Stamped from the Beginning

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Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Stamped from the Beginning (book cover).jpg
AuthorIbram X. Kendi
CountryUnited States
SubjectRacism in the United States
PublisherNation Books
Pages582 pp[1]

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America is a 2016 non-fiction book about race in the United States by Ibram X. Kendi that won the National Book Award for Nonfiction.[1][2][3]

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You[edit]

In 2020 Kendi released Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, which "remixed" his original work for a younger audience, in collaboration with young adult writer Jason Reynolds.[4]


Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You is adapted from Stamped: From the Beginning, originally written by Kendi. [5] The first book, published in 2016, focuses on historical figures.[6] However, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You follows a chronological format.[5] Kendi reached out to Reynolds to collaborate on a chronological version after seeing success with his first book. Reynolds first declined Kendi's proposal, adamant that he was a fiction writer. It took a writing style that made Stamped "not a history book" to get Reynolds on board with the idea.[6]


Kendi and Reynolds insist throughout the book that "it is not a history book" and writes in a casual, easy-to-understand manner, using slang and pop culture references to cater to the younger audience. There are five sections split by time periods: 1415-1728, 1743-1826, 1826-1879, 1868-1963, and 1963-today. The chapters vary in length and there are 28 in total. In these chapters, Kendi and Reynolds focus on important, often overlooked figures and events to illustrate the development of racist ideas throughout the history of the United States. Throughout the book, Kendi and Reynolds return to the themes of racists, assimilationists, and antiracists, and the book ends by encouraging readers to take what they have learned from the book and to become antiracist. 


In 2020, Stamped landed the second position on the American Library Association's list of the most commonly banned and challenged books in the United States.[7] The book was banned, challenged, and/or restricted "because of author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains 'selective storytelling incidents' and does not encompass racism against all people."[7]


  1. ^ a b Lozada, Carlos (April 15, 2016). "The racism of good intentions". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "2016 National Book Award Winner, Nonfiction". National Book Foundation. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X Kendi – review | Books". The Guardian. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Baker, Jennifer (March 9, 2020). "History Remixed: How Young Adult Authors Are Revisioning History". School Library Journal. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b Reynolds, Jason (2020). Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 9780316453677.
  6. ^ a b "A History Book That Isn't: Finding A Way To Teach Racism To A New Generation".
  7. ^ a b Banned & Challenged Books (2013-03-26). "Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists". Office for Intellectual Freedom. American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-05-04.

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