In 2019, Ibram X. Kendi released the book How to be an Antiracist. In the book, Kendi argues that antiracism is, in layman’s terms, an action or policy that is specifically meant to deconstruct racism and racial prejudice. Various other Black authors have since weighed in on antiracism in their own books, sparking new conversations.
Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynold’s Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, And You provides a much-needed commentary on the discussion of the history of racism and antiracism. The first chapter of the book introduces “the first racist” Gomes Eanes de Zurara, a Portuguese colonialist. Kendi and Reynolds claim the man implemented policies of anti-Blackness, prejudice, and suppression.
The rest of the book shows how modern problems, policing, red-lining, and miseducation all descend from the same beliefs on anti-Blackness that Zurara held. Though Stamped is a historical record, it is also a guide that instructs the reader to recognize harmful and racist behavior at its source in order to address and dismantle it.
The book also works to categorize different types of racism. There is the “segregationist” who believes that the races should remain separate and (un)equal. There are the assimilationists who believe discrimination will end when the minorities become more like the majorities. Lastly, there is the antiracist, who believes that every person in society must do the work to not only acknowledge cultural differences but to embrace them.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You and other books on antiracism are available at blackbookstore.com.