The 2021 Coronado Community Read centers around a nonfiction book about racism in the United States titled Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. This selection comes after a year marked by race-related issues across the nation and locally. Community Read events are scheduled throughout the month of February. The Coronado Times spoke with several local leaders about their reactions to the selected book.
Police Chief Chuck Kaye
The public and private conversations over the last year regarding race have created opportunities for understanding and change. This book will add to those discussions and I am looking forward to learning a different perspective. I have downloaded the book onto my Kindle and am reading it now.
Council Member Marvin Heinze
I have not read “Stamped from the Beginning.” I was a bit surprised that a book was selected that did not have a direct connection to Coronado as many of the previous books did. However, given the events of 2020 this selection is timely, and I am looking forward to reading it. I am particularly impressed with the teen and children’s companion titles to make it easy for the entire community to join this year’s Community read.
Council Member Bill Sandke
I think the selection of the book is excellent and remarkably timed. First, this book’s subject matter is tremendously important, but in the current toxic political climate and unfathomable recent events at our nation’s capital, it should be required reading. I am just starting the book and hope to participate in some of the Community Read events. Having just begun, it is hard to make substantive comments upon Stamped but I agree with the book’s premise that racism is a multifaceted issue and that coming first to an acceptance that institutional racism continues to exist despite a multitude of heroic and monumental efforts is the first step in eradication. Of particular interest to me is the author’s exploration of “antiracism” and how even the well meaning efforts of many are silently motivated by internal incipient bias. The educational value of this book to residents is I believe profound. Our community in many ways lacks the gift of diversity and Stamped looks to me like it will go a long way to helping me as well as our community take an introspective and pragmatic look at our own attitudes about race.
School Board Member Whitney Antrim
I am delighted this book was chosen for the Community Read. I do plan to participate. One, I have been wanting to read this book, and two, I look forward to connecting with other members in the community around the vital concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion – and how they affect Coronado. Like any good book, I hope Stamped will offer valuable perspectives and insights unfamiliar to a lot of us; that it will give us something to think about and talk about; to enhance our world with experiences that may be removed from our own, but when shared on the page can impart wisdom and growth.
We also reached out to City Manager Blair King; Mayor Richard Bailey; Council Members Mike Donovan and Casey Tanaka; CUSD Superintendent Karl Mueller, School Board President Lee Pontes, Vice President Esther Valdes-Clayton, Trustees Dr. Helen Anderson-Cruz and Stacy Keszei, and did not hear back by the deadline. Additional responses received from city leaders will be added to this article as updates.