Houston A. Baker is university distinguished professor at Vanderbilt University and past president of the Modern Language Association of America. Baker began his career as a scholar of British Victorian literature, but shifted to the study of Afro-American literature and culture. He has served as editor of American Literature, the oldest and most prestigious journal in American literary studies. He has published or edited more than twenty books. His most recent books include: Turning South Again: Re-Thinking Modernism, Re-Reading Booker T, and I Don't Hate the South: Reflections on Faulkner, Family and the South. His critique of black public intellectuals, Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era, won a 2009 American Book Award from The Before Columbus Foundation.
Regina N. Bradley is a doctoral candidate in English at Florida State University. Her research and dissertation investigate white hegemonic privilege and race consciousness in late twentieth and twenty-first-century black American literature and popular culture. Her essays have been featured in various media outlets, including NewsOne, AllHipHop, and PopMatters.
Beauty Bragg is an associate professor in the Department of English and Rhetoric at Georgia College and State University, where she also contributes courses in women's studies and Africana Studies. She has published essays and reviews in journals such as Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, The Journal of Popular Culture, and MELUS. Currently, her research is focused on the intersections among African American femininity, hip hop culture, and post-soul literary aesthetics.
Nicole Hodges Persley is an assistant professor of theatre at the University of Kansas. She teaches courses on hip hop, acting, African American theater, performance theory, and improvisation. Her research broadly explores the impact of racial and ethnic identity on performance practices in theatre, television, and film. Her current book project, Sampling and Remixing Blackness in Hip-hop Theater and Performance, examines the impact of blackness on the [End Page 287] artistic practices of non-African American artists in theater, conceptual art, and dance in the United States and England. An actress and director, Hodges Persley has credits in theater, film, and television. Her solo performances have been featured at The California Hip-hop Theater Festival, The Hudson Theater, The Kansas City Fringe Festival, and Highways Performance Space. She has published articles on Jay-Z and Suzan-Lori Parks, with forthcoming work on Nikki S. Lee and Jean Genet.
Jenise Hudson is a doctoral candidate at Florida State University, where she is at work on her dissertation on twentieth and twenty-first-century representations of black, female, middle-class mental health in African American literature. Her research interests include race, class, and gender representations in contemporary film, black queer studies, black feminist studies, and African American mental health studies. Her essay, "The Backhand of Backlash: Troubling the Gender Politics of Domestic Violence Scenes in Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys," will appear in the forthcoming edited collection, Screening the Dark Side of Love: From Euro-Horror to American Cinema.
David Ikard is an associate professor of African American literature in the Department of English at Florida State University. A Ford Post-doctoral Fellow and member of the Scholars Network on Black Masculinity, Ikard has lectured widely on issues ranging from black feminist studies to black popular culture. He has published two books, Breaking the Silence: Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism (2007) and Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama's Post-Racial America (forthcoming), co-authored with Martell Teasley. He has also published essays in African American Review, MELUS, CLA, Obsidian III, and African and Black Diaspora Journal. Ikard is currently working on a book-length project, Hidden in Plain Sight: Understanding Black Empowerment in the Twenty-First Century, which identifies and engages paths beyond the twenty-first-century socioeconomic obstacles that frustrate black empowerment across gender, class, sexuality, and ideological lines. Ikard is the founder of the blog Nation of Cowards (http://nationofcowards.blogspot.com). You can follow him on Twitter @blkeducator.
Michael P. Jeffries is the Sidney R. Knafel Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at Wellesley College. His teaching and research are devoted to the cultural sociology of race and ethnicity, hip hop...