Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

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Themes and Colors
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Stamped, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Racism vs. Antiracism

Stamped is Jason Reynolds’s “remix” of Stamped From the Beginning, Ibram X. Kendi’s book about the history of racist ideas. Throughout history, Kendi and Reynolds argue, three groups have fought over Black people’s status in the United States. Segregationists are the racist “haters” who think that Black people don’t deserve equal status in society because they’re inherently inferior to white people. Assimilationists are a bit more subtly racist: they agree with segregationists…

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History and the Present

Throughout Stamped, Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds repeatedly promise that “this is not a history book.” Yes, it’s a book about history, but its point is to help the reader understand the present. Kendi and Reynolds don’t want young people to read this book because they care about how racism looked 200 years ago, but because they care about how racism affects their lives and communities today. History is just the…

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Power, Profit, and Privilege

Throughout Stamped, Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds emphasize how the racist policies that cause inequality relate to the racist ideas that support those policies. While most Americans assume that powerful people create racist policies because they believe in racist ideas, it’s actually the other way around. Racist ideas don’t cause racist policies: self-interest does. Throughout U.S. history, specific groups of people—usually powerful white men—have implemented racist policies in order to make money, gain…

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How Racist Ideas Spread

Throughout Stamped, Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds point out that even though racist ideas are prejudiced and illogical, they actually seem like common sense to most people. White schools taught segregationist myths for centuries, and even prominent Black leaders publicly defended assimilationism, or the idea that Black people should focus on convincing white people that they deserve equality. Racist ideas are so common because they serve the interests of the people with…

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