Ibram X. Kendi came of age in 1980s and ’90s America, when he said many considered Black youth “a menace,” “violent,” “dangerous,” and “super predators.” Around the year 2000, the celebrated antiracist scholar said he began to understand he harbored similar views.

“As a Black youngster, these ideas were directed toward me, and I didn’t realize fully how much I had come to even believe some of these ideas,” said Kendi, director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research and the 2020/2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. It served as a powerful insight into how broadly and deeply such attitudes had permeated American society.

Kendi delivered his remarks as part of an online conversation about antiracism in higher education co-sponsored by

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