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Ibram Kendi hasn’t published a new paper in 4 years

‘Antiracist’ scholar is a prolific writer of children’s books, though

Boston University Professor Ibram Kendi has not published an academic paper in at least four years, according to his Google Scholar profile.

The professor, who popularized the term “anti-racism,” wrote at least two children’s books in the same period.

Professor Kendi is currently “on leave” from his job as the director of his own Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, which he founded after leaving a similar role at American University.

The College Fix reached out to the center to ask about the professor’s current academic pursuits. The media relations representative did not return a request for comment.

There is an entry in 2019 for a short editorial in The Lancet which Google Scholar attributes to Kendi, but possibly only because it leads with his name and quote.

The format for listing authors does not follow the normal convention used by the Lancet of listing names and academic institutions. His BU profile does not mention his work appearing in the prestigious medical journal.

Semantic Scholar, another academic database, lists several entries since 2019. However, one of these, an essay called “Nationalizing Resistance,” dates to 2014. A citation for 2022 in Modern American History consists of Kendi, along with other scholars, answering questions written by other people.

Kendi’s other recent publication is a 2018 research article about “Black Doctoral Studies” for the Journal of Black Studies.

In contrast, Professor Paula Austin, who teaches black studies at Boston University, has published at least five times in journals in 2022 and 2023.

Most of Kendi’s Google Scholar entries are for translations of his books including “How to be an Antiracist” and “Stamped.”

For example, in 2022 Kendi released five publications, but four of those were translations of his previous books. He also published his most recent children’s book “Magnolia Flower.” In 2021, he wrote essays for The Atlantic and one of his children’s books, “Stamped (for kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You.”

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In his book “How to be an Antiracist” Kendi gives readers a glimpse of his worldview.

“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination,” the book originally stated. “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” That version has since been edited to call for “positive antiracist discrimination,” as reported by the Daily Caller.

Kendi has a history of making promises and not following through on them, as previously reported by The Fix and other media outlets.

A team of volunteers for The Atlantic ended up doing the work on his coronavirus tracker. A data science and racism partnership with a Boston University professor appears to have fallen through with no comment from either academic involved.

He does frequently pull in tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees for talking to universities, sometimes virtually, about “antiracism.”

Kendi’s work has attracted money from wealthy backers including $10 million from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and $1.5 million from Boston pharmaceutical company Vertex’s foundation.

“The creation of the Center for Antiracist Research under the leadership of Ibram X. Kendi is a milestone in Boston University’s commitment to lead in the research that leads to policy changes to end systemic racism in the United States,” the president of the university stated in 2020 after Vertex pledged the donation.

Netflix also cut two of its planned shows based on Kendi’s work, including a cartoon series that drew from his “Antiracist Baby” book.

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About the Author
Madison Rehbehn -- Dallas Baptist University