William Jelani Cobb is an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Institute. He specializes in post-Civil War African American history, 20th century American politics and the history of the Cold War. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations. Professor. Cobb is the author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama & the Paradox of Progress (Bloomsbury 2010) and To The Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic (NYU Press 2007) which was a finalist for the National Award for Arts Writing. His collection The Devil & Dave Chappelle and Other Essays (Thunder’s Mouth Press) was also published in 2007. He is editor of The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader. Born and raised in Queens, NY, he was educated at Jamaica High School, Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Rutgers University where he received his doctorate in American History in May 2003.
Professor Cobb’s forthcoming book is titled Antidote to Revolution: African American Anticommunism and the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1931-1957. His articles and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the Daily Beast, the Washington Post, Essence, Vibe, The Progressive, and TheRoot.com. He has contributed to a number of anthologies including In Defense of Mumia, Testimony, Mending the World and Beats, Rhymes and Life. He has also been a featured commentator on MSNBC, National Public Radio, CNN, Al-Jazeera, CBS News and a number of other national broadcast outlets.