Posts in Print
Probing how Racist Ideas are Born

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.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
Changemakers: Ibram X Kendi traces the toxin to its source

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.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
How Donald Trump Changed Yale

Over the weekend, Yale President Peter Salovey announced that the university will give Calhoun College, dedicated to the white supremacist and fervent slavery supporter John Calhoun, a new name: Hopper College, after the renowned computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper.

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

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.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
A scholarly chat on our racial heritage

Racism, an intricate component of the American saga since colonial times, is arguably the most contradictory element of the ideals upon which the country was founded, and a provocative rebuttal brought up whenever the United States seeks to point fingers at the human rights violations of its neighbors, in its self-appointed role as global policeman. Now, in a new millennium and well into our second century as a republic, this scar across the conscience of our nation is ever prominent as we embark upon the start of a new, polarizing Presidential administration.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
Reframing Racism

Ibram X. Kendi hugged his wife, climbed to the stage at the National Book Awards, and turned to address the black-tie-clad literati gathered at Cipriani Wall Street, an event space in New York. His Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Nation Books) had just won the prize for nonfiction, and he acknowledged, among others, his 6-month-old daughter, Imani, whose name, in Swahili, means "faith."

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
NEA Member’s Exploration Into Racist Ideas Wins National Book Award

In his recent National Book Award-winning book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, NEA Higher Ed member Ibram X. Kendi dives into the world of racist ideas. Recently, Kendi, an assistant professor at the University of Florida, talked with NEA Today about the evolution of racism in the United States, how it continues to impact public education, and how educators can create anti-racist spaces.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
White rage and racist thought: How history puts the resurgence of white nationalism in context

We study history largely so we don't repeat the worst it has to offer. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way.

I've been thinking about this a lot in recent weeks as white nationalist bloviating and hate incidents have increased in the wake of the presidential election. The highest-profile incident remains the recent gathering of so-called "alt-right" leaders in Washington, D.C., which ended in multiple Nazi salutes. Leading the charge was Dallas' own Richard Spencer, a young light in the current suit-and-tie white supremacy movement.

Read More
PrintJustin Mabee
You Can't Untangle Race from Class in America

Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won this year's National Book Award for nonfiction, is an altogether remarkable thesis on history, but, in ways that are both moving and immediately painful, it also reverberates with the post-election autopsy we're all conducting right now. Kendi is reading Thursday, December 1, at University Book Store.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi
These Are 4 of the Most Important Books of 2016

Last week, the 2016 National Book Awards were announced. Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad (Doubleday) was honored in the fiction category. Daniel Borzutzky won the poetry award for The Performance of Becoming Human (Brooklyn Arts Press), and Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Nation Books) was awarded the nonfiction laurel. In young people's literature, March: Book Three (Top Shelf Productions), a collaboration between Representative John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, was recognized.

Read More
PrintIbram Kendi