If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the race-related resources out there – all of the books, podcasts, articles, links, movies, talks, webinars, trainings, etc. – and are wondering where to start, then I have your answer. Right here. In a little over 250 pages, Jason Reynolds has taken Ibram X. Kendi’s 608-page Stamped from the Beginning (itself a masterpiece) and remixed it into a compelling case for exactly the question that has prompted the flood of suggested resources: How did we get here?
Reynolds, whose fiction for young adults is consistently great and is absolutely the platinum standard, shows he can do it with non-fiction as well. He is talking to you and he’s telling you a story. It doesn’t matter how old you are; everyone loves a great storyteller.
Once you have read and grappled with this, you can move on to the question of what we need to do. But this is your first step. Make it soon.
Charles Ellenbogen is the author of the teaching memoir, THIS ISN’T THE MOVIES: 25 YEARS IN THE CLASSROOM, and teaches high school English in Cleveland, Ohio. He lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio with Kirsten, his wife, Zoe, their daughter, Ezra, their son, Lincoln, their dog, and Chocolate Scales, their snake