National Book Award Winner, Nonfiction, 2016
Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction A New York Times best-seller in race and civil rights Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction “The most ambitious book of 2016” (Washington Post) A Boston Globe Best Book of 2016 A Washington Post Notable Book of 2016 A Chicago Review of Books Best Nonfiction Book of 2016 A Root Best Book of 2016 A BuzzFeed Best Nonfiction Book of 2016 A Bustle Best Book of 2016 Nominated for 2016 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work of Nonfiction Finalist for the 2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction A Kirkus Best History Book of 2016 A Kirkus Best Book of 2016 to explain current politics A Kirkus Best Heartrending Nonfiction Book of 2016 An Entropy Best Nonfiction Book of 2016 The Washington Post 2016 summer reading list
Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America – more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. 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 and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals – Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. – to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists.