Bakari Sellers is a well-known lawyer, political commentator, and politician. He was born in Bamberg, South Carolina on September 18, 1984, to Cleveland and Gwendolyn Sellers. His father is a well-known civil rights activist who served as President of Voorhees College and was a leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s.
Bakari Sellers excelled in school and went on to Morehouse College, where he was elected Student Body President in 2005. He attended the University of South Carolina Law School after graduating from Morehouse College, where he earned a law degree in 2008.
Sellers ran for South Carolina state representative on the Democratic Party ticket while in law school. He defeated the incumbent after only 22 years in office, becoming South Carolina’s youngest legislator. He was also the country’s youngest African American elected official at the time. From 2006 to 2014, he was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives for the 90th District.
He was a member of the House Judiciary Committee during his time in the legislature. Sellers formally announced his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina on June 6, 2013. Despite winning the Democratic primary, Sellers was defeated in the general election on November 4, 2014.
Sellers is currently an attorney with the Strom Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina. He leads the firm’s strategic communication and public affairs team and consults on workplace issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also works as a CNN political analyst. He was named to TIME magazine’s 40 Under 40 list in 2010, as well as “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African Americans in 2014 and 2015.
In 2020, Sellers published his best-selling memoir, My Vanishing Country: A Memoir, which is autobiographical but also tells the story of his father, Cleveland Sellers, who worked with Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King and was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, making him a civil rights hero to many. The novel also sheds light on the lives of black working-class men and women.
Sellers published the children’s book Who Are Your People? in 2022.
The book teaches young children about Black Americans’ history and emphasizes the significance of the Black community in American history and culture.
Bakari Sellers is the younger brother of Nosizwe Sellers and Cleveland Sellers III. Bakari Sellers married Dr. Ellen Rucher in 2015, and they had twins, a boy and a girl, three years later in 2018.