Posts in Print
How ‘The Snowy Day’ — on a postage stamp — can help us rethink race in America

The Washington Post
September 6, 2017

Ibram X. Kendi was in Washington this weekend for the National Book Festival talking about his monumental history of American racism, "Stamped From the Beginning." Winner of a National Book Award, "Stamped" is an extraordinary work of scholarship that traces the depth of racial hatred in this country and our intricate methods of perpetuating it.

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A post-Charlottesville reading list to help explain American white supremacy

August 15, 2017

In the aftermath of the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville this weekend — and all the violence that ensued — a popular response from good white liberals was that #ThisIsNotUs.

In other words: Blatant, violent racism is not a part of the real America. The Charlottesville rally was a perverse aberration, one that the rest of us have no part in.

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Stamped from the Beginning charts the uncomfortable history of American racism

August 14, 2017

In Between the World and Me (2015), Ta-Nehisi Coates contends that the great question of American history is not whether “Lincoln truly meant ‘government of the people’”, but what America has, from its inception, “taken the political term ‘people’ to actually mean. In 1863, it did not mean your mother or your grandmother, and it did not mean you and me. Thus America’s problem is not its betrayal of ‘government of the people’, but the means by which ‘the people’ acquired their names.” Stamped from the Beginning provides a lucid, accessible survey of how “the people” were racialised over 500 years.

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Rewriting the History of Racist Ideas

Public Books
July 18, 2017

While first reading Ibram X. Kendi’s kaleidoscopic and admirably lucidStamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas, I had a flashback to my days as a graduate student, during the years of Bill Clinton’s presidency. In particular, I remembered poring over Winthrop D. Jordan’s White Over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550–1812(1968) in one of my seminars. A second edition of White Over Black was released just five years ago, but in fact the number of historical studies on racist ideas has exploded in the half century since Jordan’s classic was first published. Expanding significantly upon such works, Kendi’s new book is destined to become a must-read for those seeking an accessible introduction to the complex intellectual history of racist ideologies in the United States.

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Even abolitionists don’t emerge unscathed from a fearless, brilliant history of racist thinking spanning 500 years

The Guardian
July 3, 2017

There are passages in Stamped from the Beginning that could serve as an obituary to the myth of post-racial America; that fanciful and woefully ahistorical delusion that flowered, briefly, during the early months of Barack Obama’s first term. Ibram X Kendi’s new book, written during Obama’s second term, places that moment within a broad and sobering historical context.

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“America Is on Trial”: Historian Ibram X. Kendi on the Failure to Convict Cops Who Kill Black People

July 28, 2017

As three Chicago police officers face charges for covering up the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, we will look at the cases of Philando Castile, Sam DuBose and Sylville Smith — three black men killed by police officers. In recent weeks, two of the officers were acquitted; one had a mistrial. Our first guest writes, “[I]t is not just police officers who are on trial. America is on trial. Either these deaths are justified, and therefore America is just, or these deaths are unjustified, and America is unjust.” We speak with historian Ibram X. Kendi. His recent book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, is the recipient of the 2016 National Book Award.

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Our guide to the best books for summer 2017

The National
June 8, 2017

Staying with non-fiction, Ibram X Kendi provides a lucid, clear-eyed study of how anti-black sentiment arrived in the United States from Europe and became embedded in society over the centuries. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction and its insightful teachings and shock conclusions make for both sobering and incendiary reading.

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7 Social Justice Beach Reads to Stoke Your Inner Activist All Summer Long

LA Weekly
June 7, 2019

Why is racism so entrenched in American history? And how did America’s racist culture mutate from causing blunt trauma to insidious disenfranchisement? These are the questions Ibram X. Kendi answers in the course of his National Book Award–winning jaunt through history. Drawing from extensive research into the lives of five significant American thinkers, Kendi offers readers an almost surgical breakdown of racist ideology — from the rationalization of slavery to counterproductive intellectual discourse. 

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Public Picks 2017

Public Books
May 26, 2017

In this tour-de-force, Kendi offers a compelling history of racist ideas in the United States, drawing insights from a wide array of primary sources. His book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding race and racism in this country.

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V Books: Joey Bada$$’ ‘All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$’ Joins A Lexicon Of Books That Expose Racism

May 24, 2017

Joey Bada$$‘ grip on social issues and race relations has been constant throughout his rap career. Most of us first heard the innocuous teenager back in 2012 when he waxed poetically about spirituality and poverty that overpowers ambition on his breakout single, “Waves.” Today, the Flatbush, Brooklyn native is 22 years young. Despite the springtime of life, Joey’s sagaciousness continues to captivate curious minds of all ages.

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Probing how Racist Ideas are Born

Lily’s Blackboard
April 26, 2017

We usually think that ideas lead to policies. But a book by NEA Higher Ed member Ibram X. Kendi argues persuasively that it’s actually the other way around.

The book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, walks us through the centuries to show how racist policies and discriminatory actions have led people to hold—and spread—racist ideas to justify them. You can read a fascinating Q&A with Kendi in the Winter 2017 edition of Thought & Action. He won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction—at 34, the youngest-ever winner in that category.

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Changemakers: Ibram X Kendi traces the toxin to its source

The Gainesville Sun
April 1, 2017

Although his award-winning book focuses on the past, Ibram X. Kendi shares the ideas and context that explain the present and could shape the future.

Kendi began tracing the backstory of particular racist beliefs and sayings around the time Trayvon Martin was fatally shot in 2012 — drawing inspiration and motivation from the raw emotions and national protests.

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Keep Learning About Black History With These 23 Vital Books

Huffington Post
February 27, 2017

Ibram X. Kendi examines how racist ideas were spread throughout American history in this sweeping, award-winning history of thought. Bonus: He recently published a reading list in The New York Times, consisting of 24 books he describes as “the most influential books on race and the black experience published in the United States for each decade of the nation’s existence.”

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Alumnus honored with National Book Award

Temple News
January 31, 2017

When Ibram X. Kendi was studying for his doctoral degree in African American studies at Temple, he said he asked his professor Ama Mazama, “If we can’t be objective, what can we do?”

“We should just tell the truth,” Mazama said.

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The 4 Books Donald Trump Needs To Read, According To The National Book Foundation's Director

January 24, 2017

In a recent interview with Time, Lisa Lucas, the director of the National Book Foundation, recommends four books for Trump to read, including a title from vocal opponent and civil rights leader, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). "We were so lucky to have such a wonderful reader in President Obama," Lucas says, highlighting the 44th POTUS' oft-repeated assertion "that reading novels helped to make him a better citizen." Unfortunately, Donald Trump doesn't read nearly as much as his predecessor, but Lucas says she "can only hope that [he] is as interested in our stories, lives and literature" as President Obama was.

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