Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

by Ibram X. Kendi

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Overview

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

2016 National Book Award Winner for Nonfiction
2016 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for Nonfiction

Young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. The unemployment rate for African Americans has been double that of whites for more than half a century. And yet Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first black president spelled doom for racist policies and racist beliefs. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.

In this deeply researched, provocative narrative, Kendi offers a comprehensive history of anti-Black racist ideas— their origins in fifteenth-century Portugal, their arrival in England in the mid-sixteenth century, and their blossoming in the United States, where they became the founding principles of our nation’s institutions and guarantors of its power. Contrary to popular conceptions, these ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era, men like John Locke and Thomas Jefferson. In an effort to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and disparities, assimilationists and segregationists alike created, debated, popularized, and defended racist ideas in the modern era, dictating the discussion on race for four hundred years.

Kendi narrates this history through the lives of five major characters in American history: early America’s most prolific and influential intellectual, Puritan minister Cotton Mather; the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson; fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison; brilliant scholar and thinker W.E.B. Du Bois; and legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis. Their rich and surprising stories offer a window into the debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists that have marked Black Americans for centuries.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, but they are also easily discredited. In shedding much-needed light on the long, dark history of racist ideas, Kendi offers us the tools we need to expose them—and in the process, gives us reason to hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568584638
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 179,003
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author


Ibram X. Kendi is an assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida. He authored the award-winning book, The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965–1972. He has received research fellowships, grants, and visiting appointments from a variety of universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries, including the American Historical Association, Library of Congress, National Academy of Education, Spencer Foundation, Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Brown University, Princeton University, Duke University, University of Chicago, and UCLA. Before entering academia, he worked as a journalist. His writings appeared in The Virginian-Pilot, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Philadelphia Weekly, and the Orlando Sentinel, among other publications. As a professor, he has contributed pieces to a number of publications, including Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Root.com. He lives in Florida.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition ix

Prologue 1

Part I Cotton Mather

1 Human Hierarchy 15

2 Origins of Racist Ideas 22

3 Coming to America 31

4 Saving Souls, Not Bodies 47

5 Black Hunts 58

6 Great Awakening 66

Part II Thomas Jefferson

7 Enlightenment 79

8 Black Exhibits 92

9 Created Equal 104

10 Uplift Suasion 120

11 Big Bottoms 135

12 Colonization 143

Part III William Lloyd Garrison

13 Gradual Equality 161

14 Imbruted or Civilized 177

15 Soul 191

16 The Impending Crisis 202

17 History's Emancipator 214

18 Ready for Freedom? 223

19 Reconstructing Slavery 235

20 Reconstructing Blame 248

Part IV W. E. B. Du Bois

21 Renewing the South 263

22 Southern Horrors 269

23 Black Judases 280

24 Great White Hopes 295

25 The Birth of a Nation 308

26 Media Suasion 323

27 Old Deal 335

28 Freedom Brand 349

29 Massive Resistance 365

Part V Angela Davis

30 The Act of Civil Rights 381

31 Black Power 393

32 Law and Order 410

33 Reagan's Drugs 424

34 New Democrats 440

35 New Republicans 456

36 99.9 Percent the Same 469

37 The Extraordinary Negro 482

Epilogue 497

Acknowledgments 513

Notes 516

Index 562

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