Historian (and 2020 The Root 100 honoree) Dr. Ibram X. Kendi will partner with Netflix for a handful of antiracist-centered projects.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix, along with Roger Ross Williams (the first Black director to win an Oscar) and the iconic Mara Brock Akil, will adapt three of Kendi’s books, Stamped from the Beginning, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, and Antiracist Baby—all targeted at three specific age groups for a mix of series and features. Williams will direct and produce through his One Story Up banner, with Brock Akil and Kendi both set to executive produce. More on the upcoming projects from THR:
Stamped from the Beginning will be a hybrid documentary/scripted feature based on Kendi’s 2016 book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which made him the youngest winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction. The project traces the roots and evolution of racist concepts in the United States in order to better understand today’s society, which isn’t as post-racial as some may believe.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You, like its No. 1 bestselling namesake (co-authored by Jason Reynolds), will be aimed at the YA audience. Also directed and produced by Williams, with Kendi executive producing, the documentary will serve as a companion to Stamped From the Beginning that will explain how racism in America originated and has persisted, in hopes of learning how to counter it.
Finally, for the very youngest set, Antiracist Baby will adapt Kendi’s No. 1 children’s bestseller as a series of musical animated shorts, executive produced by Kendi and someone who is no stranger to inclusive programming for preschoolers: Chris Nee, creator of the Peabody-winning Disney Junior series Doc McStuffins.
“I’m elated these projects landed at Netflix. What a wonderful partner. I’m elated to work with Roger Ross Williams, Mara Brock Akil and Chris Nee,” Kendi said. “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.”
Kendi’s work rose to prominence last summer after the killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd led to a racial reckoning across the world. He is the founding director of Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research as well as a National Book Award winner and New-York Times best-selling author.