Black and Queer on Campus


Today’s book is: Black and Queer on Campus (NYU Press, 2023) by Michael P. Jeffries, which offers an inside look at what life is like for LGBTQ college students on campuses across the United States. Dr. Jeffries shows that Black and queer college students often struggle to find safe spaces and a sense of belonging when they arrive on campus. Drawing on his interviews with students from over a dozen colleges, Dr. Jeffries provides a much-needed perspective on the specific challenges Black LGBTQ students face and the ways they overcome them. We learn through these intimate portraits that many of the most harmful stereotypes and threats to black queer safety continue to haunt this generation of students. We also learn how students build queer identities. Black and Queer on Campus sheds light on the oft-hidden lives of Black LGBTQ students, and how educational institutions can better serve them. It highlights the quiet beauty and joy of Black queer social life, and the bonds of friendship that sustain the students.

Our guest is: Dr. Michael P. Jeffries, who is Dean of Academic Affairs, Class of 1949 Professor in Ethics, and Professor of American Studies at Wellesley College. He is the author of Behind the Laughs: Community and Inequality in Comedy; Paint the White House Black: Barack Obama and the Meaning of Race in America; Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-Hop; and Black and Queer on Campus. He has published dozens of essays and works of criticism in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and The Boston Globe, and has been interviewed by The Washington Post, The New York Times, and NPR.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who is the creator and show host of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in history, which she uses to explore what stories we tell and what happens to those we never tell.

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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