Department of Sociology
The University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-0490
My research program centers on race, gender, sexuality, and contemporary social movements. I am most interested in how these identities intersect to affect overall well-being by creating spaces of Black Joy and Respite for Black women and Black Queer people struggling for liberation. My theoretical basis for this agenda is to build upon Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, and Black Radical Social Movement Theory. My goal is to further the notion that race, gender, class, and sexuality act as vectors of oppressions central to global capitalism and systemic oppression, particularly dealing with the use of state violence. As noted by Kimberlee Crenshaw:
When the lives of marginalized Black women are centered, a clearer picture of structural oppressions emerges. No analysis of state violence against Black bodies can be complete without including all Black bodies within its frame. Until we say the names and tell the stories of the entire Black community, we cannot truly claim to fight for all Black lives. (Crenshaw et al. 2015: 30).
For this reason, extending these theoretical conceptualizations has guided my research and my political praxis.
I have published and presented research on (1) my role as a teacher and team leader in a service-learning project after the political mobilization in Ferguson following the killing of Michael Brown, (2) the possibilities of the Black Lives Matter Movement’s impact when reviewing Frantz Fanon’s theoretical perspective, and (3) my ongoing research project on Black women movement actors in the District of Columbia, Maryland and the Deep South. These works are in Issues in Race & Society: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal, Humanity & Society, and Societies without Borders: Human Rights and the Social Sciences. These articles center on my passion for extending the literature on an Intersectional approach to evaluate the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and how it informs contemporary political movements. This research is done to reclaim the roots of Intersectionality as a critique of global capitalism on Black women. All in all, my research agenda evaluates the current state of global capitalism as described by the rates of incarceration, unemployment, deportation, poverty, health care coverage, state violence, and homelessness on the local, national, and global level. Each of these issues warrants local, national, and international policy changes and emphasizes a need for revolutionizing welfare and a global commitment to human rights.
As I build on my research, I aim to build upon Critical Race, Intersectionality, and Black Radical Social Movement Theory to extend their theoretical conceptions and offer pragmatic suggestions for civil and human rights. I have three articles published and three under review to further this objective. These articles highlight the sources of social inequalities for people on the margins, in and out of movement spaces, and provides a basis for a purposeful research agenda. My next stage of research has been funded to allow me to follow this movement throughout the mid-Atlantic region to the South under Trump’s presidency and to outline the challenges and goals of movement actors, Black spaces and enclaves. Because of this, I have been able to create a research agenda that evolves and will carry me long into my career as a Social Movement Scholar using an Intersectional lens.
- AFST 450: Issues/Topics Afr-Am Studies
(Topics include: contemporary Black social movements, reproductive justice, and criminal justice)
- AFST 435: North America and the Diaspora
- AFST 510: Special Topics
(Graduate seminar: Historical Black social movements to the present)
- SOCI 466: SpTp: Issues in Race/Ethnicity
(Undergraduate seminar: Historical Black social movements to the present)