African-American and African Studies
267 19th Ave S
I am an African Americanist trained as a historian of modern America. I write the history of the African American-led unfinished struggle for democracy in the twentieth century called the Black freedom movement that intersects with places rarely seen as centers of the African American experience, namely Japan and Okinawa. Of late, my scholarly agenda centers on local history research and writing, as well as collaborative community-based research and action. Specifically, I am working on the following projects: (1) the civil rights unionism of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in St. Paul and Minneapolis between 1925 and 1945; (2) Japanese American resettlement in the Twin Cities between 1942 and 1946 and its impact on an emergent Minnesota-brand of racial liberalism that ultimately buoyed Hubert Humphrey's political leadership, both statewide and nationally; and (3) the development of ethnic studies curricula in local high schools. In addition, I continue to investigate the genesis of occupied Okinawa. This long-range research explores how U.S. colonialism toward Okinawa during the early Cold War years was fashioned through comparison and symbiotic ties to other U.S. overseas territories, namely the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (commonly known as Micronesia) and the Panama Canal Zone. At the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, I primarily teach undergraduate courses in both African American & African Studies and Asian American Studies. I began my academic career in the Center for Ethnic Studies at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY). I have also taught African American studies courses at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan.