53 Most Inspiring Quotes By Ibram X. Kendi

Ibram X Kendi Quotes

Ibram X. Kendi, full name,  Ibram Xolani Kendi,, and original name, Ibram Henry Rogers was born on 13th August 1982, Queens, New York USA. He is an American author, activist, and historian who wrote about racism and antiracism in the United States. Through his speeches and books, he maintained that racist ideas and policies are deeply rooted in American society.

His parent were student activists who were interested in the liberation theory and the “Black Power” movement. Kendi majored in journalism at Florida A&M University and specialized in reporting before finally concentrating on racial justice. Ibram taught in several universities such as Boston Univerisity and became the founding director for Antiracist Research in 2020. He encouraged people to investigate racism within themselves. Below are Ibram X. Kendi’s quotes and saying against racism.

You can purchase his most popular book How to Be an Antiracist here

Ibram X Kendi Quotes

1. “For nearly six centuries, antiracist ideas have been pitted against two kinds of racist ideas: segregationist and assimilationist.”– Ibram X. Kendi

2. “American enslavers were still afraid to baptize Africans, because Christian slaves, like Elizabeth Key, could sue for their freedom.”– Ibram X. Kendi

3.”But one day, Skinner realized that he’d gotten Jesus wrong. Jesus wasn’t in the Rotary Club and he wasn’t a policeman. Jesus was a “radical revolutionary, with hair on his chest and dirt under his fingernails.”– Ibram X. Kendi

4. “Americans have long been trained to see the deficiencies of people rather than policy. It’s a pretty easy mistake to make: People are in our faces. Policies are distant. We are particularly poor at seeing the policies lurking behind the struggles of people.”– Ibram X. Kendi

5. “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”20”– Ibram X. Kendi

6. “Christianity,” Jones wrote, “encourages and orders” African people “to become more humble and better servants.” They should not learn to read and write, though. They were “by Nature cut out for hard Labour and Fatigue.”– Ibram X. Kendi

7. “One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist.”– Ibram X. Kendi

8. “The good news is that racist and antiracist are not fixed identities. We can be a racist one minute and an antiracist the next. What we say about race, what we do about race, in each moment, determines what — not who — we are.”– Ibram X. Kendi

9. “Like fighting an addiction, being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.”– Ibram X. Kendi

10. “Whenever a Black person or group used White people as a standard of measurement, and cast another Black person or group as inferior, it was another instance of racism.”– Ibram X. Kendi

11. “Embattled police officers who can’t imagine losing their right to racially profile and brutalize respond with “Blue Lives Matter.”– Ibram X. Kendi

12. “Racist ideas love believers, not thinkers.”– Ibram X. Kendi

13. “Denial is the heartbeat of racism, beating across ideologies, races, and nations. It is beating within us.”– Ibram x. Kendi

14.”What if we realized the best way to ensure an effective educational system is not by standardizing our curricula and tests but by standardizing the opportunities available to all students?”– Ibram X. Kendi

15. “Racial-group behavior is a figment of the racist’s imagination. Individual behaviors can shape the success of individuals.”– Ibram X. Kendi

16. “Critiquing racism is not activism. Changing minds is not activism. An activist produces power and policy change, not mental change. If a person has no record of power or policy change, then that person is not an activist.”– Ibram X. Kendi

17. “Dr. William Douglass concocted a conspiracy theory, saying there was a grand plot afoot among African people, who had agreed to kill their masters by convincing them to be inoculated.”– Ibram X. Kendi

Related: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Most Inspiring Quotes about Racial Harmony

18. “From their arrival around 1619, African people had illegally resisted legal slavery. They had thus been stamped from the beginning as criminals. In”– Ibram X. Kendi

19. “If Blacks did not violently resist, then they were cast as naturally servile. And yet, whenever they did fight, reactionary commentators, in both North and South, classified them as barbaric animals who needed to be caged in slavery.”– Ibram X. Kendi

20. “To be antiracist is to view national and transnational ethnic groups as equal in all their differences. To be antiracist is to challenge the racist policies that plague racialized ethnic groups across the world. To be antiracist is to view the inequities between all racialized ethnic groups as a problem of policy.”– Ibram X. Kendi

21. “White people, apparently, were not responsible for their own racist mentalities.”– Ibram X. Kendi

22. “The Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea begins the recorded history of anti-Black racist ideas.”– Ibram X. Kendi

23. “Beleaguered White racists who can’t imagine their lives not being the focus of any movement respond to “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter.”– Ibram X. Kendi

24. “The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it.”– Ibram X. Kendi

25. “The idea that Black languages outside Africa are broken is as culturally racist as the idea that languages inside Europe are fixed.”– Ibram X. Kendi

26. “Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups.”– Ibram X. Kendi

27. “But asking every nonathletic Black person to become an Olympic hurdler, and blaming them when they can’t keep up, is racist.”– Ibram X. Kendi

28. “The idea that Black languages outside Africa are broken is as culturally racist as the idea that languages inside Europe are fixed.”– Ibram X. Kendi

29. “For racists like Franklin, it proved difficult to believe that many Blacks were capable of becoming another Francis Williams or Phillis Wheatley. Racists often understood this capable handful to be “extraordinary Negroes.” Joseph.”– Ibram X. Kendi

Related: The most beautiful quotes about black love

30. “One of the fundamental values of racism to White people is that it makes success attainable for even unexceptional Whites, while success, even moderate success, is usually reserved for extraordinary Black people.”– Ibram X. Kendi

31. “Whoever makes the cultural standard makes the cultural hierarchy.”– Ibram X. Kendi

32.” But it is impossible to know racism without understanding its intersection with capitalism.”– Ibram X. Kendi

33. “Racist ideas always seemed to arrive right on time to dress up the ugly economic and political exploitation of African people. Ironically.”– Ibram X. Kendi

34. “Antiracist ideas argue that racist policies are the cause of racial inequities.”– Ibram X. Kendi

35. “Wisconsin’s strict voter-ID law suppressed approximately two hundred thousand votes—again primarily targeting voters of color—in the 2016 election.”– Ibram X. Kendi

36. “more people were incarcerated for drug crimes than violent crimes every year from 1993 to 2009. White people are more likely than Black and Latinx people to sell drugs, and the races consume drugs at similar rates.”– Ibram X. Kendi

37. “Nonviolent Black drug offenders remain in prisons for about the same length of time (58.7 months) as violent White criminals (61.7 months).”– Ibram X. Kendi

38. “What’s the problem with being “not racist”? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: “I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.” But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle. The opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist.” It is “antiracist.”– Ibram X. Kendi

39. “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”20.”– Ibram X. Kendi

40. “When men oppress their fellowmen, the oppressor ever finds, in the character of the oppressed, a full justification for his oppression.”– Ibram X. Kendi

41. “Christianity,” Jones wrote, “encourages and orders” African people “to become more humble and better servants.” They should not learn to read and write, though. They were “by Nature cut out for hard Labour and Fatigue.”– Ibram X. Kendi

42. “Americans have long been trained to see the deficiencies of people rather than policy.”– Ibram X. Kendi

43. “White supremacist is code for anti-White, and White supremacy is nothing short of an ongoing program of genocide against the White race. In fact, it’s more than that: White supremacist is code for anti-human, a nuclear ideology that poses an existential threat to human existence.”– Ibram X. Kendi

44. “Racist ideas often lead to this silly psychological inversion, where we blame the victimized race for their own victimization.”– Ibram X. Kendi

45. “The lack of resources leads directly to diminished opportunities for learning. In other words, the racial problem is the opportunity gap, as antiracist reformers call it, not the achievement gap.”– Ibram X. Kendi

46. “Proslavery legislators repressed the very captives they said were docile, and restricted the education of the very people they argued could not be educated.”– Ibram X. Kendi

47. “Frankly speaking, for generations of Americans, racist ideas have been their common sense.”– Ibram X. Kendi

48. “No one becomes racist or antiracist. We can only strive to be one or the other.”– Ibram X. Kendi

49. “To be antiracist is to deracialize behavior, to remove the tattooed stereotype from every racialized body.”– Ibram X. Kendi

50. “What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist.”– Ibram X. Kendi

51. “What could happen based on my deepest fears mattered more than what did happen to me.”– Ibram X. Kendi

52. “Racists confessing to their crimes is not in their self-interest.”– Ibram X. Kendi

53. “To be antiracist is to see all cultures in all their differences as on the same level, as equals. When we see cultural difference, we are seeing cultural difference—nothing more, nothing less.”– Ibram X. Kendi

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Video: The difference between being “not racist” and antiracist

There is no such thing as being “not racist,” says author and historian Ibram X. Kendi. In this vital conversation, he defines the transformative concept of antiracism to help us more clearly recognize, take responsibility for and reject prejudices in our public policies, workplaces and personal beliefs.

Learn how you can actively use this awareness to uproot injustice and inequality in the world — and replace it with love. (This virtual interview, hosted by TED’s current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers and speaker development curator Cloe Shasha, was recorded June 9, 2020.)

Summary

Ibram X. Kendi was a very influential person and his books have been popular and also controversial.   One of his books published in 2012 focused on Black student activism including the history of African American studies historically in Black colleges and universities including predominantly white educational institutions.

Kendi has greatly advocated against racism and supported antiracist chants. The above quotes will encourage you to love your African American brothers and sisters and agree with the slogan, “Black Lives Matter.”

You can purchase his most popular book How to Be an Antiracist here

Image Credit: Montclair Film, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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