The Best Essays of

Ibram X. Kendi

IBRAM X. KENDI, Ibram X. Kendi is a leading essayist of racism and antiracism. His writings have appeared in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times, Black Perspectives, Salon, Time, The Washington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The full collection of his essays is here.

 
Copyright © Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Copyright © Evan Vucci/Associated Press

 
 

The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial

JAN 13, 2018

"The reckoning of Mr. Trump’s racism must become the reckoning of American racism. Because the American creed of denial — “I’m not a racist” — knows no political parties, no ideologies, no colors, no regions."
Read full essay at The New York Times.

 

 
Copyright © Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Copyright © Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

 
 

Sacrificing Black Lives for the American Lie

JUNE 24, 2017

"When black criminality ceased, black death would cease, President Roosevelt suggested. Black people were violent, not the slaveholder, not the lyncher, not the cop. Many Americans are still echoing that argument today."
Read full essay at The New York Times.

 

 
Copyright © CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Copyright © CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

 
 

Racial Progress Is Real. But So Is Racist Progress.

JAN. 21, 2017

"But to deny the forward march of racism is to deny the successes of American racists. We have paid less attention to the progression of racism that often follows racial progress: how the law, the lyncher and the creditor replaced the master, the whip and the slave patrol in locking black people into destitution to white exploiters."
Read full essay here at The New York Times.

 

 
Copyright © Source/citizenstewart.org

Copyright © Source/citizenstewart.org

 
 

Why the Academic Achievement Gap is a Racist Idea    

October 20, 2016                  

"Standardized tests have become the most effective racist weapon ever devised to objectively degrade Black minds and legally exclude their bodies."
Read the full essay at Black Perspectives.

 

 
Clockwise, from top left: Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Alice Walker, Michelle Alexander, Margaret Mitchell, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Thomas Jefferson.CreditHulton Archive/Getty Images (Stowe); Associated Press (Walker); Getty Images North America (Alexander); Atlanta History Center (Mitchell); Bettmann/Corbis/Associated Press Images (Burroughs); Hulton Archive/Getty Images (Jefferson)

Clockwise, from top left: Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Alice Walker, Michelle Alexander, Margaret Mitchell, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Thomas Jefferson.CreditHulton Archive/Getty Images (Stowe); Associated Press (Walker); Getty Images North America (Alexander); Atlanta History Center (Mitchell); Bettmann/Corbis/Associated Press Images (Burroughs); Hulton Archive/Getty Images (Jefferson)

 
 

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

FEB. 22, 2017

"I would argue that together, these works tell the history of anti-black racism in the United States as painfully, as eloquently, as disturbingly as words can. In many ways, they also tell its present."
Read the full essay at The New York Times.

 

 
Copyright ©Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Copyright ©Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

 
 

Trump sounds ignorant of history. But racist ideas often masquerade as ignorance.

November 13, 2017

"Ignorance is the byproduct of the racist coverup, not the source. The Trumps of the political past and present conceal slavery and discrimination with their messaging out of political self-interest, not ignorance. They know that uncomfortable racial history. They repeat it as otherwise well-meaning Americans cringe and avoid it."
Read the full essay at The Washington Post.

 

 
Copyright © AAIHS

Copyright © AAIHS

 
 

Brother to Brother: An Open Letter to Nate Parker    

August 22, 2016

"What I am ultimately trying to explain to you—brother to brother—is that rape culture actually extends far beyond these narrowed boundaries of hyper-aggressive acts of forcing yourself onto another person—narrowed boundaries that have exonerated so many rapists in the court of law and public opinion, leaving their traumatized or unaware victims feeling like the guilty parties."
Read the full essay at Black Perspectives.

 

 
Copyright ©Rex Features via AP Images

Copyright ©Rex Features via AP Images

 
 

Racism is not a teaching tool

May 30, 2016

"When we peel back its progressive pedagogical covering, the teaching-tool defense is embodied in unequal reasoning. It is embodied in racist logic: our national inability to value the same, to reason the same, to think the same for different racial groups."
Read the full essay at The Chronicle Of Higher Education.

 

Read more essays by Dr. Kendi here.