Scholars

 

Johanna Fernández, Baruch College, City University, New York


Johanna Fernández teaches 20th-Century U.S. History and the history of social movements in the Department of History at Baruch College of the City University of New York. She is currently completing a manuscript on the history of the Young Lords titled, When the World Was Their Stage: A History of the Young Lords Party, 1969–1976. In 2014, Dr. Fernández filed a lawsuit against the NYPD for its failure to release to her surveillance records of the Young Lords. In June 2016, her suit led to the recovery of the "lost" Handschu files, the largest repository of police surveillance records of New York activists, dating back to 1905. In 2015, the exhibition project she co-curated, ¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York was cited by the New York Times as one of the Top 10, Best In Art of that year. Fernández has received numerous awards, including the Fulbright Scholars grant to the Middle East and the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship of the Scholars-in-Residence program at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library. Professor Fernández is the editor of Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal (City Lights, 2015). With Mumia Abu-Jamal she co-edited a special issue of the journal Socialism and Democracy, titled The Roots of Mass Incarceration in the US: Locking Up Black Dissidents and Punishing the Poor (Routledge, 2014).  She is the writer and producer of the film, Justice on Trial: the Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal (Big Noise Films, 2010).


Duchess Harris, Macalester College


Duchess Harris' fourth book, Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA is about the Black women who did mathematical calculations for John Glenn to go to the moon. Harris was motivated to write this book with Sue Bradford Edwards because her grandmother was in the group of the first 11recruited to work at NASA. 

She is a professor and chair of the American Studies Department at Macalester College.  Her other publications are the co-authored book, Black Lives Matter (Essential Library) with Sue Bradford Edwards, Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton/Obama (Palgrave Macmillan), and an edited volume with Bruce Baum, Racially Writing the Republic: Racists, Race Rebels, and Transformations of American Identity (Duke University Press).


Robyn C. Spencer, Lehman College, City University, New York


Robyn C. Spencer is an historian that focuses on Black social protest after World War II, urban and working-class radicalism, and gender. She teaches survey and seminar courses on African American Heritage, Civil rights and Black Power and Black women's history in the US at Lehman College, City University of New York.

Professor Spencer's writings on the Black Panther Party have appeared in the Journal of Women's History, Souls, Radical Teacher and several collections of essays on the 1960s. Spencer's article “Engendering the Black Freedom Struggle: Revolutionary Black Womanhood and the Black Panther Party in the Bay Area, California” was published in the Journal of Women's History (Vol. 20, No. 1, Spring 2008) and awarded the 2008 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Article Prize by the Association of Black Women Historians. Her book,The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland, on gender and the organizational evolution of the Black Panther Party in Oakland was published by Duke University Press in December 2016.

In 2016-17 she received a Mellon fellowship at Yale University to work on her second book project, “To Build the World Anew: Black Liberation Politics and the Movement Against the Vietnam War.” This project examines how working class African Americans’ anti-imperialist consciousness in the 1950s-1970s shaped their engagement with the movement against the Vietnam War.