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Russell Rickford

Associate Professor

Russell Rickford

Mcgraw Hall

Educational Background

Ph.D., Columbia University, History

M.A., Columbia University, African American Studies

B.A., Howard University, Journalism


Russell Rickford is an associate professor of history at Cornell University. He specializes in African-American political culture after World War II, the Black Radical Tradition, and transnational social movements. His book, We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination, received the 2016 Hooks Institute National Book Award and the 2017 OAH Liberty Legacy Foundation Award. He is currently working on a book about Guyana and African American radical politics in the 1970s.


  • Africana Studies and Research Center
  • American Studies Program
  • History

Graduate Fields

  • Africana Studies
  • History


Fall 2021


“‘These People are No Charles Mansons or Spaced-out Moonies’: Jonestown and African-American Expatriation in the 1970s,” in Expanding the Boundaries of Black Intellectual History, Brandon Byrd, Leslie Alexander, and Russell Rickford, eds. (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, forthcoming 2022).

“1944-1949,” in Four Hundred Souls, eds. Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain (New York: One World, 2021), 312-316.

“‘To Build a New World’: African American Internationalism and Palestine Solidarity,“ Journal of Palestine Studies 48, no. 4 (2019): 52-68.

“Black Power as Educational Renaissance: The Harlem Landscape,” in Educating Harlem: Schools and the Referendum on the American Dream, ed. Ansley Erickson (Columbia University Press, 2019), 210-233.

“African-American Expats, Guyana, and the Pan-African Ideal in the 1970s,” in New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition, Keisha N. Blain, Christopher Cameron, and Ashley Farmer, eds. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2018), 233-252.

“Power to the People: Attica and Radical Reconstruction,” Journal of Civil and Human Rights 3, no. 1 (2017): 96-99.

“‘We Can’t Grow Food on All This Concrete’: The Land Question, Agrarianism, and Black Nationalist Thought in the late 1960s and 1970s.” Journal of American History.  103. 2017

We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press. 2016

“Black Power and Education for Liberation.” in Black Power 50. Ed. Diouf, Sylviane and Komozi Woodard. New York: New Press. 51-69. 2016

“‘Kazi is the Blackest of All’: Pan African Nationalism and the Making of the ‘New Man’, 1969-1975.” Journal of African American History. 101:97-125. 2016

Black Lives Matter: Toward a Modern Practice of Mass Struggle. New Labor Forum.  Winter, 2015.

“‘Socialism From Below’: A Black Scholar's Marxist Genealogy.” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society. 13:371-392. 2011

Russell Rickford, ed., Beyond Boundaries: The Manning Marable Reader (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2011).

“Integration, Black Nationalism and Radical Democratic Transformation in African-American Philosophies of Education, 1966-74.” in The New Black History: Revisiting the Second Transformation. Ed. Hinton, Elizabeth Kai and Manning Marable. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 287-317. 2011

Betty Shabazz: A Life Before and After Malcolm X. Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks. 2003.

John Rickford and Russell Rickford, Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 2000.


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