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Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Leon Forrest Professor of African American Studies
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

IPR Fellow - On leave 2022–23

Research Areas:

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is an award-winning scholar and public intellectual. She was named both a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2021.

She is the author of Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), which was a semi-finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2020. Her earlier book From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation won the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book in 2016. She also edited and introduced How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, which won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBQT nonfiction in 2018.

Taylor’s scholarship examines racism, inequality, Black politics, radical politics, and social movements in the United States, both in historical and contemporary contexts. Her current projects look at the dynamics of race, class, and politics in the first generation after the Black social movements of the 1960s along with the Black radical tradition mediated through the life and politics of scholar and activist Angela Y. Davis.

Taylor is a contributing writer at The New Yorker. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Boston Review, Paris Review, Guardian, The Nation, and Jacobin, among others. She is a former contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.

The Root named her one of the hundred most influential African Americans in the United States and Essence Magazine named her among the top 100 “change makers” in the country. She is an appointed Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

In 2013, Taylor earned her PhD in African American Studies at Northwestern University. Prior to returning to Northwestern in 2022, she was a professor in Princeton University's Department of African American Studies from 2014 to 2022.

Current Research

Dynamics of race, class, and politics in the first generation after the Black social movements of the 1960s. Taylor’s research investigates the political and economic forces underlying racial inequality.

The life and politics of Angela Y. Davis. Taylor is studying the activist, author, and educator’s writings and actions in the context of the Black radical tradition she contributed to.

Selected Publications

Books

Taylor, K.Y. 2019. Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Taylor, K.Y., ed. 2017. How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Taylor, K.Y. 2016. From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Articles and Book Chapters

Taylor, K.Y. Forthcoming. Foreword: Twenty-five years of Scenes of Subjection. In S. Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery and Self-Making in Nineteenth Century America. New York: Norton.

Taylor, K.Y. 2022. From color-blind to Black Lives Matter: Race, class, and politics under Trump. In The Presidency of Donald J. Trump: A First Historical Assessment, ed. J. Zelizer, 198–218. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Taylor, K.Y. 2021. Angela Davis’s dialectic of freedom. In Confinement, interiority, Black feminist study: A Forum on Davis’s “Reflections.” The Black Scholar 51(1): 3–18.

Taylor, K.Y. 2021. A culture of racism. In A Field Guide to White Supremacy, ed. K. Belew and R. Gutierréz, 31–60. Oakland: University of California Press.

Taylor, K.Y. 2020. The banality of segregation: Why Hirsch still helps us understand our racial geography. Journal of Urban History 46(3): 490–3.

Taylor, K.Y. 2019. The dialectic of radical Black feminism. In Black Women and Social Justice Education: Legacies and Lessons, ed. S. Evans, A. Domingue, and T. Mitchell, 319–26. Albany: SUNY Press.

Taylor, K.Y. 2018. The white power presidency: Race and class in the Trump era. New Political Science 40(1): 108–12.

Taylor, K.Y. 2017. Home is the crucible of struggle. American Quarterly 69(2): 229–33.

Hunter, M., M. Pattillo, Z. Robinson, and K.Y. Taylor. 2016. Black placemaking: Celebration, play, and poetry. Theory, Culture, and Society 33(7–8): 31–56.