Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram Kendi to Speak at Hartwick College on Racism in American History

September 1, 2016

Hartwick College will present Assistant Professor of African American History Ibram X. Kendi of the University of Florida discussing ideas from his highly acclaimed book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. The award-winning historian will speak on Thursday, September 8 at noon in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall, on the College campus. The presentation is free and open to the public; he will sign copies of his book following the event.

According to Kendi, some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America – more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. If we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, he argues in his book, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Kendi, as his research firmly sets our on-going problems of racism in the historical context, beginning with the racist ideas and policies of Colonial American leaders, such as Cotton Mather, and our nation’s founders, such as Thomas Jefferson,” said Professor of History Edythe Ann Quinn. “Dr. Kendi also presents the challenges to these racist ideas as expressed by abolitionist and civil rights leaders. Thus, we see how entrenched the racism is in the history of our power structure and how courageous the struggles have been to discredit it and lead us to a hopeful future. We all have much to learn from his presentation and book.”

Kendi is a frequent speaker and commentary writer. He has written for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, The Huffington Post, The Root, Salon, Signature, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) Blog, for which he is the associate editor. He also authored the award-winning book, The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965-1972.

He has received research fellowships, grants, and visiting appointments from a variety of universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries, some of which include the Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum, University of Chicago, Duke University, Princeton University, UCLA, and the historical societies of Kentucky and Southern California. He has also resided at the Library of Congress as the American Historical Association’s J. Franklin Jameson Fellow in American History.

Kendi has been visiting professor at Brown University, a 2013 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, and postdoctoral fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. He began his academic career as an assistant professor of African American history at SUNY-Oneonta before moving on to the University at Albany, and, ultimately, the University of Florida.

The lecture is presented by the College’s History Department, Political Science Department, Sociology Department, Office of Intercultural Affairs, and Peace and Conflict Studies Program.

For more information, contact Quinn at (607) 431-4883 or quinne@hartwick.edu.