Nishani Frazier

Associate Professor
Primary office:
213Q Bailey


Nishani Frazier is Associate Professor of American Studies and History at University of Kansas. Prior to University of Kansas, she held positions as Associate Curator of African American History and Archives at Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS), Assistant to the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Archives at the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and personal assistant for Dr. John Hope Franklin, before and during his tenure as chair of President Bill Clinton's advisory board on "One America".  

Her research interests include 1960s freedom movements, oral history, food, digital humanities, and black economic development. Nishani’s recent book publication, Harambee City: The Congress of Racial Equality in Cleveland and the Rise of Black Power Populism, was released with an accompanying website also titled Harambee City. 

Dr. Frazier is currently working on a tasty new book called Cooking With Black Nationalism.

Read her more recent pieces here:

The Return of Black Political Power: How 1970s History Can Guide New Black Mayors Toward a Radical City

David Garrow, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Politics of History

The FBI and the Mischaracterization of Bayard Rustin

You can follow her on Twitter at @SpelmanDiva or her website.


·   African American History/Studies

·   American Freedom Movements

·   Oral History

·   Research Methods

·   Public History

·   Community Economic Development

·   Digital History


Black Freedom & Resistance

·   Oral History & Historical Methods

·   Social Movements

·   Black economic development/gentrification

·   Black Digital Humanities

·   Anything that catches my interest

Selected Publications


Harambee City: The Congress of Racial Equality in Cleveland, Ohio and the Rise of Black Power Populism (University of Arkansas Press, 2017)

Freedom on My Mind: The Columbia Documentary History of the African American Experience, Manning Marable, Nishani Frazier, John McMillan, eds., (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003)


Policy Papers:

“A ‘New Direction’: Community Wealth Building Black Community, Then and Now” Next System, October 2020.


Digital Humanities Projects:

Voices of the Displaced: The Fight Over Sound and Space Gentrification - In progress

Harambee City: Black Economic Power and CORE in Cleveland


Published Articles & Chapters:

“We Love Through Time: A History of the Black Family,” in Black Families: A Systems Approach, (San Diego: Cognella, 2020)

Nishani Frazier, Wesley Hogan, et al., “Pedagogical Tools for Teaching Civil Rights,” FIRE!!!: The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies (September 2015) 

“The ‘Other’ Jim Jones: Rabbi David Hill, House of Israel, and Black American Religion in the Age of Peoples Temple,” The Jonestown Report, Volume 14 (October 2012)

“A McDonald’s That Reflects the Soul of a People: Hough Area Development Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio” in Laura Hill and Julia Rubig, eds., The Business of Black Power (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press: June 2012)

"Building a Black Nation: CORE, Black Power, and the Community Development Corporation Movement" in Manning Marable and Elizabeth Hinton, eds., The New Black History: Revisiting the Second Reconstruction (New York: Palgrave MacMillan Critical Black Studies Book Series, October 2011)

“To Die For the People: Prophecy and Death in the Rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Fred Hampton in anthology Homegoings, Crossings, and Passings: Life and Death in the African Diaspora (New World African Press, August 2011)


Book and Film Reviews:

The Power to Heal: Medicare and The Civil Rights Revolution, H-FedHist, forthcoming 2020.

The Gentleman from Ohio by Louis Stokes, H-FedHist, January 2018,

Carry It On: The War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama 1964-1972 by Youngblood Ashmore in Journal of American Ethnic History 30:4 (Summer 2011).

Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC’s Dream for a New America by Wesley Hogan in Journal of African American History, Fall 2009.

  • Listen to Margaret Kelley discuss it's not just fear of violence or belief in the second amendment and gun rights prompting gun ownership.  On this episode of WhenExpertsAttack she explains that concerns about Armageddon and "supernatural" evil also are at play.  
  • Congratulations to Bobby Cervantes for being awarded the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies!
  • Read about Afro-Puerto Rican illustrator Eric Velasquez in this piece written by William García-Medina for Teaching For Change.
  • Geoffrey Newman did a podcast for the journal Kansas History that was broadcast on 91.9 KSDB-FM.  It is available online here.
  • Congratulations to Sam Steuart for being named KU's 20th Truman scholar!
  • This article, written by Geoffrey Newman, was published in the August edition of the Kansas History Journal. Congratulations Geoffrey!
  • Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Kathryn Vaggalis for being awarded the American Studies Association's 2018 Gene Wise-Warren Susman Prize!
  • KU-AUMI InterArts was recently featured by the Commons in a video on improving inclusive communities at KU. You can watch the video, which features our own Sherrie Tucker amongst other founders of the movement at KU, and learn more about AUMI here!
  • Congratulations to Professor Robert Warrior on being elected to a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • This articlewritten by Ph.D. candidate Hannah Bailey, was published in the latest edition of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Congratulations, Hannah!
  • We would like to recognize Patrick Sumner, 2005 alumni, for his work in this article about the defacement of the John Brown memorial in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Please read this article about Professor Robert Warrior titled: Native scholar uncomfortably at home in American studies field.
  • Congratulations to Daniel Carey-Whalen, an alumni that was recently promoted as UTEP's Centennial Museum director.
  • Congratulations to Josh Parshall, an alumni who was recently featured in this article.
  • How a motion-tracking musical software is breaking down barriers for people with disabilities: click here to read more about the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), a one-of-a-kind piece of inclusive technology that promotes musical improvisation. The article recognizes Professor Sherrie Tucker, who started AUMI jam sessions and helped to bring the grant and symposium for it to Lawrence. Written by Omar Sanchez
  • KU Special Education Department: With Ray Pence
  • Tribute Or Tribulation? How do we commemorate history? What is the best way to remember a conflicted and painful past? And who gets to decide? Listen here »
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