Keisha N. Blain

"When we approach our work from the basic premise that black women’s ideas and activities are valuable, it transforms our research and writing."

Dr. Keisha N. Blain calls on us to examine our true history. She is an award-winning historian who writes on race, politics, and gender with broad interdisciplinary interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Keisha is the author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom, which won the 2018 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize and the 2019 Darlene Clark Hine Award from the Organization of American Historians. Keisha has also worked on two widely read crowdsourced syllabi – #Charlestonsyllabus, a Twitter movement and crowdsourced list of reading recommendations relating to the history of racial violence in the United States created in response to the racially motivated shooting that took place in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015, and Trump Syllabus 2.0, which took a critical approach race, gender, class, and disability to understand the political ascension of Donald J. Trump. She is also the co-editor of Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition, To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism, and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence.

Keisha received her BA in History in Africana Studies from Binghamton University and a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and is also the President of the African American Intellectual History Society. Keisha currently serves as an editor for the Washington Post’s ‘Made by History’ section.

Keisha is a 2020-2021 Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. Her next book, Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Vision of America, will be published by Beacon Press in 2021.

Keisha N. Blain: Set the World on Fire


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