Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Joel Christian Gill: Stamped from the Beginning - A Graphic History of Racist Ideas in America

Tuesday, June 27, 2023 at 7:00pm
Crowell Concert Hall

$32 ticket includes admission for one attendee and one signed copy of "Stamped From the Beginning."

National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and award-winning illustrator Joel Christian Gill will be in discussion and Q&A highlighting their new graphic novel "Stamped From the Beginning: A Graphic History of Racist Ideas in America" (2023).

The new work is adapted from Kendi's National Book Award for Nonfiction winning "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" (2016), which made him the youngest winner of that award. He is also author of "How to Be an Antiracist" (2019), a New York Times bestseller.

Attendees can submit questions for Kendi and Gill in advance of the event.

Through deep research and a gripping narrative that illuminates the lives of five key American figures, preeminent historian Kendi reveals how understanding and improving the world cannot happen without identifying and facing the racist forces that shape it. In collaboration with historian and comic artist Gill, this striking illustrated graphic-novel adaptation explores, with vivid clarity and dimensionality, the living history of America, and how we can learn from the past to work toward a more equitable, antiracist future.

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic, and a CBS News racial justice contributor. He has also produced the New York Times bestsellers "Antiracist Baby" (2020), and "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" (2020), co-authored by Jason Reynolds. In 2020, Time magazine named Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He was awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship.

Joel Christian Gill is the Chair of the M.F.A. in Visual Narrative at Boston University. He is a cartoonist and historian who speaks nationally on the importance of sharing stories. He is the author of the Eisner-nominated and acclaimed memoir "Fights: One Boy's Triumph Over Violence" (2020), cited as one of the best graphic novels of the year by The New York Times and for which he was awarded the 2021 Cartoonist Studio Prize. He wrote the words and drew the pictures for "Fast Enough: Bessie Stringfield’s First Ride" (2019), and the award-winning graphic novel series "Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History," and "Tales of The Talented Tenth," which tell the stories of Bass Reeves, Bessie Stringfield, and Robert Smalls.

“’An antiracist America is sure to come. No power lasts forever.’ Those lines, from the young adult version of Dr. Kendi’s bestselling Stamped, have stuck with me,” says Roxanne Coady, founder of RJ Julia Booksellers.
“Dr. Kendi writes most eloquently of the possibility of an equitable society, and he is far and away the most capable individual leading us to a post-racial America,” she continued. “We’re thrilled to host him, along with illustrator Joel Christian Gill, as they launch this truly stunning graphic novel. Reading is, of course, just the beginning.”

Co-presented by Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts and Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore.

RJ Julia Booksellers opened over 30 years ago as an independent bookstore whose mission was, and is, to be a place where words matter, where writer meets reader, where the ambiance and selection and merchandising of books creates an atmosphere that is welcoming and presents the opportunity for discovery. Having won several major awards nationally, statewide, and locally, RJ Julia hosts over 300 literary events each year.