At just 22 years old, Bakari Sellers defeated a 26-year incumbent state representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African-American elected official in the nation. Sellers, who was considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party and is now a leading voice for his generation, joins Dr. Phil to discuss the future of America. Hear what Sellers, who has followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader Dr. Cleveland Sellers, and champions progressive policies to address issues ranging from education and poverty to preventing domestic violence and childhood obesity, says about the divisiveness of the country. Plus, he discusses his new book, Who Are Your People? New episodes drop Tuesdays. Listen and subscribe.
"It's a big question thematically. We've never dealt with the issue of race in this country, which is the root of our divisiveness." Bakari Sellers
"It's hard to find news anymore where somebody doesn't have an agenda that they brought to the desk. And so they're running it through their filter, which I resent, frankly." Dr. Phil
"There's nothing worse, Dr. Phil, than when you're on TV and you get in your ear or producer saying the president has just tweeted, we're going to go to that." Bakari Sellers
"The emergence of social media in news, there has been a focus on being first and not being right, which is posed a problem. Everybody wants to be the first to the story and people don't care necessarily about being right in the story." Bakari Sellers
"I think that for a country that has a true question mark on the value of certain lives and the benefit of humanity. I stand on the resolve that if we did nothing after Sandy Hook, we won't do anything now." Bakari Sellers
"I'm just a firm believer that we just have to make sure that we create that equity and create that opportunity." Bakari Sellers
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Who Are Your People?
This inspiring picture book is a tribute to the family and community that help make us who we are.
When you meet someone for the first time, they might ask, "Who are your people?" and "Where are you from?"
Children are shaped by their ancestors, and this book celebrates the village it takes to raise a child.
In the vein of I Am Enough and Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, this powerful picture book with beautiful illustrations by Reggie Brown is a joyful recognition of the people and places that help define young readers and adults alike.
WHO ARE YOUR PEOPLE Author: Bakari Sellers
Illustrated by: Reggie Brown
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Published: January 11, 2022
Pg: xi: Historical Figures who appear in the book:
Pp.8-9 - Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Stacey Abrams, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pg.11: Harriet Tubman
P17: President Barack Obama
P18: Serena Williams, Jackie Robinson, Kamala Harris, John Lewis
P19: A Buffalo Soldier
The artist used a little Malcolm (X), a bit of Martin (Kind), and a lot of Marvin (Gaye) to create the illustrations for this book.
Pg.6: A picture of a father walking in “Remembrance Park” with his two children.
Pg. 7: When you meet someone for the first time, they might ask “Who are your people?” and “Where are you from?”
Pg. 8: Father and kids looking up in the sky at pictures of Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou
Pg. 9: Pictures of Stacey Abrams, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pg. 10: A picture of a father, wife and three children in a forest
Pg. 11: Harriet Tubman leading the family to a safe place
Pg.11: “You should always be proud of who you are. Your people were strong and smart. They dreamed of things not yet seen and imagined that we could all be free.”
Pg.12: “Your people were fighters. When they were told they had to leave because of their skin, they sat down.”
Pg. 13: - Picture of three kids sitting in a diner while food was being thrown at them and people were yelling.
Pg. 14: “Your people were mighty activists, champions that struggled for justice and equality. They marched so that people would know your life matters.
Pg. 15: Black people marching holding signs “I Am A Man”
Pg. 16: A father carrying his daughter on his shoulders and son son by his side
Pg. 16: “And they stood up and ran to make history and change lives”
Pg 17- Barack Obama at the podium making a speech with “Hope” and “Vote Obama” signs around him.
Pg. 18: “Your people were trailblazers who changed laws and broke records
Pg. 18: Pictures of Serena Williams, Jackie Robinson, Kamala Harris, John Lewis
Pg. 19: “Today we stand on their shoulders”
Pg. 19: Picture of a Buffalo Soldier with the father and his two children standing on his shoulder.
Pg. 20: “When they ask you, Where are you from?”
Pg. 20: A picture of a boy and girl in the cotton fields.
Pg. 21: “You are from a land where the soil is dark and matches the richness of your skin. Where cotton and sugarcane were strongly rooted and match your strength and determination.”
Pg. 22: “You are from the country where time moves with ease and where kindness is cherished.”
Pg. 23: “We say a simple hello to our neighbors to let them know we see them”
Pg. 24-25: A picture of a family sitting around a picnic table with food.
Pg. 25: “You are from a place where the aromas of cakes and pies waft from the windowsills, to fill your bellies with goodness and your hearts with love.”
Pg. 26-27: Picture of family and friends dancing, singing, playing, reading.
Pg. 26: You are a product of the proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Pg. 27-28: Picture of family and friends lifting up the children in the air
Pg. 27: “You are from a place filled with love and hope and expectation. Where people rooted for you to succeed.”
Pg. 28: “Today we stand on their shoulders.”
Pg. 29-30: Family and friends sitting in a park watching fireworks in the sky.
Pg. 29: On their shoulders, you are so strong and so loved. On their shoulders, you can reach for the sky.”
Pg. 30: A picture of a father holding his children in his arms as they sleep…he looks up and sees his daughter as president and son standing on Mars as an astronaut.
More About Bakari Sellers Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation.
In 2014, Sellers won the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor in South Carolina, and has also worked for United States Congressman James Clyburn and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
He is widely considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party and leading voice for his generation.
He has followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader Dr. Cleveland Sellers, in his tireless commitment to public service while championing progressive policies to address issues ranging from education and poverty to preventing domestic violence and childhood obesity.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and his law degree from the University of South Carolina.
Sellers is the author of The New York Times best-selling book “My Vanishing Country: A Memoir”, which has been described as part memoir, part historical and cultural analysis – illustrating the lives of America’s forgotten black working-class men and women and his new book inspiring picture book “Who Are Your People” which is a tribute to the family and community that help make us who we are.
He has also expanded his audience with the Bakari Sellers Podcast, a twice-a-week show part of The Ringer Podcast Network that addresses a variety of topics from politics, race, sports, media, the presidential campaign, and much more.
Sellers currently practices law with the Strom Law Firm, LLC in Columbia, where he heads the firm’s strategic communication and public affairs team and has recently added diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting to the list of services offered.
He is also a prominent political contributor for CNN.
Sellers served on President Barack Obama's South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election.
Has an uncommon ability to reach across the aisle
Named to TIME Magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2010 as well as 2014’s “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African-Americans.
Served as a featured speaker at events for the National Education Association, College Democrats of America National Convention, NAACP, the 2008 Democratic National Convention and, in 2007, delivered the opening keynote address to the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC.
Bakari also practices nationwide in all areas of Criminal Defense, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights litigation, business litigation, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, medical malpractice, nursing home litigation, products liability.
He is a senior member of the firm’s jury trial team.
Bakari Sellers was born in 1984 and raised in Denmark, South Carolina.
Served as a featured speaker at events for the National Education Association, College Democrats of America National Convention, and the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Bakari is admitted to practice law in all state and federal courts in South Carolina.
He is a member of the South Carolina Bar, Richland County Bar Association, and the South Carolina Association for Justice.
Bakari has been with the Strom Law Firm since 2007.
Married to Dr. Ellen Rucker-Sellers. They have three children.