An historian by training, my research interests include 20th Century United States political and social history, and modern African American history. My work emphasizes race, civil rights, political ideology, the American two-party system and the presidency.
At the Kennedy School, I teach courses on race, riot and backlash in the United States, the Civil Rights Movement, race and policy in Modern America. I also lead Race and American Politics, a multidisciplinary series of seminars and round tables, co-sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy, and dedicated to the most pressing political and social issues related to race in the United States.
My first book, The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power (Princeton University Press) was published in 2015.
History forces us to disturb the silences of the past, write against the common grain, and disrupt conventional wisdom on our most pressing issues today
Harvard Kennedy School.
Assistant Professor of Public Policy.
M.A. and Ph.D. in History .
B.A. in History.
Why choose history?
A s a child, I rarely, if ever, heard the stories of people that looked like me. I would hear stories at home (beautiful, nuanced, complex, messy and varied stories, no less), but wouldn’t hear them at school. My goal has been, and always will be, to uncover and document those complicated stories and tell them to the world.