I was planning to read Ibram Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning, but I decided to start with this young adult adaptation of his more complex book, and I’m glad I did. Jason Reynolds has done a Great job remixing Kendi’s book into a manageable text for teens. His goal is to open an honest conversation about race in America: its role in the past and present, its role in power structures, it’s role in Our everyday lives. Until our students understand these roles that race has played, they will not be able to help stamp out racism in our schools, communities, and country. Students can begin their journey as anti racists by reading and discussing this book. It left me with a number of topics I’d like to discuss with students and adults. To name a few: uplift suasion, the Anti Drug abuse Act, and the film Birth of a Nation (many of these topics are central to the documentary The 13th).
I did feel like at times Reynolds could have offered more specifics and examples to support his ideas while not bogging it down in too many details and historical facts. At times, I just wanted a little more. But I will read Stamped from the Beginning to get the full, adult version of this important book.