For Black History Month, I really wanted to dive into some Young Adult Nonfiction and I picked up Stamped: Racism, Anti Racism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. This book is a “remix” of Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning and is told by Reynolds to be more engaging to young adult readers. Even though I’m an adult, I wasn’t feeling up to reading an information-laden adult history book and now I’m feeling like I will turn to YA Nonfiction more often because this read was phenomenal!
Reynolds writes that, “This is not a history book,” in a way that I find intriguing because it is, indeed, a history book, but also tells the story in which history and present day racism intermingle and show up in our everyday lives. In 2020, I read Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist which was really enlightening; I learned a lot about the ways in which racism prevails in our country today through inaction. This book was a really great counterpart, because it teaches the ways in which historical figures (presidents, colonists, and civil rights activists) made choices that made them segregationists, assimilationists, or antiracists. Since these figures are so integral to the way our country was developed, it’s clear to me now why they made particular policies. I learned a lot of new things about Thomas Jefferson and W.E.B. Du Bois that I wasn’t aware of before.
Reynolds writes with really interesting fonts, line breaks, short and long chapter lengths, and text that pops out at the reader to keep them interested in the content which I appreciated. I highly recommend this book to everyone, and I particularly want to press it into every young adult reader’s hands.