I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, about three blocks away from the historic ‘red-line’ of the central city, 63rd and Troost, which was used by real estate and government officials to demarcate white and nonwhite neighborhoods. My mother was a leader of a neighborhood coalition that stretched across this historic dividing line, and I was often struck by the contrast between the interracial social space of the neighborhood meeting, and the intra-racial makeup of the block where our home was situated. In addition, riding the Metro (our city bus system) everyday, I grew a strong appreciation for the diversity of urban life – economic, social, cultural, and political. My mother, a college librarian for thirty-seven years, helped cultivate my interests in reading, writing, and activism.

From Kansas City, I attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, where I graduated with my B.A. in both Psychology and Sociology in 2004. For the next year, I worked as a Youth Specialist with Missouri’s Division of Youth Services, counseling juvenile felony offenders in a minimum-security group home in Columbia Missouri. In 2005, I re-enrolled at the University of Missouri as a graduate student in the Sociology program. Falling in love with the process of critical inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge, I decided to continue my studies after obtaining my M.A. in Sociology in 2005, sticking around for my Ph.D. in Sociology, which I finished in 2011 along with a graduate minor in Women’s and Gender Studies.

To date, my research has been driven by questions within two interrelated fields of inquiry: histories of race and racism, and contemporary practices of race and racism. Throughout, I employ a variety of interpretive methods to illuminate how meanings of race and racism arise within certain socio-cultural contexts, and how social actors reproduce and contest those meanings in everyday practices and encounters.





1 thought on “Bio

  1. I am curious if you have done genealogy. I see a picture of parents on with a jamesmthomas as the person who contributed the name. Might you be the correct person?

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