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By critically and carefully examining the intellectual raw material surrounding the founding and building of America, Ibram X. Kendi is able to trace the roots of so many ideas back their origins, revealing for the reader a complex web of ideas invented as post hoc rationalizations of current and future brutality, exploitation, and injustice. Kendi proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that unjust policies and practices are not merely the result of existing social realities and public opinions, but that public opinion is shaped by strategic racist rationalizations, deployed to justify existing practice and policy. Many of the ideas are not at all new, but are just reiterations of ideas that go all the way back to the beginning, ideas that have been stamped onto our collective consciousness and must be disrupted and dismantled every single day.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I am very greatful to have pick this book by random. I learned so much. I knew some of the facts, which only kept my focus. yet, I wouldnt have looked at them from this angle.... which I def. agree. #Truth. It gets straight to the point. hits each point quickly. I had to go back in order not to miss a few key points in our nations history. I feel that it left some things out or didnt go into to much detail... maybe that was to keep on track and not get lost in another direction. I enjoyed every bit of it. thank you to the writer and speaker. Great job.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Stamped from the Beginning the most enjoyable?
The scope of the project. This book is epic. It is like an encyclopedia on racism.
What other book might you compare Stamped from the Beginning to, and why?
It is not unlike many other books on race issues except it does not deal a lot with modern problems, but instead shows the origin of racism for black people and how it developed.
Which character – as performed by Christopher Dontrell Piper – was your favourite?
Ibram X. Kendi discusses many historical characters. The one I enjoyed the most was Angela Davis.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
A documentary on racism.
Any additional comments?
I learned so much from this book. It is an ocean of knowledge regarding the history of racism. It's well researched (as far as I can tell, with my limited knowledge of the subject), well written and honest. Ibram X. Kendi is not afraid of an honest discussion, criticizing white and black people alike for naive ideas, ignorance or plain racism. I also love his take on what racism means and what it does not mean. So all in all this is a brilliant book. I do however have 3 issues with it:
1) I find that Ibram X. Kendi is overly enthusiastic in claiming different films racists. While I can see that the films he discusses can be interpreted this way I honestly can't agree that this is the most obvious interpretation in all cases. Planet of the Apes is one example. It is a nuclear war that caused the apes to take over in Planet of the Apes and it was white people who held the knowledge and power of nuclear weapons back then. Kendi never dives into the problems of interpretations of the films he names, but rather names the main points that support his theory and disregards everything else.
2) Ibram X. Kendi does not limit his focus to race but also discusses feminist and gay issues. I was therefore rather surprised that he glossed over the fact that LGBTQ people have not always been welcomed in modern times in the black communities. Since Kendi is quite honest in this book, I'm assuming this was an oversight.
3) Like I said before. Kendi is usually quite honest. But sometimes I felt he took short cuts in the name of political ideology, where he could have spilt ink on the subject. This is especially the case when he weaves feminism into the subject. Then suddenly slogans are all that is needed to make a point. No facts are presented. Only assumed universal truths.
Finally, I do hope that these minor issues don't stop anyone from reading this fantastic book. It needs to be read!