Bakari Sellers (1984- )

Bakari Sellers (Strom Law Firm)
Bakari Sellers (Strom Law Firm)

Bakari Sellers is a noted attorney, political commentator and politician. He was born September 18, 1984 in Bamberg, South Carolina the son of Cleveland and Gwendolyn Sellers. His father is a well-known civil rights activist and leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the 1960s who is currently serving as President of Voorhees College.

Bakari Sellers excelled in school and attended Morehouse College where in 2005 he was elected Student Body President. After graduating from Morehouse College, he attended the University of South Carolina Law School where he earned a law degree in 2008.

While attending law school Sellers ran for the office of South Carolina state representative on the Democratic Party ticket. At 22 years of age, he defeated the 26-year incumbent, becoming the youngest member of the South Carolina legislature. He was also the youngest African American elected official in the United States at the time. He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for the 90th District from 2006 to 2014. While in the legislature he served on the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives. On June 6, 2013, Sellers formally announced his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. Although he won the Democratic Primary, Sellers lost the general election on November 4, 2014.

Sellers currently practices law with the Strom Law Firm based in Columbia, South Carolina. He heads the firm’s strategic communication and public affairs team and offers consultant services on the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. He also serves as a political commentator for CNN. He was named to TIME magazine’s 40 Under 40 in 2010, as well as the 2014 and 2015 “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African Americans.

In 2020 Sellers released his best-selling book, My Vanishing Country: A Memoir, which is autobiographical but also tells of his father, Cleveland Sellers, working with Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King and his role in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee which made him a civil rights hero to many. The book also illuminates the lives of black working-class men and women.

In 2022 Sellers released a children’s book Who Are Your People? The book teaches young children about the history of Black Americans and stresses the importance of the Black community in American history and culture.

Bakari Sellers has two siblings: Nosizwe Sellers and Cleveland Sellers III. Bakari Sellers married Dr. Ellen Rucher in 2015 and three years later in 2018 they became parents of twins, a boy and a girl (Stokely and Sadie).