“Dr. King: Who Was He Really?” to be Presented at MLK Teach-In

Sundiata Cha Jua
Sundiata Cha-Jua

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. –– Sundiata Cha-Jua, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will deliver the keynote address “Dr. King: Who Was He Really?” during Illinois Wesleyan University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Teach-In on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center.

The Teach-In is free and open to the public.

Cha-Jua earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s History Department in 1993. He received Advanced Certificates in Black Studies from Northeastern University in 1992 and from the National Council for Black Studies, Director’s Institute in 1992.

Cha-Jua's research focuses on explorations of  Black racial formation and transformation theory, Urban histories and community studies, Radical Black Intellectual Traditions, and culturally relevant pedagogical practices. More specifically, he is interested in investigating African American community formation, lynching, historical materialism, African American historiography, social movement theory, and Black social movements. 

Cha Jua is the author of award-winning books America's First Black Town, Brooklyn, Illinois, 1830-1915, Sankofa: Racial Formation and Transformation, and Toward a Theory of African American History. He also co-edited Race Struggles with Theodore Koditschek and Helen Neville.

In addition to books, Cha-Jua has published dozens of articles in leading journals, including The Black Scholar, Journal of African American History, Journal of American History, Journal of Urban History, and New Politics and Souls.

From 2012 to 2014, Cha-Jua was President of the National Council for Black Studies, in addition to time serving as Senior Editor of The Black Scholar, serving on the editorial boards of the Journal of African American Studies and the Journal of Black Studies, and is a lifetime member of the National Council for Black Studies and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Held annually, Illinois Wesleyan’s Teach-In honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who spoke at Illinois Wesleyan in 1961 and 1966 in his only visits to the Bloomington-Normal community.

By Megan Baker ’21