Dr. Tukufu Zuberi

Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania; host, PBS’ 'History Detectives'

Dr. Tukufu Zuberi is dedicated to bringing a fresh view of culture and society to the public through various platforms. Currently, his work focuses on the production of his first feature-length documentary, titled African Independence.

African Independence is a feature-length documentary covering the epic story of the most important events to happen on the African continent since enslavement and colonization by Europeans. The film highlights the birth, realization and problems confronted by the movement to win independence in Africa. The story is told by channeling the voices of freedom fighters and leaders who achieved independence, liberty and justice for African people. For more information, please visit

Dr. Zuberi is popularly known as a host on the hit Public Broadcasting System (PBS) series History Detectives. History Detectives is devoted to exploring the complexities of historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends and interesting objects. Currently in its 10th season, History Detectives regularly shows the way that individual objects can serve as lenses into the past. As a history detective, Dr. Zuberi is an observer of the social and cultural forces that shape historical mysteries in American society.

Born out of his long history with PBS and the marriage of scholarship and visual media, Dr. Zuberi created TZ Production Company to develop new-media projects that focus on themes of Africa, the African diaspora and diversity. Dr. Zuberi is dedicated to bringing a critical, creative vision not typically seen or heard on the big and small screen.

Dr. Zuberi’s research focuses on race and African and African diaspora populations. He developed and expanded the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also been a visiting professor at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Professor Zuberi holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago, is the author or editor of several books, articles, essays and reviews, and has received numerous awards for his academic work.

Dr. Zuberi is curating two forthcoming exhibits at Philadelphia-area museums. "Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware," opening May 2013 at the Independence Seaport Museum, explores the idea of freedom through the evolution of the African experience along the Delaware, using the lens of four key moments -- enslavement, emancipation, Jim Crow and the civil rights movement -- over 300 years of Philadelphia history. In this exhibition, gripping first-person accounts, immersive scenes, interactive elements and authentic artifacts encourage visitors to participate: to uncover the past, to bear witness to a story central to Philadelphia and American history, and to think about the meaning of freedom in today’s world.

"Black Bodies in Propaganda: Art of the War Poster," opening June 2013 at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, presents a powerful collection of propaganda posters highlighting African and African-American involvement from the American Civil War to African independence movements. The posters speak to historical issues related to the recruitment, mobilization and recognition of African and African-American populations.

Dr. Tukufu Zuberi is the Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations at the University of Pennsylvania and currently serves as Professor and Chair of Sociology at Penn.

For more information on his current and past projects, please visit

December 6, 2017
December 6, 2017
December 6, 2017
December 6, 2017

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