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Peniel E. Joseph is an American scholar, teacher, and leading public voice on race issues who holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Joseph joined UT Austin in the Fall of 2015 from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts where he founded the school’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) to promote engaged research and scholarship focused on the ways issues of race and democracy impact the lives of global citizens. He founded and directs the second Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) on the University of Texas campus, housed at the LBJ School in the Spring of 2016.

Peniel E. Joseph
New York, NY
OccupationAmerican Historian
NationalityHaitian American/African American

Joseph is the founder of the "Black Power Studies" subfield of American History and American Civil Rights History which encompasses interdisciplinary fields such as Africana studies, law and society, women’s and ethnic studies, and political science. Joseph has served on the faculties of the University of Rhode Island, SUNY—Stony Brook, Brandeis University and Tufts University.

In addition to being a frequent national commentator on issues of race, democracy, civil rights, Joseph wrote the award-winning books Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America and Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama. His most recent book, Stokely: A Life, has been called the definitive biography of Stokely Carmichael, the man who popularized the phrase “black power” and led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as the SNCC.

Joseph at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2019

Included among Joseph’s other book credits is the editing of The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era and Neighborhood Rebels: Black Power at the Local Level. As a national commentator, Joseph has spoken to NPR, the 2008 Democratic and Republic National Conventions, PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and CSPAN. He has also appeared on NBC's Morning Joe, and the Colbert Report. He is the recipient of fellowships from Harvard University's Charles Warren Center and the Hutchins Center at the W.E.B. du Bois Research Institute, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Ford Foundation, his essays have appeared in The Journal of American History, The Chronicle Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Black Scholar, Souls, and American Historical Review and he is a frequent contributor to CNN and Newsweek.

Early yearsEdit

Joseph was born and raised in New York. His mother, a Haitian immigrant to the United States, was a major influence on his current work. Because of her, Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture) and other like leaders were household names during Joseph's upbringing.

Joseph attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies and European History. He received a Ph.D. in American History from Temple University in 2000.


  • Waiting 'til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America. New York: Henry Holt and Co, 2006. According to WorldCat, the book is held in 1530 libraries.[1] It was reviewed in The American Historical Review,[2] Journal of African American History [3] Contemporary Sociology,[4]
  • Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama. New York, NY: BasicCivitas Books, 2010. According to WorldCat, held in 1120 libraries [1]
  • Stokely: A Life. , 2014. (a biography of Stokely Carmichael.)
  • The Black Power Movement : Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era New York : Routledge, 2006. Reviewed in Journal of American History [5]
  • Neighborhood Rebels : Black Power at the Local Level New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.


  1. ^ a b WorldCat author listing
  2. ^ by Emilye Crosby, The American Historical Review, v112 n5 (20071201): 1575-1576
  3. ^ Felix L Armfield Journal of African American History, v92 n4 (20071001): 574-575
  4. ^ Charles M Payne Contemporary Sociology v37 n2 (20080301): 167-168
  5. ^ Simon Hall, The Journal of American History, v93 n4 (20070301): 1326-1327

External linksEdit