As non-Black latinx people, we need to actively work towards anti-racist behaviors. Commiting to amplify Black voices and educate ourselves is part of this ongoing process. However, a few weeks of re-posting on Instagram and Twitter are not enough to deconstruct the racist histories we have been taught over the course of our whole lives. White, heteronormative voices have overwritten, manipulated, and erased Black histories for years. It is about time that we follow more Black scholars, so here are a few:
Historian Blair Imani is a public historian, author, public speaker and activist who centers women and girls, global Black communities, and LGBTQ communities in her work. As a queer, Black, muslim woman, she often discusses the intersection of her identities and always advocates for the rights of marginalized people around the world. Besides following her on Instagram and Twitter, we should also listen to her podcast America Did What?! and get her books Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History (2018) and Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and The Black American Dream (2020).
Dr. Cynthia Greenlee is a journalist, writer and scholar. She has a Ph.D. in history from Duke University, where she specialized in late 19th century history, African-Americans, gender, and the law. She is a Southerner by birth, residence and culture. Dr. Greenlee is passionate about reproductive justice and politics. In her writing, she wants to bridge the gap between academic and non-academic readers and “needs to show the present is always in bed with the past,” she says. Follow her on Twitter to find more of her work!
Michael W. Twitty is a Judaics teacher, author and culinary Historian, focusing on the foodways of Africa, enslaved African Americans, and the African and Jewish diasporas. In his blog, Afroculinaria, Michael explores and honors the Southern food heritage and traces his ancestry through food. He has also been outspoken about his personal experiences as a Black, gay, Jewish man. Follow him on his Twitter and Facebook accounts to learn more about what he calls “culinary justice.”
Blair LM Kelley is Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and International programs and Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University, and an award-winning author. She’s been an active historian on “academic Twitter” for over a decade, being highlighted as one of the top-tweeting historians by History News Network. Follow her on Twitter to listen to her interviews, read her articles, learn about her research and enjoy her humor.
Alayo Akinkugbe is a Nigerian studenting Art History at Cambridge University. On this Instagram account, she highlights recent and historical pieces by Black artists and educates audiences on the history behind them. The account emerged as a result of “[her] frustration at the lack of Black representation in the field of art history as an academic discipline,” she shared. She’s challenging higher education curricula and highlighting Black artists, sitters, curators, and thinkers one post at a time.
Dr. Keisha N. Blain is a historian of the 20th century United States with interdisciplinary concentrations in African American history, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her latest book is “Set the World on Fire” (2018), where she focuses on Black nationalist women engaged in national and global politics from the early 20th century to the 1960s. If you’re interested in Black internationalism, radical politics and global feminisms, follow her on Twitter ASAP.
Cheyney McKnight is a public historian, historical interpreter, activist, and performance artist. Cheyney has interpreted 18th, early 19th and mid-19th century slavery as a Living Historian in 26 states, and has worked with over 45 historic sites. As the founder and owner of Not Your Momma’s History, she has contributed to museums and historical sites in developing specialized programming about slavery and the African experience within 18th and 19th century America.
Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers is a #FirstGen Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, where she specializes in the history of American slavery, and women’s and gender history. She became the first African American and third woman to win the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History with They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South (Yale University Press, 2019). Follow her on Twitter to read her takes on politics, get her book recommendations, and check out her news article pieces.
Shelby Ivey Christie is a Fashion and Costume Historian. She examines fashion through the lens of race, class and culture. Shelby is a Vogue alum and currently is working toward her M.A. in Costume Studies at NYU while working as a luxury marketing manager. Follow her on Twitter to learn more about Blackness in fashion.
Riley Snorton is a Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago who wrote “Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity” (University of Minnesota Press, 2017). As a Black, Queer, Trans person, his research and teaching expertise include cultural theory, queer and transgender theory and history, Africana studies, performance studies and popular culture. Don’t know much about the intersections of transness and Blackness? Follow him on Twitter.
Gabrielle Foreman is a literary historian, an activist and an award-winning Professor of English, History, and Africana Studies at the University of Delaware. She is also the author of “Activist Sentiments: Reading Black Women Writers.” Gabrielle is considered a leader in Black digital and public history. Follow her on Twitter to listen to her talks and read her articles!
Noelle Deleon is a trans-femme interdisciplinary artist and archivist, working toward her degree in social work. She educates people on Black and LGBTQ histories on Twitter. One of Noelle’s most interacted tweets was “The History of Femme Queen Performance.” After following her on Twitter, we should also contribute to her Breast Augmentation fundraiser here.
Nikki A. Greene is Assistant Professor of Art History at Wellesley College, Visual Arts Editor at Harvard University, and a public speaker. Dr. Greene examines African American and African diaspora identities, the body, feminism, abstraction, and music in modern and contemporary art. She has written for multiple journals, news organizations and museums. On her Twitter, she engages with others’ work and shares her own.
Zanele Muholi is a photographer and activist, archiving visual history of Black lesbians in post-apartheid South Africa and worldwide. For over a decade, they have documented Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people’s lives. Their mission is “to re-write a Black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond.” Follow them to see their projects.
Jorge Rodríguez V is a theologist, sociologist, historian and the son of Puerto Rican migrants. His story of diaspora, language, gender, race and dis/ability has propelled his academic journey, leading him to degrees in biblical studies, social theory and liberation theology. Jorge often tweets threads on religion, spirituality, colonialism and race. Follow him to read his content!
Katelina Eccleston (or @unagatasata) is a “Comunicadora Social,” graphic designer, and the daughter of Panamanian parents. She is the creator of @ReggaetonXGata, where she posts and informs audiences about the (Black) history of this music genre. She is completing various reggaeton multimedia projects, Latinx culture, and comedy multimedia projects.
Ayah Nuriddin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation analyzes African American engagement with eugenics, hereditarian thought and racial science as part of a broader strategy of racial improvement and Black liberation. She also published an essay on Nursing Clio, “The Black Politics of Eugenics.” Follow her on Twitter for more of her work.
Educating ourselves is only the beginning, but it’s an important part of the work. Listening to the voices of Black scholars will give us the tools to fight against the whitewashing of (Black) histories of medicine, women, art, queerness, photography, religion, fashion, food, and culture.