"Everyone wants to have state management in an application. But what problem does it solve for us? Most people start with a small application and already introduce a state management library. Everyone is speaking about it, aren’t they? But most applications don’t need ambitious state management from the beginning. It is even more dangerous, because most people are never going to experience which problems libraries like Redux or MobX solve."
Unfortunately, the general sense from the community is that it's an essential piece of the React ecosystem.
There's a reason why many experienced developers choose Redux to manage the state of their React apps. Specially once you get into async and server-side rendering, you will want or need Redux middleware such as Redux-Thunk-- or perhaps you'd like to take it a step further into observables with RxJS and Redux-Observable.
Perhaps these are all just a bunch of terms that you might not know that you need when you're first getting into React. But if you want performance and scalability -- and need an app that can withstand the pressures of today's demands -- then you may actually want to learn about all of these possibilities.
But sure -- if you're just getting into react, then by all means learn React on its own. But if you're running a large production app, I would recommend that you use redux and perhaps RxJS in conjunction with it.