Stamped from the Beginning promo poster featuring a painting of a Black woman covered in flowers.

‘Stamped From the Beginning’ Documentary Coming to Netflix

A fresh look at American history.

Netflix is bringing the bestselling novel Stamped From the Beginning to life in a new documentary. Written by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, the book delves into the history of racism and anti-Blackness in America.

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Stamped From the Beginning is a non-fiction book originally published in 2016, a detailed look at where racism started in history and how racism has been used against Black people since the beginning of America. It is expertly written, with unflinching accuracy that forces readers to reevaluate the institutions and history of our country. Even if you think you know history, Stamped From the Beginning brings to light so many stories and voices that are often missed or excluded by historians.

If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. Honestly, it should be required reading for every American, especially white America. The book also spawned two versions that are more digestible for teens and kids, Stamped and Stamped (For Kids). There is also a graphic novel.

Stamped documentary coming soon to Netflix

Using the book as an outline, the documentary goes through the history of racism. Other experts, including Angela Davis, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, join Kendi to discuss “how racist tropes and imagery were developed and enshrined in American culture.” Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams intermixes traditional documentary-style talking heads with animation and actor reenactments to tell the story.

The brief teaser released by Netflix shows a fresh take on a form we are all very familiar with. With a runtime of just over an hour and a half, I hope there is enough time to cover everything. If the book is any indicator, this documentary might become something they show in schools in the future.

Stamped From the Beginning will be in select theaters on November 10. Starting November 20, it will be available only on Netflix.

(featured image: Netflix)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.