Stephens, Ronald J.

Ronald J. Stephens is Professor of African American Studies and an affiliate of the American Studies Program in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Purdue University. Stephens’s research interests focus on black leisure and recreation, urban history, and African American biography. Owing to his national reputation as an Idlewild scholar, he is author of Idlewild: The Rise, Decline and Rebirth of a Unique African American Resort Town (University of Michigan Press, 2013); Idlewild: The Black Eden of Michigan (Arcadia Publishing, 2001); African Americans of Denver (Arcadia Publishing, 2008), and lead co-editor with Adam Ewing of Global Garveyism (University Press of Florida, 2019). Dr. Stephens is also author of several groundbreaking local studies on the Garvey movement in the United States, among other topics in which he has published articles in the Journal of Black Studies, Black Scholar, and Black Diaspora Review. He has appeared on and been cited in several programs, including Idlewild: The Real Thing (an edition of Tony Brown’s Journal), Idlewild (an NPR production), Idlewild: Rebuilding Paradise (a Flint’s ABC 12 Special program), Are We There Yet? Americans on Vacation (a History Channel program), Idlewild, Michigan: A Black Historical Resort (Milwaukee’s Black Nouveau series), and Historic African American Towns (a High Noon Productions for Home and Gardens Television).