UF African American studies professor longlisted for National Book Award

September 19, 2016
Steve Orlando

Honor marks the second time in as many years a UF faculty member has been recognized

For the second time in as many years, a book authored by a University of Florida faculty member has been longlisted for the National Book Foundation’s National Book Award.

"Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” by Ibram X. Kendi, an assistant professor of African American history at UF, has been longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

In his book, Kendi examines the words and actions of American powerhouses such as Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. DuBois, Angela Davis, Zora Neale Hurston and Barack Obama to illustrate how deeply ingrained and complex racist thought is in the United States.

“So many prominent Americans, many of whom we celebrate for their progressive ideas and activism, many of whom had very good intentions, subscribed to assimilationist thinking that has also served up racist beliefs about Black inferiority,” writes Kendi.

Kendi teaches classes on African American history, the history of race and racism, black intellectual history, the 1960s, African American studies, Afro-Caribbean history, and hip hop.

Last year, “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History,” by Cynthia Barnett was longlisted in the nonfiction category. As its title suggests, “Rain” is the first book to tell the story of rain, starting with the torrents that filled the oceans and leading up to the storms fueled by climate change.

Barnett, who teaches environmental journalism and nature and adventure writing at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications, has been selected as one of five judges in the nonfiction category for this year’s National Book Awards. Finalists will be announced Oct. 13, and winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 16.

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