Tommie Shelby

Tommie Shelby

Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy
Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies
Picture of Tommie Shelby

On sabbatical Fall 2021 & Spring 2022

Interests: Africana philosophy, social and political philosophy, philosophy of race, social theory, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tommie Shelby received his B.A. from Florida A & M University (1990) and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh (1998). Prior to coming to Harvard in 2000, he taught philosophy at Ohio State University (1996-2000). He is the author of Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform (Belknap, 2016); We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity (Belknap, 2005); and coeditor (with Derrick Darby) of Hip Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason (Open Court, 2005). Other recent publications include:

“Richard Wright: Realizing the Promise of the West,” in African American Political Thought: A Collected History, ed. Melvin Rogers and Jack Turner (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, forthcoming).

“Impure Dissent: Hip Hop and the Political Ethics of Marginalized Black Urban Youth,” in From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in a Digital Age, ed. Danielle Allen and Jennifer S. Light (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), pp. 59-79.

“Liberalism, Self-Respect, and Troubling Cultural Patterns in Ghettos,” in The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth, ed. Orlando Patterson and Ethan Fosse (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015), pp. 498-532.

“Inequality, Integration, and Imperatives of Justice: A Review Essay,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 42 (Summer 2014): 253-285.

“Racism, Moralism, and Social Criticism,” Du Bois Review 11.1 (2014): 57-74.

“Racial Realities and Corrective Justice: A Reply to Charles Mills,” Critical Philosophy of Race 1.2 (2013): 145-162.

“Race” in The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy, ed. David Estlund (Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 336-353.

“The Ethics of Uncle Tom’s Children,” Critical Inquiry 38 (Spring 2012): 513-532.

"Justice and Racial Conciliation: Two Visions," Daedalus 140 (Winter 2011): 95-107.

Contact Information

Department of African and African American Studies
12 Quincy St. Barker Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
Fax: (617) 496-2871
p: (617) 496-8546