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Keisha N. Blain    

Award-Winning Historian & Writer

Dr. Keisha N. Blain is one of the most innovative and influential young historians of her generation. Her research and writing examine the dynamics of race, gender, and politics in both national and global perspectives. She completed a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University in 2014. She is a Professor of Africana Studies and History at Brown University, a columnist for MSNBC, and former president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). She is also a 2022 recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

Dr. Blain is the author of "Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom" (2018), winner of the First Book Award from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and winner of the Darlene Clark Hine Award from the Organization of American Historians. Dr. Blain’s most recent book "Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America" (2021) was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and selected as a finalist for the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography.

Dr. Blain is also the co-editor of "To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism" (2019); "New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition" (2018); and "Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence" (2016). Her latest collection is the #1 New York Times Best Seller "Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019," edited with Ibram X. Kendi (2021). "Four Hundred Souls" was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Nonfiction.

Dr. Blain’s writing has been featured in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Nation, Foreign Affairs, and more. She frequently offers commentary on international, national, and local media outlets, such as BBC, PBS, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and Al Jazeera. She is the recipient of more than a dozen prestigious awards and fellowships, including a W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship at Harvard University and fellowships from New America, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Ford Foundation. In 2018, she was appointed to the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lectureship Program. She is a widely sought-after speaker on United States history, African American history, African Diaspora Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

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