Leslie M. Alexander is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of History at Rutgers University and is a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. A graduate of Stanford University (B.A. cum laude) and Cornell University (M.A. and Ph.D.), she is a specialist in early African American and African Diaspora history. She is the author of African or American?: Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861 and Fear of a Black Republic: Haiti and the Birth of Black Internationalism in the United States, as well as the co-editor of three additional volumes, including Ideas in Unexpected Places: Reimagining the Boundaries of Black Intellectual History. Her current project, “How We Got Here: Slavery and the Making of the Modern Police State,” examines how surveillance of free and enslaved Black communities in the colonial and antebellum eras laid the foundation for modern-day policing. A portion of that research appears in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.
A recipient of several prestigious fellowships, including the Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship, Alexander is the immediate Past President of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD), and is an Executive Council member of the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS). She also serves on the Advisory Councils for the Journal of African American History, Black Perspectives, and The Black Scholar. Most recently, she was elected to the Montpelier Foundation Board, which seeks to create an inclusive history of President James Madison’s former plantation. During her career, she has won several significant awards, including the coveted University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching at The Ohio State University.
Davarian L. Baldwin is the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Founding Director of the Smart Cities Research Lab at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities are Plundering Our Cities (Bold Type Books, 2021), Chicago’s New Negroes: Modernity, the Great Migration, and Black Urban Life (UNC, 2007), and co-editor (with Minkah Makalani) of the essay collection, Escape From New York: The New Negro Renaissance beyond Harlem (University of Minnesota, 2013). Baldwin is finishing the book Land of Darkness: Chicago and the Making of Race in Modern America (Oxford University Press). In addition to teaching and writing, Baldwin sits on the Executive Council of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE). He serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of African American History, and the American Studies Journal. Baldwin is also co-editor of the Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy book series for Temple University Press and was appointed a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians.
Marquis Bey (they/them, or any pronouns) is an Assistant Professor in the departments of African American Studies and English, and faculty affiliate in the programs of Gender & Sexuality Studies and Critical Theory, at Northwestern University. Their work is mobilized through black feminist theory, transgender studies, abolition, philosophy, and black study. Bey is the author of several books, most recently the forthcoming Black Trans Feminism (Duke University Press, 2022). Currently, they are in the process of revising a manuscript on the relationship between blackness and the category of cisgender.
Brandon R. Byrd is a historian of Black intellectual and social history, with a special focus on Black internationalism. He is the author of The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020). His scholarship has been published by Slavery and Abolition, Diplomatic History, The Journal of African American History and other academic journals as well as popular periodicals, including GQ, The Undefeated, and The Washington Post. In addition to his scholarship, Byrd is also a co-editor of the Black Lives and Liberation series published by Vanderbilt University Press. He teaches at Vanderbilt University, where he is an Associate Professor of History.
Christopher Cameron is Professor of History and Interim Chair of Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He was the founding president of the African American Intellectual History Society. Cameron received his B.A. in History from Keene State College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research and teaching interests include early American history, the history of slavery and abolition, and African American religious and intellectual history. Cameron is the author of To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement (Kent State University Press, 2014) and Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism (Northwestern University Press, 2019). Cameron is also the co-editor of Race, Religion, and Black Lives Matter: Essays on a Moment and a Movement (Vanderbilt University Press, 2021) and New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018). Cameron has received fellowships from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Peabody Essex Museum, Emory University, the U.S. Department of Education, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Council of Learned Societies. His current book project, entitled Liberal Religion and Race in America, explores the intersection of race and liberal religion dating back to the mid-18th century and the varied ways that liberal theology has informed African American religion and politics in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Ashley Farmer is a historian of Black women’s history, intellectual history, and radical politics. She is an Associate Professor in the Departments of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era and a co-editor of New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition. Farmer’s scholarship has appeared in numerous venues including The Black Scholar and The Journal of African American History. Her research has also been featured in several popular outlets including Vibe, NPR, and The Chronicle Review, and The Washington Post.
Janell Hobson is Professor and Chair (until Fall 2021) of the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University at Albany. She is also Director of both Undergraduate Studies and the Honors Program. She joined the core faculty shortly after receiving her PhD in Women’s Studies at Emory University. Hobson has since devoted her research, teaching, and service to multiracial and transnational feminist issues in the discipline with a focus on representations and histories of women in the African Diaspora. Hobson is the author of When God Lost Her Tongue: Historical Consciousness and the Black Feminist Imagination (Routleldge, 2021), Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture (Routledge, 2005, second edition, 2018), and Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender (SUNY Press, 2012). She has also edited the volumes Are All the Women Still White? Rethinking Race, Expanding Feminisms (SUNY Press, 2016) and The Routledge Companion to Black Women’s Cultural Histories (Routledge, 2021). She is a contributing writer to Ms. Magazine, as well as various online platforms. She also guest edited special volumes on Harriet Tubman and slavery in popular culture. She was selected as a Community Fellow for 2021-2022 at the University at Albany’s Institute for History and Public Engagement, which will support her guest editing of the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Series with Ms. Magazine for the Spring 2022 semester.
Russell Rickford is an associate professor of history at Cornell University. He specializes in African American political culture after World War Two, the Black Radical Tradition, and transnational social movements. His current book, We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination, received the Liberty Legacy Award from the Organization of American Historians. He is currently working on a book about Guyana and African American radical politics in the 1970s. Rickford’s scholarly articles have appeared in Journal of American History, Journal of African American History, Souls, New Labor Review, and other publications. His popular writing has appeared in publications such as In These Times, Truthout, Washington Post, Counterpunch, Black Agenda Report and Africa is a Country. Rickford holds a bachelor’s from Howard University and a doctorate from Columbia University. Born in Guyana, he lives in Ithaca, New York.