Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
National Book Award-winning historian and author of How to Be an Antiracist
'racist' isn’t 'not racist.'
It is 'antiracist.'”
Photo credit: Stephen Voss
About Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi is a #1 New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. His relentless and passionate research puts into question the notion of a post-racial society and opens readers’ and audiences’ eyes to the reality of racism in America today. Kendi’s lectures are sharp, informative, and hopeful, serving as a strong platform for any institution’s discussions on racism and being antiracist.
Kendi is the author of Stamped from the Begining: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and The Black Campus Movement, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize. He is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers, How to Be an Antiracist, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, a young adult remix of Stamped from the Beginning, co-authored with Jason Reynolds. He most recently authored the #1 Indie bestseller, Antiracist Baby, available as a board book and picture book for caretakers and little ones. Kendi alongside the award-winning historian Dr. Keisha N. Blain edited the upcoming Four Hundred Souls (February 2021), a choral history of African Americans covering four hundred years in the voices of ninety writers.
Kendi is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent. Kendi has published numerous essays in periodicals, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, The Huffington Post, and The Root. Kendi has received research fellowships, grants, and visiting appointments from a variety of universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries, including the American Historical Association, Library of Congress, National Academy of Education, Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Brown University, Princeton University, Duke University, University of Chicago, and UCLA. He was a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow. He will also become the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University. Kendi lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Visit Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s Company Reads page to learn how he helps corporations build an antiracist world.
For Confirmed Event Hosts: Click here for promotional assets and other program materials.
Racist Ideas in America: From Slavery To Black Lives Matter
Ibram X. Kendi is one of the nation’s most prolific and accomplished young professors of race, writing for and speaking to both scholarly and general audiences. This lecture builds on Kendi’s firm belief that in order to understand racism in America today, we must confront the history of anti-Black ideas. Kendi traces this history of racist ideas; beginning in 15th century Europe when racist ideas were used to legitimize slave trade, up until modern day America when unarmed human beings were being killed at the hands of law enforcement officials and #BlackLivesMatter was born. In shedding light on the history of racist ideas, he gives his audience the tools to expose them and reason to hope for the future.
How To Be An Antiracist
When the first Black president headed into the White House, Americans were imagining their nation as colorblind and went so far as to call it post-racial. With the arrival of Donald Trump many people are awakening and seeing racial reality for the first time. With opened minds, people are actively trying to understand racism. In this deeply personal and empowering lecture, Kendi shifts the discussion from how not to be racist, to how to be an antiracist. He shares his own racist ideas and how he overcame them. He provides direction to people and institutions who want more than just band-aid programs, but actual antiracist action that builds an antiracist America.
Praise for Ibram X. Kendi
Praise for Stamped
"Sheer brilliance....An empowering, transformative read. Bravo."— Jewell Parker Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Boys
An amazingly timely and stunningly accessible manifesto for young people....At times funny, at times somber but always packed with relevant information that is at once thoughtful and spot-on, Stamped is the book I wish I had as a young person and am so grateful my own children have now.— Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming
Praise for How to Be an Antiracist
Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent. How to Be an Antiracist punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is—and what we should do about it.— Time
Ibram X. Kendi’s new book, How to Be an Antiracist, couldn’t come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author’s own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, ‘the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.’— NPR
Ibram Kendi is today’s visionary in the enduring struggle for racial justice. In this personal and revelatory new work, he yet again holds up a transformative lens, challenging both mainstream and antiracist orthodoxy. He illuminates the foundations of racism in revolutionary new ways, and I am consistently challenged and inspired by his analysis. How to Be an Antiracist offers us a necessary and critical way forward.
— Robin DiAngelo, New York Times bestselling author of White Fragility
Ibram Kendi’s work, through both his books and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center, is vital in today’s sociopolitical climate. As a society, we need to start treating antiracism as action, not emotion—and Kendi is helping us do that.— Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race
Ibrahim Kendi uses his own life journey to show us why becoming an antiracist is as essential as it is difficult. Equal parts memoir, history, and social commentary, this book is honest, brave, and most of all liberating.— James Forman, Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Locking Up Our Own
A boldly articulated, historically informed explanation of what exactly racist ideas and thinking are . . . [Kendi’s] prose is thoughtful, sincere, and polished. This powerful book will spark many conversations.— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A combination of memoir and extension of [Kendi’s] towering Stamped from the Beginning . . . Never wavering . . . Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth. . . . This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory. . . . Essential.— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
In this sharp blend of social commentary and memoir . . . Kendi is ready to spread his message, his stories serving as a springboard for potent explorations of race, gender, colorism, and more. . . . With Stamped From the Beginning, Kendi proved himself a first-rate historian. Here, his willingness to turn the lens on himself marks him as a courageous activist, leading the way to a more equitable society.— Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for Stamped from the Beginning
This heavily researched yet easily readable volume explores the roots and the effects of racism in America. The narrative smoothly weaves throughout history, culminating in the declaration that as much as we’d like it to be, America today is nowhere near the “postracial” country that the media declared following the election of Barack Obama in 2008. The hope here is that by studying and remembering the lessons of history, we may be able to move forward to an equitable society.— Booklist
An intricate look at the history of race in the U.S., arguing that many well-meaning American progressives inadvertently operate on belief systems tinged with a racist heritage.— Time
A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society.— The Atlantic
In this tour de force, Kendi explores the history of racist ideas—and their connection with racist practices—across American history. Racism is the enduring scar on the American consciousness. In this ambitious, magisterial book, Kendi reveals just how deep that scar cuts and why it endures, its barely subcutaneous pain still able to flare.— Kirkus (starred review)
Books by Ibram X. Kendi
Media About Ibram X. Kendi
- 212 572-2013
- Ibram X. Kendi travels from Boston, MA
How to Be an Antiracist
“What do you do after you have written Stamped From the Beginning, an award-winning history of racist ideas? . . . If you’re Ibram X. Kendi, you craft another stunner of a book. . . . What emerges from these insights is the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind, a confessional of self-examination that may, in fact, be our best chance to free ourselves from our national nightmare.”—The New York Times