STAMPED by Jason Reynolds
Kirkus Star

STAMPED

Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped From the Beginning
Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Award-winning author Reynolds (Look Both Ways, 2019, etc.) presents a young readers’ version of American University professor Kendi’s (How To Be an Antiracist, 2019, etc.) Stamped From the Beginning (2016).

This volume, which is “not a history book,” chronicles racist ideology, specifically anti-blackness in the U.S., from its genesis to its pernicious manifestations in the present day. In an open, conversational tone, Reynolds makes it clear that anti-black racist ideology in the U.S. has consistently relied on the erronious belief that African people (and black people in general) are “dumb” and “savage,” ideas perpetuated through the written word, other media, and pseudo-science. Using separationist, assimilationist, and anti-racist historical figures, a direct line is drawn throughout U.S history from chattel slavery through the Civil War, Jim Crow, the civil rights era, the war on drugs, and #BlackLivesMatter, with plenty of little-known, compelling, and disturbing details inserted. Readers who want to truly understand how deeply embedded racism is in the very fabric of the U.S., its history, and its systems will come away educated and enlightened. It’s a monumental feat to chronicle in so few pages the history of not only anti-black racism in the U.S., but also assimilationist and anti-racist thought as well. In the process it succeeds at connecting “history directly...to our lives as we live them right this minute.” Worthy of inclusion in every home and in curricula and libraries everywhere.

Impressive and much needed. (Nonfiction. 12-adult)

Pub Date: March 10th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-316-45369-1
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2019




Kirkus Interview
Jason Reynolds
February 10, 2015

In Jason Reynolds’ new YA novel The Boy in the Black Suit, 17-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, until he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest. Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. “Reynolds writes with a gritty realism that beautifully captures the challenges—and rewards—of growing up in the inner city,” our reviewer writes. “A vivid, satisfying and ultimately upbeat tale of grief, redemption and grace.” View video >

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