Ibram X. Kendi’s Anti-Racism Books to Be Adapted by Netflix

Kristen Lopez
·2 min read

Netflix’s next series of adaptations look to target questions of racism. The streaming service recently announced they’ve acquired author Ibram X. Kendi’s series of books on anti-racism. The first book, “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” was followed by an updated reprint, entitled “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You,” and “Antiracist Baby” debuting in June of 2020.

Kendi and Mara Brock Akil, the creator of “Girlfriends,” will be executive producers on the project with Roger Ross Williams, the Oscar-winning director behind “Life Animated” and “Music By Prudence” set to direct the first in the series. “Stamped From the Beginning” is described as a hybrid of documentary and scripted feature.

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Kendi himself will also get behind the camera to helm a companion documentary aimed at children. Plans for “Antiracist Baby,” an illustrated book teaching about equity and inclusion via rhyming, will be an animated musical series focused on preschoolers with Chris Nee, the creator of the Disney Channel animated show “Doc McStuffins,” producing.

“I’m elated these projects landed at Netflix. What a wonderful partner,” Kendi said in a statement. “I’m elated to work with Roger Ross Williams, Mara Brock Akil, and Chris Nee. They are such ambitious, innovative, and passionate creators who are committed to racial justice. But I’m really elated for the viewers, for the adults and children who will be captivated, informed, and transformed by these projects.”

Last year, Kendi made Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People. “Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s ‘Stamped From the Beginning’ and ‘Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You’ are powerful and essential pieces of literature that clearly outline how deeply rooted racist ideas are in the United States,” Williams said in a statement. “I hope these films crystallize Dr. Kendi’s message that ‘the only thing wrong with Black people is that they think something is wrong with Black people’ and encourage everyone to fight for a more equitable society. I am thrilled to be partnering with Netflix to bring Dr. Kendi’s incredible work and crucial insights to a broader audience.”

Netflix has settled on a highly ambitious release strategy for 2021, with plans to release one new movie every week. While there’s currently no release date for this series of documentaries, certainly look for them sooner rather than later.

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