Thanks to the hundreds of people who came out to hear Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Justin Phillip Reed at Indecent Histories at the Melrose Branch of the Roanoke Public Library on August 29th. Look for information soon on how we’re carrying forward the conversation with a Stamped from the Beginning Book Club.
As we do, we’ll continue to release content from the night in conjunction with Roanoke Public Libraries and the National Book Foundation. Meanwhile, here is some project coverage and reading recommended by our guests.
- Read Stanley R. Hale’s coverage of the event in the Roanoke Tribune.
- Read the Roanoke Times editorial
- Read the BOOK CITY opinion piece in the Roanoke Times
- Here are some photos from the evening, courtesy of Roanoke Public Libraries. See more images from RPL events, including some gorgeous shots of the new Melrose Branch on Flickr.
During the Q&A period, the authors were asked for additional reading recommendations. Here are some of the titles they listed:
- Pale Colors in a Tall Field by Carl Phillips
- Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman
- Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland by Johnathan M. Metzl
- Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
- Hull by Xandria Phillips
To continue the conversation, join the Stamped from the Beginning Book Club, a six-week community read of the history of racist ideas. Each session will include a short talk by a local leader and thinker followed by small group conversation about the book. More detail coming soon, but save your TUESDAY evenings beginning October 22.
Historian Ibram X. Kendi was the youngest author to win the National Book Award for nonfiction for his book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, (Bold Type Books, 2017). The book was a Washington Post and Boston Globe Best Book of the Year, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, and the NAACP Image Award Finalist for Outstanding Literary Work, Nonfiction. The history runs from fifteenth-century Europe into the twenty-first century in five sections, each with a “tour guide” of thought of their era. Kendi is a professor of history and international relations at American University.
Paired with Kendi for the event was Justin Phillip Reed. The poet and essayist is originally from South Carolina, and now lives in St. Louis. He won the award in 2018 for his poetry collection, Indecency (Coffee House Press, 2018). ★