Melissa Harris-Lacewell

Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton

Melissa Harris-Lacewell is Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University. She received her B.A. in English from Wake Forest University, her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University and an honorary doctorate from Meadville Lombard Theological School. She is also a student at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

She is author Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, (Princeton 2004). This text demonstrates how African Americans develop political ideas through ordinary conversations in places like barbershops, churches, and popular culture. The work was awarded the 2005 W.E.B. DuBois book award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. It is also the winner of the 2005 Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Her academic research has been published in scholarly journals and edited volumes and her interests include the study of African American political thought, black religious ideas and practice, and social and clinical psychology. She is at work on a new book: For Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn't Enough. It is an examination of the connections between shame, sadness, and strength in African American women's politics.

Professor Harris-Lacewell's writings have been published in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Crain's Chicago Business and New York Newsday. She has provided expert commentary on U.S. elections, racial issues, religious questions and gender issues for the New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, NBC, Fox, Public Television, Showtime, Black Enterprise, National Public Radio and many other radio and print sources around the country.

Professor Harris-Lacewell is a dynamic public speaker who often addresses youth groups, colleges, churches and other organizations. She keeps a political web log at

She is the mother of a five-year old daughter.

May 25, 2011

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