How ‘The Snowy Day’ — on a postage stamp — can help us rethink race in America
A post-Charlottesville reading list to help explain American white supremacy
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.
Anti-racism research and policy center created at American University
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.
Stamped from the Beginning charts the uncomfortable history of American racism
August 14, 2017
The chaos in Charlottesville erupted nearly 120 miles from American University in Northwest Washington, but the aftermath can be felt on campus.
The incidents in Virginia come as AU tries to target racism.
How President Trump’s speech to police tapped into a history of dehumanizing people of color
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.
Rewriting the History of Racist Ideas
The Washington Post
August 4, 2017
President Trump sparked outrage last week when, during a speech in front of dozens of uniformed law enforcement officers, he suggested they need not worry about the safety of suspects in their custody. But during the speech, Trump said something else that many found just as cringeworthy, yet received less media attention.
Even abolitionists don’t emerge unscathed from a fearless, brilliant history of racist thinking spanning 500 years
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.
“America Is on Trial”: Historian Ibram X. Kendi on the Failure to Convict Cops Who Kill Black People
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.
HBCU Award Finalist (Male Alumnus of the Year, Florida A&M University)
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.
Star Scholar Says New Anti-Racism Center Will ‘Ask Different Questions’
June 16, 2017
Below is the list of finalists for the seventh annual HBCU Awards ceremony, to be held on July 14 in Washington D.C.’s Gallup Building beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Finalists were selected from more than 175 nominations from HBCUs across the country.
Our guide to the best books for summer 2017
The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 13, 2017
Just seven years after receiving his Ph.D., 35-year-old Ibram X. Kendi has reached academic milestones that many junior scholars can only dream of.
7 Social Justice Beach Reads to Stoke Your Inner Activist All Summer Long
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.
Public Picks 2017
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.
V Books: Joey Bada$$’ ‘All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$’ Joins A Lexicon Of Books That Expose Racism
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.
Probing how Racist Ideas are Born
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.
Changemakers: Ibram X Kendi traces the toxin to its source
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.
Keep Learning About Black History With These 23 Vital Books
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.
Alumnus honored with National Book Award
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.”
The 4 Books Donald Trump Needs To Read, According To The National Book Foundation's Director
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.
Ibram Kendi Directs Nation’s Focus to History of Racism
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.
Diverse Issues in Higher Ed
January 9, 2017
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi hopes that the 2016 National Book Award for nonfiction he was awarded for Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, could bring more attention to other scholars taking a hard look at the history of racism in America.