Ibram X. Kendi

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Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi 110395.jpg
BornIbram H. Rogers
(1982-08-13) August 13, 1982 (age 37)
Jamaica, Queens, United States
OccupationWriter, historian
EducationFlorida A&M University, Temple University
Notable awardsWinner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction
SpouseSadiqa Kendi
ChildrenImani Kendi

Ibram Xolani Kendi (born 1982) is an American author and historian located at American University.[1][2][3][4][5][6] He won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction for his book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which was published by Nation Books.[7]


Kendi was born as Ibram Henry Rogers in 1982 in Jamaica, Queens. He received his undergraduate degree in Journalism and African American Studies from Florida A&M in 2004, and earned his doctorate in African American Studies in 2010 from Temple University.[5]

In 2013 he married Sadiqa in Jamaica where they unveiled their new last name, "Kendi", which means "the loved one" in the language of the Meru people of Kenya.[8] He is a New York Knicks fan.[9]

In January 2018, a colonoscopy indicated that Kendi had cancer. A further test revealed that he had colon cancer that had spread into his liver. After six months of chemotherapy and surgery that summer, he was cancer free.[10]


Kendi is a leading scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America.[11] He has published a number of essays in both books and academic journals, including The Journal of African American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Black Studies, Journal of African American Studies, and The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture.[6] He is the author of three books: The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965–1972, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and How To Be An Antiracist.[12]

Jeffrey C. Stewart called How To Be An Antiracist "the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind".[13] Afua Hirsch praised the book's introspection and wrote that it was relatable in the context of ongoing political events.[14] Andrew Sullivan and Coleman Hughes gave more negative reviews, contending that the book's arguments were simplistic. They also criticized Kendi's idea of transferring most government oversight to a Department of Antiracism.[15][16] Kelefa Sanneh discussed the book's implications for defining racism and wrote that Kendi was most convincing in imploring readers to become politically involved.[17]

Kendi teaches history and international relations in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, D.C. He is the founding director of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center at American University.[18] He was previously a professor of African-American History at the University of Florida.


  1. ^ Catania, Kaitie (May 10, 2017). "Ibram X. Kendi Joins Faculty". American University.
  2. ^ Lozada, Carlos (April 15, 2016). "The racism of good intentions". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ Stamey, Laura (April 1, 2017). "Changemakers: Ibram X Kendi traces the toxin to its source". The Gainesville Sun.
  4. ^ Large, Jerry (December 5, 2016). "New history clarifies the workings of racism; author Ibram X. Kendi shares his thoughts". The Seattle Times.
  5. ^ a b "Ibram X. Kendi". University of Florida.
  6. ^ a b "Author & Professor, Ibram X. Kendi". PBS.
  7. ^ "2016 National Book Award Winner, Nonfiction". National Book Foundation. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  8. ^ Essence.com
  9. ^ Theundefeated.com
  10. ^ "Ibram X. Kendi on surviving cancer and his anti-racist reading list for Virginia Governor Ralph Northam". Democracy Now. 2019-02-15. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  11. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2019-08-06). "Ibram X. Kendi Has a Cure for America's 'Metastatic Racism'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  12. ^ "Ibram X. Kendi on 'How To Be An Antiracist'". www.penguin.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  13. ^ Stewart, Jeffrey (2019-08-20). "Fight racism even, and especially, where we don't realize it exists". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  14. ^ Hirsch, Afua (2019-10-11). "How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi review — a brilliantly simple argument". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  15. ^ Sullivan, Andrew (2019-11-15). "A glimpse at the intersectional left's political endgame". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  16. ^ Hughes, Coleman (2019-10-27). "How to Be an Anti-intellectual". City Journal. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  17. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa (2019-08-19). "The fight to redefine racism". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  18. ^ American.edu

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