Book Ish: The Canon Continues

#012: “Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi (with guest host, Dillon Naber Cruz)

July 28, 2020

Michelle and returning guest host, Dillon Naber Cruz, discuss Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. Their conversation explores racism, segregation, white privilege, and more.

From the back cover: "The National Book Award-winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society.

Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America—it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope."

About Dillon: "I am a tattooed theologian who currently resides in Lancaster, PA. I am also the author of the book Go Golden: Applying a Universal Religious Teaching and the Ethics of Permaculture to Create a Sustainable, Just, Happier World, published in 2018 by Wipf and Stock Publishers. My theological interests include ecological sustainability, living into the kingdom of God, reflecting on the social and historical contexts of Jesus’ life and ministry, and deconstructing from fundamentalism. My theological education was undertaken at Lancaster Theological Seminary where I received an M.A. in religion in 2018. My B.A. in history and I have multiple Permaculture Design Certifications including an Advanced Design Practicum from Oregon State University."

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