Stamped From the Beginning Quotes

Ibram X. Kendi
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The title "Stamped From The Beginning" comes from a speech that Mississippi senator Jefferson Davis gave on the floor of the US Senate on April 12, 1860. [...] The "inequality of the white and black races" was "stamped from the beginning.
-- Narrator (Kendi) and Jefferson Davis (Prologue paragraph 6)

Importance: This quote is significant because it illustrates the prominent attitude of the white ruling class in America: that racial differences are inherent, predetermined, and fixed. It is this argument that segregationists and racists have used for centuries to justify and rationalize slavery, Jim Crow laws, and more covert forms of oppression. This quote reflects the popularity of pseudo-science in perpetuating racial stereotypes and the belief in racial difference. It also illustrates how the Black community in the United States is automatically at a disadvantage, simply by virtue of history.

Already, the American mind was accomplishing that indispensable intellectual activity of someone consumed with racist ideas: individualizing White negativity and generalizing Black negativity...
-- Narrator (Kendi) (chapter 3 paragraph 32)

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This section contains 1,588 words
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Buy the Stamped From the Beginning Study Guide
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