Ibram X. Kendi

National Book Award-winning historian and author of Stamped From The Beginning

How to Be an Antiracist

Thursday, February 6, 2020
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

When America’s first black president entered the White House, Americans described their nation as “color-blind” and the era as “post-racial.” That was a short-lived illusion. In this deeply personal and empowering lecture, National Book Award-winning Historian and Author Ibram X. 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, and provides direction to those who want not just Band-Aid programs but actual antiracist action that builds an antiracist America.

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and Penn State’s Dickinson Law and co-sponsored by the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, the Office of the Provost, the First Year Seminar Program, and Center for Spirituality & Social Justice, the Office of Inclusivity and Effectiveness, and the departments of English, political science, sociology, and American studies. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

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Ibram X. Kendi is professor of history and international relations and the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. He is a frequent public speaker who speaks with great expertise and compassion about the findings of his book and how they can fit into the national conversation on racial and social justice.

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, Spencer Foundation, Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Brown University, Princeton University, Duke University, University of Chicago, and UCLA. Most recently, he was named a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow for his work.

In addition to winning the National Book Award, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas was also named a finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and nominated for the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Nonfiction. The book was featured on many Best Books of 2016 lists, including in the Boston GlobeKirkusThe Washington PostThe RootChicago Review of Books, and Buzzfeed.

Kendi has published numerous academic essays as well as op-eds in publications such as The New York TimesThe Washington Post, Time, The Guardianand The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is also the author of the award-winning book, The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965-1972. In 2018, he was named a columnist for a new vertical of The Atlantic focusing on ideas, opinion, and political and cultural commentary.