writer, Ibram Kendi wrote several essays in journals and books. Ibram Kendi is also a contributing writer at the well-renowned magazine named The Atlantic. He has published five books in total, and one of the best is “Stamped from the Beginning.”
Stamped from the Beginning really took off for Kendi, even wining the National Book Award. Check out Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America on Amazon.
As the name suggests, Stamped from the Beginning was a brief history of racism and how it was normalized in America with time. In this book, Kendi discusses not only the Trump-era’s heinousness of racism but also covered the timed ideologies that were formed in favor of white supremacists.
Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning was instantly acclaimed positively, with lots of newspapers and magazine praising it. The book now sits on the Amazon with 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Book Review
Stamped from the Beginning was published in 2016. It was the first published book by Ibram X. Kendi and the book that was the most acclaimed among all of his works. This book inspired Ibram X. Kendi’s follow-up books. Some of the high-reputed magazines that praised this book were The Atlantic, Financial Times, New Republic, Time, Boston Globe, New York Magazine, The Root, and The Stranger.
Stamped from the Beginning was a deserving winner of the National Book Award for Non-fiction. The book does not tell a tale; it uncovers the history of criminal and social injustice suffered by the black population in the hands of white supremacists. Showing how the past relates to the current era, and how not much has changed since then.
According to Ibram X. Kendi in Stamped from the Beginning, America has suffered from white supremacy for generations. A lack of change over 2 generations of racism to be exact.
When a black person is unjustly facing a charge or death, Mr. President keeps on validating the white supremacist and national groups that do not care to bat an eye to the protestors’ demands for black equality.
This irrationality denotes that nation, or its authorities do not even try to understand anti-black racism more than it did two generations ago. Kendi writes about white supremacists that black people have suffered under their unjustified methods to eliminate racism. Blacks were suggested to adapt to the physical culture of white people as if the behavior of black people is the reason for racist attitudes. One of those pushing for assimilation was Abraham Lincoln.
Offensive to White People
Corporate media pundits avoid condemning anything that might offend white people. This directly projects the ignorance of US history, once based off capitalism. It’s clear Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning was not intended to hurt white people; rather to bring attention to the systemic oppression imposed to privilege them and suppress the black populace.
But it will undoubtedly hurt some, as white supremacy and undeniable racism is ever present. There’s nothing to worry about if you’ve done nothing wrong. But America’s undeniable systemic oppression of black people needs to change; standing in the way of that is white supremacy and active racism.
The Presidential Era of Barack Obama
Ibram Kendi closes Stamped from the Beginning with the mention of the era of Barack Obama. The book analyzes the deaths of black lives at the hands of increased police activity, a spike during Barack Obama’s administration (2nd term). He also talks about Donald Trump’s excessive push for Obama’s birth certificate and claims that he wasn’t born in the US but rather Kenya. The many lies and pushed agendas during Obama’s presidency outlined racism publicly.
In Stamped from the Beginning, Kendi explains that a nation cannot be free from racists by protesting against their powers. For the state in which everyone is equal, the authority has to be given to the antiracist. The policies should be imposed that end racism and inequality once and for all. An antiracist America can only emerge if the laws are made and governed by antiracists.
The hopeful analysis of Stamped from the Beginning states that presidents and much of the United States population still defend the symbols of white supremacy. But the struggle of blacks to eliminate those symbols is bringing a obviously needed change. Major changes in America today are only the first step in eliminating the stain of oppression and racism in America.