9 Contemporary Black Academics You Should Know

Ali Mazrui

Ali Mazrui, who passed away this past weekend, was a Kenyan academic, professor and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations. He was an Albert Schweitzer professor in the humanities and the director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. Mazrui obtained his bachelor of arts with distinction from Manchester University, his master’s degree from Columbia University and his doctorate of philosophy from Oxford University. He previously taught at the University of Michigan, Binghamton University and the State University of New York.

Mazrui’s research interests included African politics, international political culture, political Islam and North-South relations. He is author or co-author of more than 20 books. Mazrui was widely consulted by heads of states and governments, international media and research institutions for political strategies and alternative thoughts.


Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic and institution builder. He is an Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Gates has authored 17 books and created 14 documentary films. His TV show Finding Your Roots, now in its second season on PBS, has featured several celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Chris Rock, tracing back their ancestral lineage. He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the online daily, The Root.


Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson is an academic, author and radio host. He is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University. Dyson received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Carson–Newman College in 1985. He obtained his master’s and Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University. He hosted The Michael Eric Dyson Show from 2009 to 2011. He’s currently a political analyst for MSNBC and has published 17 books about subjects that run the gamut from hip-hop to Hurricane Katrina.

One Reply to “9 Contemporary Black Academics You Should Know”

  1. no neil degrasse tyson? ph.d , originally from the Bronx and head of the Hayden planetarium

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