William Jelani Cobb, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History at Spelman College. He specializes in post-Civil War African American history, 20th century American politics and the history of the Cold War. He served as a delegate and historian for the 5th Congressional District at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations. Dr. Cobb is also the author of To The Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic (NYU Press 2007) which was a finalist for the National Award for Arts Writing. His collection The Devil & Dave Chappelle and Other Essays (Thunder’s Mouth Press) was also published in 2007. He is editor of The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader, which was listed as a 2002 Notable Book of The Year by Black Issues Book Review.
Born and raised in Queens, NY, he was educated at Jamaica High School, Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Rutgers University where he received his doctorate in American History under the supervision of Dr. David Levering Lewis in May 2003.
Dr. Cobb has two forthcoming books: In Our Lifetimes: Barack Obama and the New Black America and a scholarly monograph titled Antidote to Revolution: African American Anticommunism and the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1931-1957.
His articles and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Essence, Vibe, Emerge, The Progressive, The Washington City Paper, ONE Magazine, Ebony and TheRoot.com. He has contributed to a number of anthologies including In Defense of Mumia, Testimony, Mending the World and Beats, Rhymes and Life. He has also been a featured commentator on National Public Radio, CNN, Al-Jazeera, CBS News and a number of other national broadcast outlets.
He resides in Atlanta, Ga.