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Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You

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This chapter book edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller by luminaries Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds is an essential introduction to the history of racism and antiracism in America
RACE. Uh-oh. The R-word. 
But actually talking about race is one of the most important things to learn how to do.

Adapted from the groundbreaking bestseller Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, this book takes readers on a journey from present to past and back again. Kids will discover where racist ideas came from, identify how they impact America today, and meet those who have fought racism with antiracism. Along the way, they’ll learn how to identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their own lives. 


First published May 11, 2021

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Sonja Cherry-Paul

7 books7 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 286 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Krajewski.
1,012 reviews
May 24, 2021
This is the children’s version of Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, adapted by Sonja Cherry-Paul. It tells the 400+ year story of racism in America, but in a way that young readers can understand. My son, who’s 11, and my daughter, who’s 9, both understood the majority of it and had a lot of great questions. By the end, it was my children telling me they learned so much. More importantly, they want to learn MORE. Now I’m searching for children’s books about Malcolm X, Angela Davis, and the founders of the BLM movement. We aren’t done learning.
Profile Image for Emily.
628 reviews
June 2, 2021
Stamped (the YA version) was a remarkable adaptation of Kendi's original book. This one, for younger kids, is equally remarkable, and its emphasis is slightly different than that of Kendi and Reynolds's teen reworking.

The chapters are very short, chronological, and zoom in on a singular concept (Ch. 4: Flawed Founding Fathers, Ch. 11: Racism on Screen, Ch. 18: History Repeats). While younger readers are introduced to all of the major figures mentioned in the other two books, their biographies and the development of their ideas are less important than the portrait Cherry-Paul is painting of sustained collective Black movement.

Well-placed visuals support both the short biographies and the history of Black activism, and most chapters contains a "Let's Pause" moment that helps kids hang onto idea threads, define essential terms, or reflect on laws and policies that have be discriminatory.

The last chapter of the book is a call for informed action addressed specifically to the reader. And, the book contains an instructive timeline, a glossary, and titles for recommended further reading.
Profile Image for Sarah.
273 reviews6 followers
June 17, 2021
This is probably the best book I have read for upper el and middle school age kids addressing race, and our history (and present) of race, racism and antiracism. Highly recommend, and be ready for kids to be interested in getting biographies and other materials on the people and events touched upon in this book for more detail.
Profile Image for David.
579 reviews137 followers
April 14, 2022
Great short version that keeps all the main points of the adult and teen versions of this book. The timeline in the appendix matches the book content 100%. Very conversational tone throughout the book. I had already read the teen version, so I cruised through this book quickly.

Adult version: 600 pages: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Teen version: 300 pages: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
Middle School version (this one I'm reviewing): 150 pages: Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You

1452 - de Zurara is hired to write a bio of the life and slave trading of Prince Henry of Portugal.
1619 - 60 slaves arive on the shores of Jamestown, VA
1633 - Puritan minister John Cotton arrives in Boston
2020 - BLM protests; And Biden/Harris win.

Nice glossary

Also further reading:

Illustrated books:
Antiracist Baby
Birmingham, 1963
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore
Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall’s Life, Leadership, and Legacy
I Have a Dream
I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Show Way
The Undefeated
Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre
Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice

Chapter Books:
Black Heroes: A Black History Book for Kids: 51 Inspiring People from Ancient Africa to Modern-Day U.S.A.
Escape from Slavery: The Boyhood of Frederick Douglass in His Own Words
Ruby Bridges Goes To School: My True Story
She Persisted: Harriet Tubman
Who Was Sojourner Truth?

Older Readers:
Betty Before X
Brave. Black. First.: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World
Brown Girl Dreaming
A Child's Introduction to African American History: The Experience, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country
Finding Langston
Ghost Boys
A Good Kind of Trouble
King and the Dragonflies
Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance
Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voices Go Tell It
March: Book One
March: Book Two
March: Book Three
Mighty Justice: The Untold Story of Civil Rights Trailblazer Dovey Johnson Roundtree
Miles Morales: Spider-Man
New Kid
One Crazy Summer
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance
The Only Black Girls in Town
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices
A Wreath for Emmett Till
Profile Image for E.A..
101 reviews
July 25, 2022
What I liked about this book is how it shows the long origins of racist ideology, how and why these developed and the context in which they did so. There is an interesting focus on the role of stories and how they shape ideas and hence actions/policy. There is also good attention to inconsistencies within movements and individuals' actions, and perhaps the clearest point made by the book is the tension between those attempting to achieve acceptance through assimilation and those insisting on equality without such conditions. I definitely missed some detail/depth at various points (e.g. what was it that Malcolm X actually changed his mind on), but that more probably reflects my perspective as an adult reader. I imagine there's more than enough in here to get younger readers started on thinking about this topic.
Profile Image for Yapha.
2,619 reviews72 followers
April 30, 2021
I am so grateful for a version of this book geared toward even younger readers! Covering the same basic information as the other two versions of Stamped (teenage & adult), this one discusses the history of race and racism in America in a way that is accessible for upper elementary readers. Fourth and fifth graders will be able to make their way through this independently, though they will most likely have questions. Third graders should read it with a trusted adult who can help add to the historical context. Highly recommend!

eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss.
Profile Image for TheNextGenLibrarian.
1,722 reviews
April 26, 2021
“Words matter. Stories matter. Lies matter. They can influence the way we think, what we believe, and how we act.”
Adapted by Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds which was adapted from Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi this MG nonfiction book shares a timeline of our nation’s history in relation to racism against African-Americans. It takes the complex concepts and truths from both of those books and makes it relatable to middle grade readers.
As someone who is a HUGE fan of Stamped, I was thrilled to see that Sonja Cherry-Paul was going to adapt this book for younger readers. It hit the nail on the head with that goal. Here are ways I believe it works for MG readers: it has illustrations, shorter chapters, a conversational tone on their level without talking down to students, it tells the Black history we don’t always learn in school, it goes further than Stamped did by sharing the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor stories, as well as the rise of the #blacklivesmatter movement in June. This text includes a timeline, glossary and further reading for your students to continue their antiracism work. Every classroom and library needs this book on May 11. Thank you Edelweiss for the advanced readers copy
“So this book is a start, not a finish—keep reading, keep learning, and KEEP TALKING ABOUT RACE.”
347 reviews
August 2, 2021
This book was horrible. It lies about history to make everything about race at all times and everyone a racist at all times. It pits all white people and many important black people against black people. It teaches kids that race is the most important thing about them and others. This book will seriously damage children. It glorifies the Black Panther movement and Angela Davis (but leaves out that she is a communist). Read it only to understand what people want to use to teach children racist ideas in the guise of "anti-racism."

Main points the book makes:
Intro: Talking about race is one of the most important things you can do.
Segregationists hate others for being not like them; assimilationist love you if are like them; anti-racists love you for being you.
This book is not opinions. It is the absolute truth about America.

Chapter 1 - 1415 Europeans conquered everyone and enslaved everyone but a specific conqueror changed slavery to based in race and taught Europeans bad ideas

Chapter 2 - 1619 Puritans thought they were better than everyone else and enslaved them to grow tobacco; planters wanted to grow profits; Africans didn’t want the religion of the slavers

Chapter 3 - John Locke and other philosophers lied about black people to justify slavery. European colonizers had some anti-racist ideas. But rich white people got poor whites on their side by inventing white privilege. Slavers feared a revolt and wanted to keep all black people out of power. Phyllis Wheatley biography. She had intelligence and creativity and was proof black people can be smart.

A racist idea is any idea that suggests something is different, inferior or superior, right or wrong about a particular group. An anti-racist idea is any that suggests racial groups are equal.

America had to break free of Britain to feel good about keeping slavery.

Chapter 4 - Flawed Founding Fathers - 1776 - Thomas Jefferson had confusing thoughts about slavery. Racist ideas are baked into the Constitution. 3/5 Compromise put racism permanently into the Constitution.

Chapter 5 -1790 - some abolitionists wanted black people to go to church regularly, speak properly, and get married to overcome stereotypes about black people. This was encouraging black people not to be like themselves and it was racist assimilationist. The largest slave-revolt led by Prosser left enslavers scared so they thought of more racist ideas to protect white people.

Chapter 6 - black people wanted freedom in the country they built. Native Americans wished they could send white oppressors back to Europe. The issue of slavery was the key to President Jefferson’s choices.

Chapter 7 - words matter - abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison wanted black people to convince white people they were equal because being free was not enough. Narrative of Life of Fredrick Douglass shows even he had to flee racist America. Sojourner Truth uplifted all of humanity. Uncle Tom’s Cabin had a bunch of racist ideas about black people. Math was racist (3/5 compromise) and science was racist (black people had less intelligence).

Chapter 8 - War over slavery - Abraham Lincoln said a lot of contradictory stuff. He only said things to get what he wanted. He said slavery should end but only to help poor white people. But he got elected by getting racists to vote for him. But they didn’t believe him so America split into 2 countries. The fighting, war, symbols, confederate flag, and statues of the Confederacy are all about white supremacy. Emancipated people were still caught in racism. Black people were free but had no land, privilege, or money. The South lost the war but white people did not surrender their racist ideas.

Chapter 9 - 1878 - WEB DuBois played tug of war with Booker T. Washington. Dubois wanted assimilation through education. Talented Tenth. He was a black leader who didn’t think much of black people. Booker T thought black people should learn a trade and be satisfied without equality and with being thought of as less than white people. Both men were assimilationists. Both wanted black peoples to behave in ways acceptable to white people.

Chapter 10- It took Ida B Wells to show Booker T and WEB DuBois that black people did not deserve injustice. Lynching permanently punished black people by showing white people even had the power to end their lives. Ida B Wells was anchored by anti-racist ideas. Franz Boas also tried to set DuBois straight. He said African history was one of glorious empires.

Chapter 11 - racism on screen - stories stick - Tarzan movie and book support idea black people were savage animals. Birth of a Nation was the first film screened for a President in the White House (Democrat Woodrow Wilson). KKK was re-energized by this film. Minstrel shows using blackface portrayed racial stereotypes. Dr. Seuss, King Kong, Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, Little House on the Prairie, and many other classic books all have racist stereotypes. They mislead us about the world and must be challenged by anti-racist ideas.

Chapter 12 - black people migrate North. Marcus Garvey visited NAACP and noticed colorist attitudes - light skin is better. Garvey battles DuBois over colorist attitudes. Garvey was anti-racist so he started his own group (Universal Negro Improvement Association) to focus on black skin and African culture. DuBois made anti-racist strides but stayed an assimilationist. Harlem Renaissance. Black artists wanted the freedom to be imperfect without white acceptance. Langton Hughes rejected assimilation. DuBois started to reject assimilation and argued for black safe spaces. He had an awakening and turned to anti-racism.

Chapter 13 - Pan African conference - DuBois became known as the father of Pan Africanism. Land of the free but home of the brave? So far, freedom was only for white people. Cases before the Supreme Court. White people kept black people from buying houses in their neighborhoods. SCOTUS ruled housing segregation and school segregation illegal. That made white people mad so they packed up and moved. There are still all white and all black neighborhoods today. Racism was stamped into America's design and still exists. White schools had all the money and were better. Black schools had to get by without buses, books, and money. A racist idea was part of Brown v. Board. It said black students had to go to the white people schools but not that white kids had to go to black schools. Laws alone are not enough to make freedom for everyone. People need to fight for the right laws for all people and make sure those laws are followed.

Chapter 14 - Fighting for Freedom - The Civil Rights movement was sparked by the death of black people at the hands of white people. Emmett Till. For black people, the pain of his loss was as close as a son, brother, friend. MLK and young people had ways of making the civil rights more powerful. Lunch counter-sit ins. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was met with violence.

Chapter 15 - March on Washington - 1963 - Nonviolent protests became violent because of police. Malcolm X was leader of Nation of Islam - a religious organization focused on the liberation of black people. MLK and Malcolm X were also in a tug of war. Malcolm preached self-defense and freedom by any means necessary. MLK preached nonviolence. President Kennedy approved speakers at the March on Washington and silenced voices like black women. Black LGBTQ+ leaders were not invited to speak. Malcolm X attended but was not invited to speak. Mahalia Jackson sang. I Have Dream speech.

Chapter 16 - Pain and Protest - Birmingham Church Bombing - white supremacists and members of the KKK bombed their church. The outrage forced the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Angela Davis and MLK both thought the laws would never be enforced because the law enforcers are racist. Davis reminds us that still today. Shift from civil rights to fighting for the right to live. Malcolm X was for truth, not hate. His autobiography is one of the most important books in American history. MLK acknowledged that they both wanted freedom. Voting Rights Act of 1965 caused white rage.

Chapter 17 - Black Power - math, science, art have been used as a weapon against black people. Words like black sheep and blacklist support the idea that black is bad. Ghetto and minority are synonyms for black to inflict pain. Stokely Carmichael shouted black power to connect blackness to strength. Black people means black people owning and controlling their own neighborhoods free of white supremacy. Racist people heard that as "black supremacy." Assimilationists vs anti-racists. Huey Newton and Black Panther party wanted fair housing, anti-racist education, end to police brutality and police. Started a free breakfast program in churches and lead to govt free breakfast program.

Chapter 18 - Angela Davis and MLK joined Black Power movement. Planet of the Apes further spreads white supremacy. Dark world rising against the white people. Warning to black people to stay in their place. Govt called black Panther party militant. MLK was assassinated. Black Power grew into the largest anti-racist movement ever. Women were pushed to the back of this movement but found new ways to lead.

Chapter 19 - Richard Nixon wanted to win by getting racists on his side. He used coded words like ghetto to communicate racist ideas to white people. Southern Strategy won. Angela Davis spoke up. Government put her in jail for crime she did not commit. Won case herself. Black feminists spoke up on behalf of LGBTQ+ community. Roots disrupted the racist ideas about slavery.

Chapter 20 - Politicians used race to win votes by pushing racist policies. War on Drugs by Reagan targeted black people to send black people to jail. GHW Bush and Clinton also. Reinforced racist ideas that black people are violent. Racist ideas are stamped into the country and people who run it. How do we stop this? By learning the racist past and challenging racist ideas with new non-racist policies. Hip-hop is a beat against racism. Black power and pride. Protest songs. Queen Latifah was about women's empowerment. Spoke to anger about Rodney King. A riot is the language of the unheard - this explains LA riots. There are always racist laws and policies convincing people black people are the problem.

Chapter 21 - Standardized tests are a new weapon against black people. Equality and equity are different. Equity is about access and what you need to learn. Tests treat everyone the same, but not everyone has the same resources. Politicians place importance on these tests to make sure the rich get richer. Assimilationists argued the way to fix racism was not to focus on it - color blindness. Wrong to act like there aren't differences in skin color because it is a way to pretend not to see racism.

Chapter 22 - Angela Davis made connections around the world. Obama was seen as an exception, the talented tenth embodied. His success was used to claim racism no longer ended. That is a way of saying they have overcome being black. Another way of saying black is not intelligent. White people that deny the racism still exists by pointing to successful black people. Hurricane Katrina response by Bush Administration was delayed. Obamas were called unpatriotic for questioning racism and associating with others who did the same. Trump spread the racist idea that someone with a name like Obama could not be American. Obama won. Everyone around the world was happy.

Chapter 23 - Obama was a symbol of hope and progress, but he was an assimilationist. Racist politicians spread racist ideas about him. Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Ayanna Jones - black people's lives end at the hands of white police officers and are rarely punished. Black women started #Blacklivesmatter to reject the racist declaration of six centuries. Activists against all kinds of racism. Taking potential and turning it into power.

Chapter 24 - Clinton v Trump - Trump was not coded. He spread racist ideas about Muslims and Mexicans. It worked. He won. People who grew up in the US were deported. Countless families were torn apart. Children were put into metal cages. White immigrants didn't face the same punishment. Trump refused to say he disapproved of white supremacists who rallied and killed someone. Trump's delayed response to COVID lead to BIPOCs dying at higher rates. Many were deemed essential workers and had to risk exposure to the virus. It wasn't the only plague spreading. Arberry, Taylor, Floyd - protests lead to widespread pledges for change. BLM is linked to the Black Power movements of the past. People can bring about lasting change. Biden was now running for President. Biden/Harris won in large part due to black women. Beat Trump who promoted racism and white supremacy over and over.

This is a book about now. Freedom and justice have to be fought for continuously. This book is a start. Keep talking about race. From the beginning racist ideas have been stamped into the Constitution, laws, policies, practices, and beliefs. Anti-racists continue the fight - like Angela Davis, Patrice Cullors, and me and you.

Anti-racist future - race has always been used to create and maintain power - to keep the ball of white privilege rolling. All it takes is the right kind of medium to spark racism. Privileged people will do anything to avoid being confronted. Do you want to be a segregationist, a hater, an assimilationist, a coward or an anti-racist - someone who truly loves? We have to fight against performance and lean into participation - in our classrooms and communities.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
807 reviews7 followers
May 15, 2021
“The words of the national anthem proudly proclaimed America’s greatness: The land of the free, Home of the brave. But who was brave enough to admit the truth about racism...Freedom for whom?” “Racism was stamped into America’s design.” Confederate President Jefferson Davis said that inequality between Black and White people was “stamped from the beginning.” “America was full of church folk and dirt folk,” saving souls and saving crops. Math was used as a weapon against Black people; instead of humans, they were fractions and their freedom was fractured. Integration was not reciprocal and thus underscored racism. “Equality is about kids having the same access. Equity is about kids having...what they need to learn.”

Racism is a rope that connects skin color, money, religion, and land. Lives matter; lies matter. And our history textbooks and media are full of them. Stamped (For Kids) offers an alternative: the truth with a common vocabulary that is accessible for all ages. It defines segregationists (haters) as those who “hate you for not being like them,” assimilationists (cowards) as those who “like you only if you act like them,” and antiracists as “those who truly love you because you are you.”

Antiracists “are like guideposts that have shown us the way from the beginning...An antiracist idea is any idea that suggests racial groups are equal...In order to be truly antiracist, we must also oppose all injustices, such as sexism, homophobia, coloism, and classism, that work alongside racism to harm so many Black lives.” Because it takes “both hands to grab hold of hatred. Not just a texting thumb and a scrolling index finger.”
Profile Image for Rebekah.
712 reviews24 followers
February 2, 2022
This is another fabulous edition of Dr. Kendi's original Stamped from the Beginning. I think this is another excellent stepping stone in the versions of Stamped, and not just for young readers, but anyone who thinks they don't read well and find bigger tomes on antiracism too intimidating, this would be a great place to start even for adults. The young narrator is also very talented.
Profile Image for Zuri Scrivens.
59 reviews1 follower
August 4, 2022
A quick exploration of antiracism in the United States. Cherry-Paul's adaptation of "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" is an excellent starting point for kids to become active participants in the antiracist movement.
July 5, 2021
I never write reviews, but I feel compelled to for this story.

You know those books that make you question everything? That was this book for me. As a middle school teacher and self proclaimed YA book lover, anything by Jason Reynolds or Ibram X. Kendi is a win in my book.

Stamped takes you through the history of the United States by the decades, explaining how racism is (literally) stamped into our country’s founding documents. The continuous differentiation between being anti-racist and assimilationist really forces the reader to look at your actions and approaches to be a better human.

My main con to this book is how it is labeled - for kids ages 6-10. There is absolutely no way a 6 year old could absorb this story, and the 10 year old would have to be reading and comprehending well above that age to truly grasp this text. This story IS appropriate for middle schoolers, and even then kids will need to be familiar and comfortable with history to fully appreciate what is happening throughout the ages. This book is severely mislabeled in terms of age range.
Profile Image for Jon Thysell.
Author 1 book2 followers
June 21, 2021
I read this book as a parent looking for resources to help raise my son right. There is a lot of money and structure behind crafting racist media for people of all ages (practically cradle to grave), so I'm always on the lookout for age-appropriate material that I can use to help him identify and dismantle the garbage he will be inevitably subject to in his lifetime.

This book does a wonderful job of walking the reader through the evolution of the fight, and I appreciated the "pauses" for giving space for discussion. I also appreciate the consistent linkages between the power of stories to influence our actions.
Profile Image for Lorie Barber.
557 reviews36 followers
June 12, 2021
I truly wonder why anyone would give this book less than 5 stars. (I know the answer.) And you will, too, once you absorb this text. And it’s an absorption, not a read, just like it’s two big brothers are.

From Dr. Ibram Kendi’s Stamped From the Beginning to Jason Reynolds’ YA adaptation, Stamped, emerges Stamped (For Kids,) an informational book further (and BRILLIANTLY) adapted for middle grade readers by the inimitable Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul.

I absorbed Stamped (For Kids) in one sitting. I love that the 2nd/3rd person narrator directly addresses the reader, calling them into the conversation about race. I love that it takes a chronological series of historical events (some known, some will be new to kids) and addresses them through a racial lens. I love that Dr. Cherry-Paul *knows* her audience and throws in references relatable to today’s generation that will keep them engaged.

Written with humor, supported by facts, and taken from a perspective that’s been erased for centuries, Stamped (For Kids) will do so much for kids. It will introduce them to that unwritten/untaught story. It will help them to start questioning (rightfully so) what they’ve been taught (and not taught) and why this is. It will open their eyes and remind them that *they* have the power to be antiracist through action.

The question becomes then, will this book get into the hands of kids? Will those who have power over what middle graders read (I’m looking at you, white teachers and parents) place this book into the hands of young people? PLEASE do. I beg you. Because, as Dr. Cherry-Paul says, “actually learning to talk about race is one of the most important things to learn how to do.”

Buy it.
Read it.
Share it.
Profile Image for Michele Knott.
3,594 reviews156 followers
August 21, 2022
I would love to see any classrooms that use history textbooks, have this book open, side-by-side, while going through the different points in history. What is different? What is not being said in the textbooks? What is changed and why?
Profile Image for Sabin.
298 reviews28 followers
December 29, 2022
Funny story, I read this book because some guy in a video posted on a meme site was holding it in his hand while talking about a passage where two characters in their teens were discussing giving oral pleasure to girls. He was saying that a book containing something like that should not be given to pre-teen children to read. The fun part is how the video was cut to make it seem like the man was talking about this book. Something felt off so I bought the book to check. It turns out that the guy was talking about another completely unrelated book written for young adults and why he had this book in his hand and not the correct one is anyone's guess. But my money's on pure deception.

Actually, this book is a children's book adaptation of a remix version Stamped, Racism Antiracism and You, by Jason Reynolds, of the original, a very important book in the antiracist movement, Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi. Haven't read the precursors, but I've heard mentions of the original, particularly by someone who's definitely not a fan, in John McWorther's Woke Racism.

This slim volume, made more appealing to children with short chapters and quite endearing drawings and caricatures, distils a few theoretical concepts to their main points and attempts to build a coherent historical narrative from them.

Something like this:

• Portuguese scholar in 14th century talks about black people as savage animals (bad-unfounded-disproven) and enslaving them was a mission from God (somebody took the Old Testament way to literally)

• 17th century: something about taking land from the native Americans (bad) preachers wanting to convert non-Christians to Christianity (bad if done without consent) and plantation owners needing human resources that don't need to be paid to work (bad, and done without consent)

• End of 17th century: white people got privileges on the basis of being white just to keep the poor white people from banding together with blacks and waging class war (bad, evil, dastardly clever though) and slaves were treated like property, to be bought, sold, made use of and disposed of as their masters saw fit (utterly disgusting when I try to think about it).

Here we've got commentary: A certain doctor said that black people weren't born savages, but were made savage and inhuman by the institution of slavery. And that appears to be racist, since he apparently suggests that black people need to be educated like white people to not be inferior. I've been reading that statement for a full 5 minutes now and I can't believe that somebody thought this was a good argument to make. The authors must know that you don't have to be black to be made inhuman by slavery. If a human being's development is affected to a large extent, they will not recover and the mental issues and psychological trauma will persist for their entire life, regardless of race. But still, putting this issue aside, the antiracist argument that all racial groups are equal is the wrong one to make. You can say that every racial group is capable of greatness in its own way, or that there are valuable works of art and cultural artefacts in all racial groups and you can't judge which is better than the other because there is no common scale available to measure with. There are so many ways in which you can avoid direct confrontation. This is important, since when you put two different entities into boxes and compare them, like you do when you put an equality sign between them, you invite confrontation. You demand that observers choose a scale and compare the two groups. And you'll soon realise that equality cannot hold. Choose any arbitrary scale and you're more likely to find inequality than equality. The problem is that any scale you choose reduces the two groups being compared to that property, disregarding all the others without which a group's identity unravels.

• Fast forward to the Harlem Renaissance at the beginning of the 20th century and something odd is happening. In the first pages of the book we have a list defining segregationists and assimilationists as racist and highlighting antiracists. Now, honestly, this already begs discussion, since there's little room to go if you tell people not to stay apart and not to come together. But assimilation has negative connotations, of couse, since the culture being assimilated disappears. You get two cultures in a confrontation and usually one come out on top (mainly the one with more coercive power)

The antiracist solution is a clever one: you - a racial group - don't coerce the other to stay apart or join you. You let them do as they wish as long as they don't join you since they don't belong to your group. What you get is Segregation by DuBois. A black man saying that there should be black safe spaces where blacks can be themselves. At least according to this book (haven't checked myself).

If this makes sense to you, allow me to attempt a bit of logical reasoning:
Hypotheses: All racial groups are equal. Segregation is racism. Assimilation is racism.
Conclusion: Black safe spaces are antiracism.
Demonstration: H: Segregation is racism. => (instance of segregation) White people forbidding blacks from entering white only spaces is racism. + H: All racial groups are equal => Black people forbidding whites from entering black only spaces is racism. => (instance of black only spaces) Black safe spaces are racism. + C: Black safe spaces are antiracism. => Antiracism is racism. Since antiracism is definitely not racism, the conclusion must be wrong. By this reasoning, Black safe spaces are racist and perpetuate racism.

• Fast forward about 60 years and police officers beat a 25 year old black man named Rodney King.
Black Americans were angry. And in pain. So pained and angered that they took over neighbourhoods in Los Angeles and expressed their frustrations. Dr. King once said, "A riot is the language of the unheard." Frustrated, angry, and unheard, Black people burned stores and took merchandise. About ten thousand national guard troops were brought in to stop the uprisings.

For a book that is supposed to be educational and one which offers value judgements on everything from 14th century European chroniclers to USA's founding fathers, there is a conspicuous lack of judgement on this issue as to its intrinsic value of good or bad. It's like saying that black people are angry so black people burn and loot stores. This is the lesson? Would anybody believe that it's the right lesson to teach children about their identity? Funnily enough, the next paragraph tells that this led to more racist legislation being passed. Which could have been a valuable lesson to teach. Maybe something like "Riots don't get you what you want." would have helped.

Throughout the book, unfortunately, a lot of occasions where solidarity with other racial minorities would have been appropriate are glossed over, keeping a laser focus on black issues and disregarding the racial injustices suffered by asians or latinos. I'm afraid that this attitude of exclusion and disregard to others' issues is detrimental to the good functioning of any kind of communities, be they neighbourhoods or nations.

I'm quite sad that educational material in the USA has such glaring shortcomings. Instead of fostering community, inclusion and appreciation of others, it engenders exclusion and the ghettoisation of communities.

It does provoke discussion, as all books which aim too high do, so it definitely has that going for it.
Profile Image for Donna Merritt.
Author 23 books62 followers
October 19, 2021
I recently added this book to our grade 4/5 school library. Written in a way children can understand, it helps explain the complicated history of racism. I didn't realize how sad I would feel after finishing it. In under 150 pages, it demonstrates how little has changed over time. It blows my mind that in 2021 we still have those who think someone's skin color is an indicator of intelligence or morality. I have students of various races, nationalities, religions, and gender identities. Sometimes they get along and sometimes they fight, like all kids, but it's about kid stuff like who took an extra turn or who cut in line, not about their color or where they're from or what they practice or who they are. Why do some adults continue to perpetrate racism? It breaks my heart.

One minor quibble as a librarian. There are a number of stories listed in chapter 11 as having included racial stereotypes. I didn't see the connection in all of them, such as Peter Pan and Curious George. Maybe I'm just not well-informed enough, but if I don't understand what's racist about the titles listed, children won't. Perhaps a parenthetical note after each one would help in a future edition.

This book is a kids' version adapted from Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. I would highly recommend adults reading that alongside their children reading Stamped (For Kids). And then TALK. As the authors warn:

"Scrolling will never be enough. Reposting will never be enough. Hashtagging will never be enough. Because hatred has a way of convincing us that half love is whole."
June 29, 2022
I had already read Jason Reynold's Remix of Stamped, which was excellent and life changing, but not really for elementary aged kids. I was excited when this "for kids" version came out that was adapted by Sonja Cherry-Paul. It is very accessible and a quick way to give more perspective and understanding to the history of racism and why it's important to understand this history. However I will say this book might be hard to get into or understand if you have not learned about certain events or people yet. Or maybe it will spring board your kids into wanting to learn more. Unfortunately a lot of the names and events mentioned haven't even been taught to my son yet who is in third grade. The book should absolutely be brought in to teach right along with other materials. It also made me pause and think, why aren't we teaching these topics earlier and more than once a month? I feel like my kids only know about Martin Luther King and even that knowledge is pretty sketchy. This book is truly written in an appropriate and accessible way, so it can be done. Honestly I recommend Jason Reynold's version to some 5th graders and older as it is much more detailed. I do think this "for kids" version could have included a little bit more, but I also think it's short enough to keep younger kids engaged. I also love the "let's pause and think" boxes. Teaching critical thinking right within the book. This is something we are missing within our society. This book would be a perfect read to read along with young kids while filling in the gaps or doing additional research. However as they get older, definitely move on to the Jason Reynolds version. That one should not be skipped.
Profile Image for Sarah.
33 reviews6 followers
July 6, 2021
For the most part, I loved this book. I read the YA adaption last summer and as an elementary teacher wanted to see what the kid version was like.

The only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 is because I wish it was more defined. I feel like the book tries to spread itself too thin by being "for kids". instead of trying to only target middle grade (10-15ish age), they try to make it accessible to younger kids which makes the information a little too watered down. The book is only 140 pages which for a kids book is normal but middle grade would be short. I wish they either did two separate books or tried focusing on the middle-grade target audience and gave more detail.

Also, the fact that all the one and two-star reviews don't have comments, you know the overall rating is biased.
Profile Image for Es Everson.
73 reviews
December 21, 2021
A truly fantastic book that makes the history and present of racism in America comprehensible and relevant for kids. It’s written in a way that feels like a kind and intimate conversation and throughout the book there are “pause times” that encourage taking time to reflect on what you’ve read and how to pick apart truth from everything. A definite must read with any young children or even if you’re like me, an adult, just to see how to simply explain and understand the situations.
Profile Image for Clare Lund.
604 reviews7 followers
May 30, 2021
An adaptation of Jason Reynolds’ remix of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s book Stamped from the Beginning — this one geared for younger readers. I’d give this to a 5th or 6th grader to read on their own, or I would read aloud and discuss with kids as young as 1st or 2nd grade. Definitely plan to read and discuss with my own 6 and 8 year old children. So important, highly recommend.
Profile Image for Pegi Ferrell.
431 reviews11 followers
August 11, 2021
Is this a 5 or a 4.5? I think that this could be a difficult read for a third grader who has no experience with anti racist information -- best read with a trusted adult. I have taught many middle school students who would need to start here.

My hat is off to Dr. Cherry-Paul. I would not want to be the person tasked with following Dr. Kendi or Jason Reynolds! She crushed it and made it her own.

Great information in the back -- has to be a 5!
Profile Image for Brooke Snow.
366 reviews9 followers
June 13, 2021

A great middle grade version of the Stamped series.. I let was a little too condensed for me (I preferred Stamped: A Remix for teens, but this is a middle grade book all parents and children should read.
Profile Image for Katie.
535 reviews
April 26, 2022
LOVED this version! Every person needs to read at least one of the adaptations. Every time I read it my mind is blown over and over. There’s so much of history we just weren’t taught or ideas we weren’t given to consider. I hope we can do better with future generations.
Profile Image for Brooke Nadzam.
731 reviews5 followers
May 13, 2022
This adaptation really takes kids in mind. The chapters are super short, and they are to the point. The use of font and graphics is well done.

I found it a bit disjointed because of the shortness of the chapters. I'll be interested in how kids react to it.
Profile Image for Maria.
4 reviews
November 28, 2022
I read this book for a class in which we talked about ways to incorporate anti-racist values as teachers and I think a big comment people tend to make is “aren’t kids too young to learn about racism?”. I think this book does a great job demonstrating how it’s never too early to have these conversations and it is possible to have them. This might be better for older kids but I think it’s a great start when it comes to teaching kids a part of the real history of the United States.
2 reviews
April 23, 2021
This book really seems interesting because of the title and the cover i think this book would be a good read because it is by Jason Reynolds and I like all of his books so this book would probably be one of Jason Reynolds best books.
Profile Image for Brittney Ann.
27 reviews1 follower
May 24, 2021
As a teacher, I LOVE that this book is geared toward younger readers!
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