Stamped from the Beginning
March 22, 2017 12:33 PM - by Ibram X. Kendi - Subscribe

Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

Full title: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.
Stamped from the Beginning on Goodreads
Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for nonfiction.

Opening the Racist Closets of History: Seven Well-Meaning Americans - an article by Ibram X. Kendi at Black Perspectives, which gives a good overview of the concepts Kendi covers in the book.
posted by soplerfo (1 comment total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I recently finished reading this. It blows my mind how well researched it is. It was a slow, tough read for me but I can't recommend it enough. I'm still reeling from it.

He lays his central thesis out well early on in the book:
I was taught the popular folktale of racism: that ignorant and hateful people had produced racist ideas, and that these racist people had instituted racist policies. But when I learned the motives behind the production of many of America’s most influentially racist ideas, it became quite obvious that this folktale, though sensible, was not based on a firm footing of historical evidence. Ignorance/hate->racist ideas->discrimination: this causal relationship is largely ahistorical. It has actually been the inverse relationship—racial discrimination led to racist ideas which led to ignorance and hate. Racial discrimination->racist ideas->ignorance/hate: this is the causal relationship driving America’s history of race relations.
posted by soplerfo at 12:38 PM on March 22, 2017

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