[Unedited] Jason Reynolds with Krista Tippett

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Jason Reynolds is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature of the Library of Congress — and a magnificent source of wisdom for human society as a whole. He’s driven by compassion and the clear-eyed honesty that the young both possess and demand of the rest of us. Ibram X. Kendi chose him to write the YA companion to Stamped from the Beginning. In his person, Jason Reynolds both embodies and inspires innate human powers of fortitude and imagination. Hear him on “breathlaughter”; the libraries in all of our heads; and a stunning working definition of anti-racism: “simply the muscle that says humans are human… I love you, because you remind me more of myself than not.”

Jason Reynolds was appointed National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress in January, 2020. His body of writing about what it is to be a Black young person growing up in the U.S. has been received as a godsend by teachers and librarians — including the award-winning Ghost, Long Way Down, and Look Both Ways. His most recent work of nonfiction, together with Ibram X. Kendi, is Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You.

This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Jason Reynolds — Imagination and Fortitude" Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.

This show originally aired on June 25, 2020.

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