“When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”

- George Orwell (“Why I Write,” Gangrel No. 4, 1946)

How Racialized Media is Designed, Delivered, and Decoded (New York University Press, forthcoming)

This volume brings together an inter-disciplinary array of media scholars to empirically interrogate Stuart Hall’s framework of the “circuit of culture.”  Hall emphasized an approach that saw the moments of production, distribution, and consumption as equally determinate--and inseparable--moments of media formation.  We thus examine the labor of racialized media in terms of first, the production—or “Design”—which situates racial representations in the larger media and social scenes from which they emerged; second, the moment of regulation—or “Delivery”—is characterized by the ways in which media is marketed, gatekept, and critically reviewed so to influence mainstream audience engagement, and; third, the stage of consumption—or “Decoding”—represents the moments in which the content of the media is received, interpreted, and debated by public audiences. Despite pronouncements that we have reached a “post-racial” or “color-blind” society, this collection demonstrates how dominant racial representations are deployed, negotiated, and contested, inclusive of productive activity, distributive processes, and audience reactions.

A Pledge with Purpose: Black Fraternities and Sororities and the Fight for Equality (New York University Press, forthcoming)

Born at the dawn of the Twentieth Century, Black fraternities and sororities not only served to solidify bonds between African American college students, but they also had (and continue to have) a vision and sense of purpose: civic action, community service, philanthropy, and high scholasticism. There were an integral part of what Alpha Phi Alpha member W. E. B. Du Bois termed “the talented tenth”—the top ten percent of African Americans that would serve as a cadre of educated, upper-class, motivated individuals who acquired the professional credentials, legitimated skills, and economic (as well cultural) capital to “uplift the race.”  In addition to what Phi Beta Sigma member Alain Leroy Locke coined as the “New Negro” ethos of the Harlem Renaissance--which provided a spirit of intellectualism, brotherhood, spiritual foundations, and racial consciousness--the founding impetus for these organizations is intertwined with history of collegiate literary societies, white college fraternities and sororities, black benevolent and secret societies, the black church, and the broader racial milieu at the turn of the 20th Century.  This collective history bespeaks of fidelity to the overarching principles of racial equality and struggle.  A Pledge with Purpose explores the complexity of this activism and agenda and thus charts the arc of African American experiences.

The White Savior Film: Content, Critics, and Consumption

(Temple University Press, 2014)

(Winner, 2016 Southwest Sociological

Association Outstanding Publication Award)

The cinematic trope of the white savior film features messianic characters in unfamiliar or hostile settings discovering something about themselves and their culture in the process of saving members of other races from terrible fates.  The White Savior Film, provides a cogent, multipronged analysis of this subgenre of films to investigate the underpinnings of the Hollywood-constructed images of idealized (and often idealistic) white Americans.  By examining the content of fifty films, nearly 3,000 reviews, and interviews with viewer focus groups, the reader will consider the production, distribution, and consumption of white savior films to show how the dominant messages of sacrifice, suffering, and redemption are perceived by both critics and audiences.  The White Savior Film shows how we as a society create and understand these films and how they reflect the political and cultural contexts of their time. Buy from Publisher | Buy from Amazon

The Wrongs of the Right: Language, Race, and the Republican Party in the Age of Obama (New York University Press, 2014)

Many saw the prophetic election of an African American to the highest position in the land as a watershed moment that confirmed the nation’s declining significance of both race and racism.  But notable events soon destabilized this thesis: from claims that Obama was born in Kenya and that he is not a “true American” to depictions of Obama as a “Lyin African.”  Despite the utopian proclamations that we are now live in a  “post-racial” country, the grim reality is that implicit racial biases are more entrenched than ever.  Hughey and Parks provide an analysis of the political Right and their opposition to Obama from the vantage-point of their rhetoric, a history of the evolution of the two-party system in relation to race, research on race and political ideology, and how racial fears, coded language, and implicit racism are drawn upon and manipulated.  Buy from Publisher | Buy from Amazon

Race and Ethnicity in Secret and Exclusive Social Orders: Blood and Shadow

(Taylor and Francis, 2013)

Secret and private organizations, in the form of Greek-letter organizations, mutual aid societies, and civic orders, together possess a storied and often-romanticized place in popular culture. While much has been made of these groups’ origins and supposed influence, few have examined the role of race and ethnicity in organizing and perpetuating these cloistered orders. This volume directly addresses the inattention paid to the salience of race in secret societies and iluminates how such orders are both cause and consequence of colonization, segregation, and subjugation, as well as their roles as both catalysts and impediments to personal excellence, fictive kinship ties, and racial uplift, nationalism, and cohesion.  Buy from Publisher | Buy from Amazon

White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race

(Stanford University Press, 2012)

(Co-Winner, 2014 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems)

(Finalist, 2013 C. Wright Mills Book Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems)

(Honorable Mention, 2013 Book Award, Association for Humanist Sociology)

Discussions of race are inevitably fraught with tension, both in opinion and positioning. Too frequently, debates are framed as clear points of opposition—us versus them. And when considering white racial identity, a split between progressive movements and a neoconservative backlash is all too frequently assumed. Taken at face value, it would seem that whites are splintering into antagonistic groups, with differing worldviews, values, and ideological stances. White Bound investigates these dividing lines, questioning the very notion of a fracturing whiteness, and in so doing offers a unique view of white racial identity. Matthew Hughey spent over a year with members of two white organizations—a white nationalist group and a white antiracist group. Though he found immediate political differences, he observed surprising similarities. Buy from Publisher | Buy from Amazon

The Obamas and a (Post)Racial America? (Oxford University Press, 2011)

On November 4, 2008, when Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the forty-fourth President of the United States and first black person to occupy the highest office in the land, many wondered whether we now live in a post-racial nation.    According to this book's contributors, a more nuanced and contemporary analysis and measurement of racial attitudes undercuts this assumption. They contend that despite the election of the first black President and rise of his family as possibly the most recognized family in the world, race remains a salient issue-particularly in the United States. Looking beyond public behaviors and how people describe their own attitudes, the contributors draw from the latest research to show how, despite the Obama family's rapid rise to national prominence, many Americans continue to harbor unconscious biases.  Buy from Publisher | Buy from Amazon

Twelve Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today (The New Press, 2010)

(Winner, 2011 PASS Book Award, National Council on Crime and Delinquency)

Called a book that "is factual yet reads like a novel" on the Huffington Post, 12 Angry Men reveals some pointed truths about our nation as a dozen African American authors from across the United States tell their personal stories of being racially profiled.  In this "extraordinarily compelling" (Publishers Weekly) book, we hear tales of injustice from Joe Morgan, a former Major League Baseball MVP; Paul Butler, a federal prosecutor; Kent, a devoted father hauled into central booking for trespassing and loitering when he visits his mother's housing project; Solomon Moore, a former criminal justice reporter for the New York Times; and King Downing, a former head of the ACLU's racial profiling initiative.  Buy from Publisher | Buy from Amazon

Black Greek-Letter Organizations, 2.0: New Directions in the Study of African American Fraternities and Sororities (University Press of Mississippi, 2011)

Black Greek-Letter Organizations (BGLOs) were an integral part of what W. E. B. Du Bois called the "talented tenth” -- the top ten percent of the black community that would serve as a cadre of educated, upper-class, motivated individuals who acquired the professional credentials, skills, and capital to assist the race to attain socioeconomic parity. Today, however, BGLOs struggle to find their place and direction in a world drastically different from the one that witnessed their genesis.  This collection of essays seeks to push those who think about BGLOs to engage in more critically and empirically based analysis. This book also seeks to move BGLO members and those who work with them beyond conclusions based on hunches, conventional wisdom, intuition, and personal experience.  Buy from Publisher | Buy from Amazon



Below are various solo-authored, co-authored, edited, and co-edited volumes related to race and  organizations, media, politics, identity, discrimination, and resistance.  Links to both the book publisher and amazon are available in the description of each text below.