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Robin Kelley

Professor of African American Studies & Author

Professor of African American Studies & Author

Travels From Travels From:
Los Angeles, CA, USA
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Robin Kelley Biography

Author and historian Robin D.G. Kelley is one of the most distinguished experts on African American studies and a celebrated professor who has lectured at some of America’s highest learning institutions. He is currently Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

Kelley has just completed the definitive biography of jazz pianist/composer Thelonious Monk titled, Thelonious Monk: His Story, His Song, His Times and is best known for his books on African American culture: Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class, Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. He is currently working on another book, Speaking in Tongues: Jazz and Modern Africa.

His career spans several esteemed universities, including serving as a Professor of History and Africana at New York University as well as acting as Chairman of NYU’s History Department. While at NYU, Kelley was one of the youngest full professors in the country at 32 years of age. He was also the William B. Ransford Professor of Cultural and Historical Studies at Columbia and helped to shape programs at its Institute for Research in African American Studies.

Kelley’s work includes seven books as well as over 100 magazine articles, which have been featured in such publications as The Nation, Monthly Review, The Voice Literary Supplement, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Code Magazine, Utne Reader, and African Studies Review. He received his PhD in US History and MA in African History from UCLA.

Topics

Before Obama: How Black Folks Saved American Democracy

Kelly argues that Obama's call for "change" is part of a very long tradition of black movements demanding more from America and in the process transforming democracy. From the end of slavery to the Civil Rights movement, not to mention Shirley Chisholm's and Jesse Jackson's presidential campaigns, African Americans have literally changed the Constitution, created institutions essential to our modern democracy, and envisioned a more inclusive civic culture.

Teaching to Change the World: Transforming Public Education

This lecture asks, what are we educating our children for? What kind of citizens, what kind of human beings do we want them to become? Using the Mississippi Freedom Schools as a model, Kelly critiques the current direction of American public education and offer a radically different vision for transforming our schools.

The Secret Racial History of American Prosperity

Most people think of racism and the legacy of slavery as a "black thing." But this troubling history continues to provide significant financial benefits for whites. This lecture exposes how slavery, segregation, racism, and government policy generated wealth for a large segment of white America while impoverishing most African Americans and Latinos.

Thelonious Monk: The Life & Music of an American Genius

Another Reconstruction?: Race & Reparations in Post-Katrina America

‘We Threaten the World’: African Americans & U.S. Empire

‘A Joyful Noise’: Modern Jazz & Spirituality

Robin Kelley Speaking Topics

  • ‘A Joyful Noise’: Modern Jazz & Spirituality

  • ‘We Threaten the World’: African Americans & U.S. Empire

  • Another Reconstruction?: Race & Reparations in Post-Katrina America

  • Thelonious Monk: The Life & Music of an American Genius

  • The Secret Racial History of American Prosperity

    Most people think of racism and the legacy of slavery as a "black thing." But this troubling history continues to provide significant financial benefits for whites. This lecture exposes how slavery, segregation, racism, and government policy generated wealth for a large segment of white America while impoverishing most African Americans and Latinos.

  • Teaching to Change the World: Transforming Public Education

    This lecture asks, what are we educating our children for? What kind of citizens, what kind of human beings do we want them to become? Using the Mississippi Freedom Schools as a model, Kelly critiques the current direction of American public education and offer a radically different vision for transforming our schools.

Robin Kelley Videos

Robin Kelley Books

  • Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (The Nathan I. Huggins Lectures)
    Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (The Nathan I. Huggins Lectures)
  • Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
    Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
  • Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
    Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
  • Yo' Mama's Disfunktional
    Yo' Mama's Disfunktional
  • Race Rebels : Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class
    Race Rebels : Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class
  • Into the Fire: African Americans Since 1970 (Young Oxford History of African Americans)
    Into the Fire: African Americans Since 1970 (Young Oxford History of African Americans)

FAQs on booking Robin Kelley

  • How do I book Robin Kelley to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Robin Kelley for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Robin Kelley, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Robin Kelley or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Robin Kelley

    Speaking fees for Robin Kelley, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Robin Kelley are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Robin Kelley, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Robin Kelley speak about?

    Robin Kelley is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Authors, Black History, College, Diversity, Foreign Policy, Government, Inspirational.
  • Where does Robin Kelley travel from?

    Robin Kelley generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Robin Kelley’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Robin Kelley for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Robin Kelley for your next private or corporate function.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Robin Kelley or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Robin Kelley is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as ‘A Joyful Noise’: Modern Jazz & Spirituality, ‘We Threaten the World’: African Americans & U.S. Empire, Another Reconstruction?: Race & Reparations in Post-Katrina America, Thelonious Monk: The Life & Music of an American Genius, The Secret Racial History of American Prosperity and Teaching to Change the World: Transforming Public Education. The estimated speaking fee range to book Robin Kelley for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Robin Kelley generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Jared Cohen, John Zogby, Bill Duke, Isaiah Washington and Rami George Khouri. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Robin Kelley for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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