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Tukufu  Zuberi

Tukufu Zuberi

Expert on Race Relations


Dr. Tukufu Zuberi is the Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, a Professor of Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also been a visiting professor at Mekerere University in Kampala, Uganda and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He currently directs the African Census Analysis Project (ACAP), an international collaboration with African nations. Read More >

An important academic voice in America, Dr. Zuberi’s research focuses on race and African and African Diaspora populations. He developed and expanded the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Zuberi holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago, is the author or editor of several books, articles, essays, and reviews, and has received numerous awards for his academic work. Dedicated to bringing a fresh view of culture and society to the public, he is a regular guest lecturer at colleges and universities across the country and internationally, and on various television programs.

Dr. Zuberi is the author of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: The Mortality Cost of Colonizing Liberia in the Nineteenth-Century and Thicker than Blood: How Racial Statistics Lie. He has just completed a manuscript on the history of the Sudan, entitled Pearls of the African Sea: Jenne, Gao, and Timbuktu. He is the editor of the General Demography of Africa (a multi-volume series), and has written more than 50 scholarly articles and co-edited five volumes. Dr. Zuberi has edited or co-edited special issues of the December 2000 Black Scholar on "Transcending Traditions: African, African Diaspora, and African American Studies in the 21st Century"; the March 2000 issue of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science on "The Study of African American Problems: Papers In Honor Of W.E.B. Du Bois"; a volume of "Race and Society on Racial Statistics"; and a volume of The Journal of Black Studies. He is co-editor of the recently published The Demography of South Africa and White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Methodology.

Dr. Zuberi is popularly known as a host on the hit Public Broadcasting System (PBS) series The History Detectives. Now in its seventh season, History Detectives regularly shows the way individual objects can serve as a lens into the past. As a “history detective,” Dr. Zuberi is an observer of the social and cultural forces that shape historical mysteries in America society.

Raised in the housing projects of Oakland, California in the 1970s, he embraced the name Tukufu Zuberi – Swahili for "beyond praise" and "strength." He has said "I took the name because of a desire to make and have a connection with an important period where people were challenging what it means to be a human being." Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Race and Statistics

The Myth of the Post-Racial World

The Fame of Mansa Musa

Human Visual Perception of Color

Stories, Myths, and History of Africa

World War II and National Narratives

Fiction in Social Sciences

Telling the Story of Africa Through Ancient Artifacts at Penn Museum | NBC10's Philly Live

Decolonizing the Conversation: Introduction to the 10 part Series (E1 of 10)

The Myth of the Post-Racial World

Global Agenda Summit 2008

Speech Topics

Thicker than Blood: How Racial Statistics Lie

Social & Cultural Forces Shaping Historical Mysteries in American Society

Diversity: Tapping the Full Pool of Human Talent