Stamped from the Beginning is an exhaustive history of the development and perpetuation of racist ideas in America. Historian Ibram X. Kendi argues that all ideas about race belong to one of three major philosophies, which he refers to as segregationist, assimilationist or anti-racist. Kendi demonstrates that the history of race relations is a story of the three-way debate between these ideas. Understanding this ongoing conflict gives readers some perspective on America's racial past and provides a framework for interpreting race relations today. This book could have been a very dry, 600-page, chronological inventory of facts and figures, but Kendi chose to frame the history lesson around five life stories, making it much more engaging. Each section of the book follows the life of a different public intellectual, chosen to represent the dominant racial beliefs of their respective eras. This is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding the current state of race relations.
A comprehensive history of anti-black racism focuses on the lives of five major players in American history and highlights the debates that took place between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and anti-racists.