The Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton, Perry has written and taught on a number of topics regarding race and African American culture. Using methods of discussion and analysis from various fields of study—including law, literary and cultural studies, music, and the social sciences—Perry’s work often focuses on multifaceted issues such as the influence of race on law, literature and music.
In her work, Perry has taken on complicated and timely issues. In her 2011 book, More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States, for example, Perry discusses the ongoing intersection of race and politics in America.
In addition to More Beautiful, More Terrible, Perry is the author of Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop and May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem, a cultural history of the black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Her biography of Lorraine Hansberry, Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant Life of Lorraine Hansberry was recently published in September 2018. Perry’s forthcoming book on patriarchy, Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation is expected later in 2018 as well.
Perry has published numerous articles in the areas of law, cultural studies and African American Studies. She also wrote the notes and introduction to the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Narrative of Sojourner Truth.
Perry received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University. From there, she went on to obtain both her J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D in the history of American civilization from Harvard University.