Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Assistant Professor & Charles H. Mcilwain University Preceptor
Department of African American Studies
[On Leave Spring 2019]
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Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (Haymarket Books, 2016), an examination of the history and politics of Black America and the development of the social movement Black Lives Matter in response to police violence in the United States. Taylor has received the Lannan Foundation’s Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book. 

Taylor’s most recent book, How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, also with Haymarket Books (2017) won the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction.

Taylor’s research examines race and public policy including American housing policies. Dr. Taylor is currently completing a manuscript titled Race for Profit: Black Homeownership and the End of the Urban Crisis, which looks at the federal government's promotion of single-family homeownership in Black communities after the urban rebellions of the 1960s. Taylor looks at how the federal government's turn to market-based solutions in its low-income housing programs in the 1970s impacted Black neighborhoods, Black women on welfare, and emergent discourses on the urban “underclass”. Taylor is interested in the role of private sector forces, typically hidden in public policy making and execution, in the “urban crisis” of the 1970s.

Taylor’s research has been supported, in part, by a multiyear Northwestern University Presidential Fellowship, the Ford Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. Taylor was the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013-2014. Taylor received her Ph.D from the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University in 2013.