Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor

African American Studies

Department/Program: African American Studies
Office location: 001 Stanhope Hall
Phone: 609.2584613

Profile: I¹m a professor in African American Studies and my research and general interests are in racial inequality and public policy.   I am especially interested in how housing discrimination greatly contributes to many of the inequalities that we see throughout American cities. I¹m also interested in how social movements, political upheaval and political unrest in general can push the state to change its policies.   There are many interesting examples throughout American history where this has happened like during the Civil War and Reconstruction, in the 1930s when American social welfare really opened up broadly for the first time and then perhaps most famously in the 1960s when the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power insurgency forced the end of legal discrimination in the U.S. Over the summer, I finished writing a book called From #BlackLivesMatterto Black Liberation that looks at how this current movement has taken up many of the issues that remained unresolved at the end of the 1960s and 1970s, especially the issue of police brutality.   In this sense, I am interested in how politics and activism change over time in American history but also in how both shape the world we live in today.   When I¹m not thinking about these serious issues, I¹m following Chicago sports especially my beloved Bulls and not-so-beloved Bears.   I spent over ten years training in karate and I love mixed martial arts.But my most favorite thing to do is to hang out with my wife, Lauren, when we are at home in Philadelphia.