Dr. Bill Strickland


Bill Strickland Associate Professor, W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Boston Latin School, Harvard College, and Harvard University, PhD 1977

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Professor Bill Strickland is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Harvard College, and Harvard University where he received his graduate degree in 1977 for his dissertation on the Martin-iquean psychiatrist and anti-colonial theoretician, Frantz Fanon.

A scholar-activist, during the Sixties, Dr. Strickland was Executive Director of the Northern Student Movement, worked in Ruleville, Mississippi for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and then returned North to be the Northern Coordinator of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party’s Congressional Challenge. He was a founding member of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity in 1964 and in 1969 was also a founding member of the Atlanta-based Institute of the Black World, the first independent black think tank of the modern era.


Invitations to the White House—I was honored to have been invited to President Clinton’s Reception honoring “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Children of the Civil Rights Movement,” January 17, 1994.

On 20 January 1997, I was invited as well to the second Inauguration Ceremonies of William Jefferson Clinton.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives gave me an official Citation of Congratulations for my “contributions to the cause of civil rights in America, 15 January 1998.

The City of Springfield and Mayor Michael Albano, in conjunction with station, WGBY, gave me the “Eyes on the Prize” award “in recognition of my contribution to the cause of civil rights in the greater Springfield area.”

U.S. Conferences Attended and Papers Presented

Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Discussant at Symposium convened by Small Axe Magazine and African Studies Department on “Diasporic Knowledges: Caribbean Inflections and African American Conversations, April 7-9, 2005.

Chicago Panelist, 39th Annual National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) on Identity Politics in the U.S. and Abroad: Race, the Black Diaspora, and Electoral Politics, March 19-22, 2008.

Birmingham—Chaired panel, “Before Busing: The Origins of Boston’s Civil Rights Movement,” ASALH, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, October 1-5, 2008.


2001: Forward, “A Question of Manhood: A Reader in U.S. Black Men’s History of Masculinity,” edited by Darlene Clark Hine and Earnestine Jenkins, Vol. 2., The 19th Century: From Emancipation to Jim Crow, Indiana.

2004: “Things Fall Apart: Black Struggle in Imperial America and the Need for An Adequate Theory of Emancipation for the 21st Century," The Black Scholar, Vol. 34, #3.

2006: “Critik: The Institute of the Black World (IBW), The Political Legacy of Martin Luther King and the Intellectual Struggle to Rethink America’s Racial Meaning,” in Radicalism in the South Since Reconstruction, eds. Chris Green, Rachel Rubin and James Smethurst, Palgrave.

2007: I was elected to the Board of the on-line magazine, blackcommentator.com for whom I write articles when time permits, e.g., “Boxed In: What Do We Do if They Steal This Election Too?” August 9th, 2007;

2008: “Du Bois’s Revenge: Reinterrogating American Democratic Theory…Or Why We Need a Revolutionary Black Research Agenda in the 21st Century," Souls, Vol. 10, #2 (Spring, 2008).

“Black People, George Bush and Overcoming the Politics of Armageddon,” in blackcommentator.com. April 17, 2008.

2009—Book review, Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African-American Politics, American Studies Journal, Spring, Vol. 49, #1.

Forthcoming: On the Road to Freedom: A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail, Charles E. Cobb, Jr., The Journal of African American History (Summer, 2009).

“Obama and the Illusion of Bipartisanship,” Race and Class, Institute of Race Relations, London, July-September, 2009.