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Assistant Professor


Ph.D., African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley
M.A., African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley
M.A., Political Science, Howard University
B.A., Political Science, San Diego State University

Teaching and Research Interests:

African American politics; African American political thought; race and U.S. foreign relations; twentieth century African American history; race and public policy; history of U.S. foreign relations

Current Research:

Ronald Williams II is a political historian whose current research interests center on the influence of African Americans on U.S. foreign relations (particularly toward African and the African Diaspora) in the post-Civil Rights era.

He is currently writing a history of the African American foreign policy advocacy organization, TransAfrica. Tentatively titled, “Black Embassy: TransAfrica and the Rise and Fall of the African American Foreign Policy Lobby,” this project chronicles TransAfrica’s story from its conceptual origins in the early 1970s, through its dissolution in 2014. Drawing upon extensive archival research and more that sixty original oral history interviews, “Black Embassy” will ben the first book-length study on the most successful and longest lasting foreign policy lobby in African American history.

Selected Publications:

Ronald Williams II. 2011. “The New Negro in African American Politics: Barack Obama and the Politics of Racial Representation.” In The Obama Phenomenon: Toward a Multiracial Democracy. Charles P. Henry, Robert L. Allen, and Robert Chrisman, eds. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Ronald Williams II. 2010. “From Anti-Colonialism to Anti-Apartheid: African American Political Organizations and African Liberation, 1957-1993.” In African Americans and Global Affairs: Contemporary Perspectives. Michael Clemons, ed. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

Ronald Williams II. 2008. “Barack Obama and the Complicated Boundaries of Blackness.” Black Scholar, Vol. 38, No. 1, 55-61.