Racism, Antiracism, and You

Book - 2020
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"The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. Racist ideas are woven into the fabric of this country, and the first step to building an antiracist America is acknowledging America's racist past and present. This book takes you on that journey, showing how racist ideas started and were spread, and how they can be discredited"--Dust jacket flap.
"A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from the National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning"--
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780316453691
Branch Call Number: YA 305.8 REYNOLDS
Characteristics: xvi, 294 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Kendi, Ibram X.


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Gina_Vee Dec 21, 2020

I don't know which one I like better: Stamped or Stamped From the Beginning.

Dec 21, 2020

Kendi is a better writer than this, but for those who don't want a more serious treatment. I usually don't mind books labelled "teen," but this was a bit overly teen-y for an old person. Still interesting and helpful, though.

Nov 30, 2020

Assimilationism (Coward) ? Segregationist (Hater)? AntiRacist (Someone who truly loves)? These are the categories presented. I don't see that the solution is so apparent, especially as former President Barack Obama is classed as an "assimilationist." Just finished Free Thinker about Helen Hamilton Gardner and she is not easily classified because she did not "publicly" champion the rights of African-American women in her quest for equality and the right to vote. There are no clear heroes or villains. We all know that too many things are unequal - power, gender, skin color/race, language/culture, religious beliefs and sexuality. This book gives an overview of the many ways race has been used to perpetuate inequity, but as individuals, like Helen Hamilton Gardner, do your best with your talents and change happens.

Nov 17, 2020

"This is not a history book. I repeat, this is not a history book. At least not like the ones you're used to reading in school."

These lines, the first in the very first chapter of this book, really struck me when I read them, and they stayed with me as I continued reading. Because Jason Reynolds is right. This is not like the history books I read in school (or since). That made it no less compelling and thought-provoking. As a kid growing up in a Midwestern state, I can recall being taught about the typical benchmarks of the United States' racial history - the Antebellum Period (which, as I remember it was basically EVERYTHING from before the Civil War - can't remember it being broken down any further than that), the Civil War (including the Emancipation Proclamation), Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. But as I remember it, that's where the lesson seemed to stop, and it seemed to me that the overall message there was that the problems of racism stopped there. It felt like the teacher was saying, "Look at how foolish our ancestors were, to look down on and persecute people based on the color of their skin, but no worries because Dr. King took care of things and it's not like that now."

That, as I remember it, was the lesson taught to a white girl growing up and going to school in the 1990s. The lessons that girl learned afterward though, in the school that is Real Life, have long showed it for the lie that it was. And after reading this book, this adaptation of Dr. Kendi's 'Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America', I can say without reservation that this book needs to be in classrooms right now. Here we have the history of racism, from its beginnings via a bunch of people we'd never heard of before, through many people that we are (at the very least) somewhat familiar with, and to events that have occurred within, if not the lifetime of current students, then in the lifetime of their parents or slightly older family members. Here is the history, in a 'not a history book', written specifically to draw the interest of young people (and thus the polar opposite of so many of the history books that have apparently so turned young people off of the subject entirely).

I've read this once, and I feel like I need to read it again, just to take it all in fully. Definitely one of those books that I'm going to be drawn back to again and again, and taking away something new each time.

HKK_Teen_Staff Aug 27, 2020

Reynolds presents the history of racism and racist thought in a very accessible, easily understood way with contemporary language. Recommended for teens and adults alike!

JCLHeatherM Aug 21, 2020

Promoted as 'not a history book', this nonfiction piece is full of information, factoids, and side notes that were glossed over or simply not covered during history class in school. Reynolds doesn't shy away from past history, uncovering the deeds of many world leaders and how their actions may still impact our world today.

IndyPL_ShannonO Aug 05, 2020

A great, approachable book on the history of racism and antiracist activism in the United States. Jason Reynolds does a great job summarizing and adapting Ibram X. Kendi's book for a younger audience. He succinctly defined key terms and broke down complex ideas that middle grade and teenagers could easily understand. The tone of the book is conversational and engaging, allowing teens to feel like they aren't just reading another history textbook. A great book to add to any library YA or middle grade display on antiracism!

Jul 28, 2020

In this teen version of Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning, Jason Reynolds deftly breaks down significant events in America's complicated racist history in a way that is concise and approachable but also emphatic and direct. Highly recommend for all ages to read.

Jul 11, 2020

Wow. Conversational, bold, accessible, empowering, thoughtful, challenging, illuminating, poetic, heartbreaking, beautiful, and filled with hope for our next generation — a generation with more empathy and demand for change than the last. Jason Reynolds is a talent, and this book is so important.

JCLChrisK Jun 16, 2020

An accessible, conversational tour of racist thought in the U.S. from its beginning to our current moment. A parade of famous figures are presented not biographically but in terms of their ideas further developing one of three areas: segregationism, assimilationism, or antiracism. The first is openly racist, the second covertly and insidiously so, and only the third provides the goal and standard against which everything is measured. Patterns of each are developed and threads of thinking are followed from one person to the next. Reynolds presents this information, originally developed by Kendi in his book that Reynolds "remixes" here, with his own distinct, approachable voice. He makes it as much of a conversation as possible, with moments for expected reactions and responses from readers. There were times I wished he'd provided a bit more context and background for the information he presents, but overall he does a remarkable job of making it intelligible and relevant. This is knowledge everyone should have, and this book offers it for every reader.

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Nov 17, 2020

"This is not a history book. I repeat, this is not a history book. At least not like the ones you're used to reading in school."

JCLChrisK Jun 16, 2020

I almost don't want to tell you what happened because I've told you what happened a lot already. But if you were to guess that White people started to perpetuate lies about Black people being inferior to keep the world of racism spinning, you'd be right.


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