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Mark Anthony Neal        

Author, Cultural Critic, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of African & African American Studies

Mark Anthony Neal is James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of African & African American Studies, Professor of English, and Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, and Chair of the Department of African & African American Studies at Duke University, where he teaches courses in Black Popular Culture including signature courses on the history of Black Humor, Black Masculinity, and Motown & American Culture.

Neal is the author of six books including the recently published "Black Ephemera: The Crisis and Challenge of the Musical Archive" (2022), "What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Public Culture" (1999), "Soul Babies: Black Popular Culture, the Post-Soul Aesthetic" (2002) and "Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities" (2013), and co-editor, with Murray Forman and Regina Bradley, of "That’s The Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader" (now in its third edition).

Neal has been featured in several documentaries including PBS’s "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes," Netflix’s "The Two Killings of Sam Cooke," and A&E’s "Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution," and even portrayed himself in an episode of the BET scripted drama, "Being Mary Jane," which starred Gabrielle Union.

At Duke, Neal directs the Center for Arts, Digital Culture and Entrepreneurship (CADCE) which produces original digital content, including the weekly Webby-nominated video podcast "Left of Black," now in its 14th season, produced in collaboration with the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke. Neal’s next book, "Save a Seat for Me: Meditations on Black Masculinity and Fatherhood" will be published by Simon & Schuster. Neal is a member of the Delta Zeta Sigma Graduate Chapter (Durham) of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Speech Topics

Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement

50 Years of Hip-Hop

Black Fatherhood/Black Masculinity


Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin, an Icon of the Civil Rights ...
Mark Anthony Neal. James B. Duke professor of African & African American studies at Duke University, where he is also the founding director of the Center for ...
Hip-hop works to break down mental health stigma for black men
Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African and African American Studies at Duke University, believes black people suffering from mental illness tend not to ...
Left of Black Web Series Now Appearing at The Root TV
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs isn’t the only one launching a video revolution this year. We recently launched our premiere digital-video hub, The Root TV, which features a juicy concoction of relevant news clips, provocative Web series and compelling interview segments that we produce in-house...

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