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Giovanni and Kendi to Speak at OU

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Nikki Giovanni

Giovanni and Kendi to Speak at OU

Acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni and award-winning historian and New York Times best-selling author Ibram X. Kendi are scheduled to speak at the University of Oklahoma in honor of Black History Month.

Giovanni will deliver a lecture titled “Racism 101” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. Kendi’s lecture, titled “How to Be an Antiracist,” is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22. Both are scheduled in the Reynolds Performing Arts Center, 560 Parrington Oval, Norman.

Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator. Since 1987, she has been a professor at Virginia Tech, where she teaches writing and literature.

She is the author of more than two dozen books, including volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books and three collections of essays. Her book Racism 101 includes essays about the situation of Americans on all sides of various race issues. She has received 21 honorary doctorates and a host of other awards. The Academy of American Poets voted Giovanni the No. 1 poet for the spring of 2007.

Kendi is professor of history and international relations and the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. He won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016 for Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.

In addition to winning the National Book Award, Stamped From the Beginning also was named a finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and nominated for the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Nonfiction. The book was featured on many Best Books of 2016 lists, including in the Boston Globe, Kirkus, The Washington Post, The Root, Chicago Review of Books and Buzzfeed.

The lectures, hosted by the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences and African and African-American Studies Program, are complimentary and open to the public. For more information or accommodations, contact the African and African American Studies Program at