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Frank Roberts

Part-time Faculty
1 Wash Pl

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B.A. Individualized Study, New York University, 2004
M.A. Performance Studies, New York University, 2005

Frank Leon Roberts’s major fields of expertise are in 20th century African American literature; contemporary U.S. social movements; race and ethnicity studies; and contemporary art, media, and performance. At the broadest level, much of his work considers how writers, artists, media-makers and everyday people have responded to the ongoing crisis of racial inequity in the United States. Roberts has held teaching appointments at The City University of New York, Hunter College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and The New School for Social Research. He has been the recipient of the Ford Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the National Academies as well as the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Fellowship at Emory University. A graduate of Gallatin (BA’ 04) he is a three-time recipient of the NYU President’s Service Award as well as the winner of an NYU Michael Parkes Distinguished Alumni Award.

Teaching and Research Interests

20th century African American literature; contemporary US social movements; race and ethnicity studies; and contemporary art, media, and performance studies

Frank Roberts

Recent News


Roberts was contracted by the University of California Press to create The Black Lives Matter Syllabus, a book based on his Gallatin course of the same name, which will be published in 2019. The book will include a foreword by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and a epilogue by historian Robin D.G. Kelley.

"Donald Trump, The Clintons, and the Racially Coded Language of Law and Order" by Professor Frank Roberts appears on


In anticipation for the publication of The Black Lives Matter Syllabus (University of California Press, 2019), Roberts has traveled on a 20-city national "teach-in" tour, bringing the "Black Lives Matter Syllabus" curriculum to various universities throughout the country, delivering the keynote addresses for the 2017-2018 academic year at the Ohio State University (1/30), Indiana State University (1/19), the St. Paul's School (1/15), Boston University Law School (4/5), Brown University (4/19), and Washington State University (4/25).


In the summer of 2017, Roberts was the Activist-in-Residence at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College. The Arcus Center is the world's first purpose-built structure dedicated to developing emerging leaders and sustaining existing leaders in the fields of human rights and social justice.


Robert's 2017-2018 speeches on Black Lives Matter were covered in the Concord Monitor, Ohio State News, and The Lantern.