Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Read by Jason Reynolds, with an introduction by Ibram X. Kendi

(provided by libro.fm)

Wow, wow, wow. I’m not an audiobook reader, but I’m listening to books more in an effort to be intelligent while also cleaning house on the weekends. I can tell you, Jason Reynolds can read to me any time.

Stamped… is NOT a history book, as Jason explains. It is a text for the here and now. Reviewing the story of how systematic racism (in the form of needed slavery) started, the book takes the reader (listener) through time periods in history where power and control were keys to success. Any time that power or control was threatened, people changed roles, laws, and society to “right the white.” It’s scary — all that learning (I DID know about Thomas Jefferson’s “other side”) — only to come to the present time, still living the exact same truths.

It was a disturbing, yet entertaining listen; Jason Reynolds’ laughter while relaying a snippy comment or the humor attached to an unjust situation (I’m thinking of the Thomas Jefferson story again: “Oh, no! Oh, no!”) makes the audiobook flow and keeps the listener engaged. It’s a conversation piece, too, and that makes Stamped… perfect for book clubs in secondary history classrooms, university discussions, or even your own living room.

Chapter 7…whoa! Chapter 9 was my favorite, where Jason spoke about “Uplift-suasion” — Abolitionists urged the newly-freed people to go to church, speak proper English, etc. “Black people couldn’t be accepted as themselves…Make yourself small. Make yourself unthreatening. Make yourself the same. Make yourself safe. Make yourself quiet to make white people comfortable with your existence.”

If you haven’t read Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You yet, add it to your reading list. Better yet, listen to the audiobook, read by Jason Reynolds. It will make you think. Then you should act accordingly, as if you have learned something. I know I learned.