I, W. Gabriel Selassie

Academic Historian

W. Gabriel Selassie I holds a joint appointment as the Ralph Bunche associate professor of African American and U.S. History at the Los Angeles City College.  He was born in Arizona and resided on the Navajo Indian Reservation before moving to California.  He earned a Bachelors of Architecture (5 year professional) from Prairie View A & M University of Texas (HBCU). He earned an M.A. from the California State University at Dominguez Hills in Public History, He also earned an M.A. in African American studies at the University of California at Los Angeles where he did extensive course work in African American nationalism under Robert Hill. He also earned an M.A., and Ph.D. in history from the Claremont Graduate University.

Cornel Ronald West (1953– )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Cornel West is one of the most recognizable and preeminent intellectuals of his generation.  West has authored 19 books and edited another 13.  He is best known for his book Race Matters (1994) and in his role as a public intellectual.  … Read MoreCornel Ronald West (1953– )

Abram Lincoln Harris Jr. (1899-1963)

Abram Lincoln Harris, Jr., the grandson of slaves, was the first nationally recognized black economist. Harris was highly respected for his work that focused primarily on class analysis, black economic life, and labor to illustrate the structural inadequacies of race and racial ideologies.  Harris’s major … Read MoreAbram Lincoln Harris Jr. (1899-1963)

Pearl Cleage (1948- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Born on December 7, 1948 in Springfield, Massachusetts to well known black nationalist minister Albert Buford Cleage (later Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman) and school teacher Doris Graham Cleage, Pearl Cleage grew up in Detroit, Michigan and entered Howard University in Washington, D.C. … Read MorePearl Cleage (1948- )

Josiah Thomas Walls (1832–1905)

First elected to the Congress in 1870, Josiah T. Walls became Florida’s first elected African American Congressman. Walls was born a slave in Winchester, Virginia on December 30, 1842.  He was conscripted by the Confederate Army and captured in Yorktown by Union forces in 1862.  … Read MoreJosiah Thomas Walls (1832–1905)

John Henrik Clarke (1915-1998)

Image Ownership: Public Domain John Henrik Clarke, historian, black nationalist, and Pan-Africanist, was a pioneer in the formation of Africana studies in the United States.  Principally a self-trained historian, Clarke dedicated his life to correcting what he argued was the prevailing view that people of … Read MoreJohn Henrik Clarke (1915-1998)

J. Saunders Redding (1906-1988)

Image Ownership: Public Domain James Thomas Saunders Redding was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1906 to Lewis Alfred Redding and Mary Ann Holmes.  Redding earned a bachelor of philosophy (Ph.B.) in 1928 and later a master of arts (M.A.) in 1932 from Brown University.  Redding … Read MoreJ. Saunders Redding (1906-1988)

John Gibbs St. Clair Drake (1911-1990)

Image Ownership: Public Domain John Gibbs St. Clair Drake was an American anthropologist and sociologist and the founding Director of Stanford University’s African and African American Studies Department in 1968.  Drake was born in Suffolk, Virginia on January 2, 1911.  Drake’s father immigrated to the … Read MoreJohn Gibbs St. Clair Drake (1911-1990)

Lester Oliver Bankhead (1912-1997)

Lester Oliver Bankhead was among a handful of pioneering black architects in Los Angeles in the 1950s.  Although he faced the racial prejudice of his time, he was able to obtain work from Hollywood celebrities, such as actor Lorne Greene of the television series Bonanza; … Read MoreLester Oliver Bankhead (1912-1997)