This Definitive History of Racist Ideas Should Be Required Reading

By Lawrence Ross for theroot.com

Ibram X. Kendi; the cover of his book, Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

Ibram X. Kendi; the cover of his book, Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

There are some books that just demand space on your bookshelf—not just because they’re interesting but also because these books break new ground in a way that will enrich your intellectual life. A new book on racism, Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, written by Ibram X. Kendi, Ph.D., a University of Florida professor of Africana studies, is such a book.

The winner of the 2016 National Book Award for nonfiction, Kendi has done something that’s damn near impossible: write a book about racism that breaks new ground, while being written in a way that’s accessible to the nonacademic. If you’ve ever been interested in how racist ideas spread throughout the United States, this is the book to read. The Root talked to Kendi about what inspired the book, why white people have a hard time dealing with their own racism and whether racism can ever be eliminated.

Read the entire interview here

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Happy Birthday Ralph Ellison!

Ralph W. Ellison

Ralph W. Ellison

Ralph Ellison was born on this date in 1914. He was an American author, educator, and one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

Ralph Waldo Ellison was born in Oklahoma City and educated at Tuskegee Institute. His best-known work, “Invisible Man,” expounds the theme that American society willfully ignores Blacks. The novel was one of the first works to describe modern racial problems in the United States from a Black American point of view. It received the National Book Award for fiction in 1953. In his essay collections, “Shadow” and “Act and Going to the Territory,” Ellison addressed various aspects of American culture.

Read more about Ralph Ellison here.