With the election of Donald Trump to the presidency last year, my interest in understanding racism has acutely increased. Stamped from the Beginning is indeed the definitive history of racist ideas in America. Kendi describes the progress of racism in this country by recounting the stories and the historical contexts of five important figures in American history. The most important lesson from the book is that racism does not come from ignorance or hate, but from racist policies used to justify discrimination and redirect the blame for racial disparities onto black people. The book is truly encyclopedic and effectively addresses the myth of a colorblind or “post-racist” society in America. I can’t imagine a better place for someone to turn to who wants to understand how we came to the state of modern day American racism.

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