Posts in Essays
A House Still Divided

The Atlantic
October 2018 Issue

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln warned that America could not remain “half slave and half free.” Today, the country remains divided by racism—and the threat is as existential as it was before the Civil War.

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EssaysIbram Kendi
What would Jefferson say about white supremacists descending upon his university?

Washington Post
August 13, 2017

The statue of Thomas Jefferson looked at them, those several hundred torch-waving men and women marching at the University of Virginia late Friday night in opposition to the city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The protesters and counterprotesters who violently clashed in Charlottesville on Saturday passed by Jefferson’s monuments.

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EssaysIbram Kendi
A History of Race and Racism in America, in 24 Chapters

New York Times
FEBRUARY 22, 2017

Many Americans might not know the more polemical side of race writing in our history. The canon of African-American literature is well established. Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, James Baldwin are familiar figures. Far less so is Samuel Morton (champion of the obsolete theory of polygenesis) or Thomas Dixon (author of novels romanticizing Klan violence). It is tempting to think that the influence of those dusty polemics ebbed as the dust accumulated. But their legacy persists, freshly shaping much of our racial discourse.

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EssaysIbram Kendi
The Book That Made Me: Learn How to Love

Public Books
JANUARY 23, 2017

I think I first read All About Love sometime in 2010. I had just earned my doctorate and was stepping into my career as a professor. At 28 years old, I was also stepping into a conscious understanding of who I was: I was consciously trying to understand who I wanted to be, and what I wanted to be. Every draft of myself contained the chapter of love. 

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EssaysIbram Kendi
Why Standardized Tests Have Standardized Postracial Ideology

Academe
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2016

Barack Obama’s presidency will forever be connected to postracial ideology. The postracial idea that racism has been marginalized or eradicated came of age during the early years of his tenure in office. It was mortally wounded during the final years of his presidency by a rash of police shootings and Black Lives Matter protests.

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EssaysIbram Kendi