Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America -- it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, 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.
I haven't finished yet, but the writing is so dynamic. Typically I find history difficult to read, but I am flying through this book. Ibram X Kendi makes the information accessible, putting a needed critical lens on how we developed our racist ideas and beliefs, as a nation, and how it is still affecting all of us today.
It's incredibly dense, but presents clear information about commonly held racist beliefs throughout history. It's a horrifying but needed perspective on how deeply white supremacy is baked into european and american societies.