Stamped Discussion Guide
A YA book that's ripe for all ages, with deep inquiry to match

While Jayson Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi co-authored this book with young adults in mind, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You bares research and insights that make it an essential read for people of all ages. If YA isn't typically your jam, don't let the label deter you this time around. This book is for everyone — and we highly recommend diving in as a family or classroom read during One Book Steamboat.

Conversation Starters

"When it comes to understanding racism, kids are ready for the conversation." — Jason Reynolds, co-author of Stamped

Discuss Stamped

The following questions and conversation starters are excerpts from's reading guide for Stamped and questions from Reading Group Choices.

  1. The first chapter defines segregationists, assimilationists, and antiracists. Were you familiar with these terms before you read Stamped? Did your understanding of these words change by the end?
  2. What are examples of racism that you’ve encountered or experienced? Referencing the list of racist ideas in Chapter 6, explain why and how your personal experiences with racism are tied to racist ideas that are hundreds of years old.
  3. As seen with movies like Tarzan, Planet of the Apes, and Rocky, pop culture and media have played a large role in reinforcing racist ideas, whether their stories are overtly racist or are a bit sneakier in their propagation of racist ideas. What current movies, TV shows, and stories promote racist ideas, and how?
  4. How do race, gender, and sexual orientation intersect and create different barriers for queer women of color?
  5. Why is Angela Davis a champion of antiracist thought and practice? Discuss the ways in which Davis fought for antiracism at different points in her life.
  6. The authors note how Richard Nixon would demean Black people in his speeches without ever saying “Black” and “White” by using words like “urban” and “ghetto” (pages 191-192). What are other ways we invoke race without overtly mentioning race?
  7. Abraham Lincoln, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Booker T. Washington are remembered as defenders of Black liberation. How did these figures propel antiracist thought and enforce racist ideas? Can a person have racist, segregationist, and antiracist ideas all at once? How?
  8. Jason Reynolds introduces the concept of double consciousness: “A two-ness. A self that is Black and a self that is American” (page 124). Why might people of color feel this way?
  9. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington had distinct strategies and approaches to Black liberation. What does liberation mean to you? In what ways are some approaches to liberation in fact not always liberatory?
  10.  Marcus Garvey spotlighted the issue of colorism, its origins, and the dangers of it. Is colorism equally as destructive as racism?
  11. Reynolds demonstrates how racist ideas in the fields of science and mathematics—from eugen-ics to the creation and purposes of IQ and standardized tests—have been created and used to oppress Black and Brown people. How do we decide what to believe about a scientific claim?
  12. What surprised you in this book? What angered you or made you sad? What other emotions did you experience while reading?
  13. After finishing Stamped, how do you feel about the history of racism? What habits and actions can you implement to promote antiracism?

All participants are encouraged to review the Ground Rules for Discussion as they embark on this conversation.

Detailed Curriculum: Resources for Educators

Download and explore this detailed Educator's Guide for Stamped, which includes:

  • Essential Questions offered throughout the reading for students to engage with in order to spark conversations that will inevitably branch into multiple directions
  • Reader’s Notebook prompts and note-taking strategies that help students process and synthesize information they’re learning, and reflection questions to make space for students to, as Reynolds suggests, inhale and exhale as they read and discuss Stamped. Because some prompts push students to locate and implicate themselves in ways that may feel deeply personal, students may choose not to share some of their responses.•
  • Collaborative Club Work recommended to give students time twice per week to process the reading and co-construct an Antiracist Timeline.
  • Research Modules for each section of the book that invite students to work as a group, with a partner in their group, or in some cases individually to research and explore ideas, people, and events further. You may decide to prioritize certain modules over others depending on students’ grade level, time, and other factors. Gradelevel recommendations are provided.
  • Multimodal Culminating Project recommendations that provide students with opportunities to synthesize their reflections and research

One Book Steamboat

This guide is offered to enhance learning and discussion during the 2020 ONE BOOK STEAMBOAT cross-generational community reading of the antiracist works of Ibram X. Kendi, because change demands community-wide education, introspection & action.