Stamped from the Beginning - a documentary by Roger Ross Williams

Stamped from the Beginning


“Stamped was about my own journey to understand the negative feelings I have about myself and that other people have about me as a Black American. It’s really about understanding my life as a Black American, making sense of that and putting that into a film.

Roger Ross Williams

Stamped from the Beginning

The history of anti-black ideas

Inspired by the book of the same name by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Roger Ross Williams’ Stamped From the Beginning explores the history of anti-Black ideas in a way that helps us grapple with present-day racism.

Williams takes inspiration from Kendi’s work to explore those themes with an array of powerful film techniques. Music and visual sampling are injected to create vivid storytelling with a hip-hop sensibility.

The 1619 Project, docu serie on Hulu

Stamped from the Beginning

A personal journey

“While ‘anti-racism’ became a term in America during George Floyd, what was so fascinating about Stamped From the Beginning is that I gained an understanding of the origins of racist ideas and how they morph, how they affect us and how they turn into policy and pop culture — all these things that infect our brains, our minds, and change the way we think about Black people,” says the filmmaker. “I myself had been a victim of that. I believed a lot of racist ideas about myself and my own people.”

— Roger Ross Williams – from the interview by Jen Yamato for the LA Times

Stamped from the Beginning


Cast: Dr. Ibram X Kendi, Dr. Angela Davis, Dr. Autumn Womack, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Brittney Cooper, Dr. Carol Anderson, Dr. Dorothy Roberts, Dr. Elizabeth Hinton, Honorée Jeffers, Dr. Imani Perry, Dr. Jennifer L. Morgan, Dr. Kellie Carter-Jackson, Lynae Vanee, Dr. Ruha Benjamin, Dr. Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
Cinematography: Wolfgang Held
Editing: John Fisher, Francesca Sharper
Executive Producers: Geoff Martz, Mara Brock Akil, Susie Fitzgerald, Dr. Ibram X Kendi
Producers: Alisa Payne, Roger Ross Williams, David Teague
Screenplay: David Teague
Original Score: Nate Wonder, Roman GianArthur