We’re excited to announce this year’s new contributors to Black Perspectives. This diverse group of talented scholars will explore a range of topics including Black Internationalism, religious history, education, and the African Diaspora. These new writers will help to further enhance the content on the blog and aid in our ongoing effort to expand the boundaries of Black intellectual history. They will join our roster of scholars who write for us on a monthly basis. Please join us in welcoming these new writers to the team!
Kyle Brooks, Ph.D., a native of Detroit, MI, is an Assistant Professor at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He received his B.A., M.A., and M.Div. degrees from Yale University and Yale Divinity School as a fellow in the Institute of Sacred Music. He completed his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. His current book project engages Jacques Derrida’s concept of hauntology as a lens for interpreting the recurring historical and contemporary roles of Black clergymen in social movements, ultimately disputing the mythology of Black male charisma and rhetorical performance as the core mechanisms of sociopolitical change. His research interests include African American religious cultures, the intersections of Black creative arts and religion, rhetoric & performance studies, and Black cultural studies. His work has been featured in various print and digital venues, including the Journal for Feminist Studies in Religion, Fire! The Multimedia Journal for Black Studies, the Political Theology Network, and the forthcoming edited volume Theology and Protest Music (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, Fall 2022). Beyond his scholarly work, Kyle enjoys exploring his creativity as a poet, multi-instrumentalist, and avid baker. He also takes great joy in spending time with his six nieces and nephews. You can follow him on Twitter @thanubianprince.
Karanja Keita Carroll, Ph.D. is currently a faculty member in the Department of Black & Latinx Studies at Baruch College (CUNY). His teaching and research interests revolve around African-centered theory & methodology, with an emphasis on social, political and psychological theory. Dr. Carroll considers himself an African-centered social theorist who is thoroughly committed to the African-centered imperative, one that is grounded in the creation and utilization of culturally-specific frameworks in order to understand and create solutions for humanity. As an advocate of Prison Education, Dr. Carroll has also taught, held workshops and/or lectured in SCI-Chester, Shawangunk (NYSDOC), Sullivan (NYDOC) and Brookwood Secure Center (NYSDJJOY). Dr. Carroll is an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, North East Political Prisoner Coalition and Black Alliance for Peace. Dr. Carroll is fundamentally committed to “academic excellence and social responsibility” as originally articulated by the National Council for Black Studies.
Mickell Carter is a doctoral student in the department of history at Auburn University. Her research interests include Black Internationalism, 20th-Century Social Movements, and the intersections between politics and culture. Her current project examines linkages between Black men’s style during the Black Power Movement, Pan-Africanism, and masculinity. Mickell is also a Graduate Fellow and Research Assistant where she interviews Bloody Sunday Foot Soldiers and documents their experiences. She has written for a number of venues including: the AAIHS’s Black Perspectives, the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project’s Warbler newsletter, the American Historical Association’s Perspectives, and the Washington Post. She is also a host of the New Books Network in African American Studies podcast. Prior to becoming a PhD student, Mickell taught high school social studies in her hometown, Columbus, Georgia. You can follow her on Twitter @MickellCarter.
M. Keith Claybrook, Jr., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies at CSU, Long Beach where he teaches classes on history and the social sciences. Claybrook serves on CSU, Long Beach’s Presidents Commission on Equity and Change Commission, and served two terms as VP of the Black Faculty and Staff Association and. He regularly attends conferences such as the National Conference of Black Studies National conference, the African Heritage Studies Association, Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus conference, and other conferences where he has presented on a diversity of topics including Black student activism, the Black Students Movement, Black Los Angeles, educational history, African Deep Thought and critical thinking, identity and consciousness, reparations, Hip Hop, and pedagogy. He has also published book reviews, journal articles, encyclopedia entries, and book chapters. His publications include, Building the Basics: A Handbook for Pursuing Academic Excellence in Africana Studies, “Putting Some Soul into Critical Thinking: Toward an African Centered Approach to Critical Thinking,” “Africana Studies, 21st Century Black Student Activism, and High Impact Educational Practices: A Biographical Sketch of David C. Turner, III,” “David L. Horne: A Living Example of a Pan African Leader Scholar- Activist,” and “Black Power, and Black Students, and the Institutionalizing of Change: Loyola Marymount University, 1968- 1978.” Claybrook has lent his expertise on “Today in L.A.” on NBC4, KJLH’s “Front Page with Dominque DePrima,” KPCC- NPR on “AirTalk with Larry Mantle,” and several other television, print, and internet media outlets.
Candace Cunningham, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of History, and specializes in African American history, Women and Gender studies, and Public History. Her research is on the 20th century African American experience with a special emphasis on civil rights, education, gender, and the South. Her 2021 article, “‘Hell is Popping Here in South Carolina’: Orangeburg County Black Teachers and Their Community in the Immediate Post-Brown Era” was published in the History of Education Quarterly. She recently collaborated with the Boca Raton Museum of Art to conduct oral histories and write an essay that will accompany a photography exhibit on Pearl City, a Boca Raton’s oldest neighborhood, and its only historically black community. She is currently finishing her manuscript on Black teacher activists in the civil rights movement. You can follow her on Twitter @candace_n_c.
Menika Dirkson is an Assistant Professor of African American History at Morgan State University. She received her Ph.D. in History from Temple University while her M.A. in History and B.A. in History, Latin American Studies, and Cultural Studies are from Villanova University. She has received grants from the Philadelphia Foundation and Thomas Jefferson University’s Arlen Specter Center for her research on police-Black community relations in Philadelphia following the Civil Rights Era. Dirkson’s research and writing have appeared in articles for the Urban History Association’s The Metropole and the Washington Post. She is currently working on a book entitled, Hope and Struggle in the Policed City: The Rise of Black Criminalization and Resistance in Philadelphia. You can follow her on Twitter @Philadelphian91.
Ashley Everson is a PhD student in Africana Studies at Brown University. Ashley earned her B.A. with honors distinction in Social Thought and Political Economy and her M.A. in Political Science with a graduate certificate in African Diaspora Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research interests include Black feminist thought, political theory, labor history, and Black women’s political histories. Her most recent research seeks to investigate the relationship between Black political mobilization in the Tennessee Valley region and decolonial organizing throughout the African Diaspora during the interwar period. You can follow her on Twitter @aevers0n.
Amanda Joyce Hall is a historian of twentieth-century social movements with a specialization in Black freedom movements throughout the U.S., Africa, and the world. Her dissertation is a transnational social history that examines the international opposition to South African apartheid within the Black diaspora in the 1970s and 1980s. She samples the anti-apartheid movements led by students, workers, musicians, exiles, community organizers as they shut down Springbok rugby tours in Aotearoa/New Zealand, developed soundtracks of resistance across the Caribbean, demanded divestment from multi-national corporations in the U.S., and celebrated the repatriation of the African liberation movements to South Africa as triumphant symbol of their enduring efforts to dismantle color lines that were drawn both locally and internationally. Her cross-border research, which draws on archival work and oral histories from four continents, has been supported by the Newcombe Foundation, UCSB Department of Black Studies, the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Foundation, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) as well as the History Department, the African American Studies Department, the MacMillan Center, and International Security Studies at Yale. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaJoyceHall.
Brandon James Render is an assistant professor of history at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. His current book project, Colorblind University: A History of Racial Inequity in Higher Education, explores the intellectual genealogy of racial colorblindness throughout the twentieth century. It argues that the civil rights and Black Power era not only functioned as social movements, but resulted in intellectual shifts that fundamentally re-shaped Americans’ collective interpretations of race. His research has received support from the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University, and the Texas State Historical Association. Aside from research, his teaching interests include twentieth century U.S. history, Post-1945 social and intellectual movements, and race and public policy. For the 2021-22 academic year, he served as the Mitchem Dissertation Fellow at Marquette University and completed his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin in May 2022. He’s been a member of the AAIHS since 2017. You can follow him on Twitter @brandonjrender.permission.