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Barbara Ransby

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Information about Barbara Ransby

Profile image of Barbara Ransby

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
History Professor
African American Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Lake Michigan
Favorite Quote:
Give People Light And They Will Find The Way. And Ella Baker Quotes

Birthplace

Born:
5/12/1957
Birth Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
History Professor
African American Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Lake Michigan
Favorite Quote:
Give People Light And They Will Find The Way. And Ella Baker Quotes

Birthplace

Born:
5/12/1957
Birth Location:
Detroit
See how Barbara Ransby is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

African American studies and history professor Barbara Ransby was born on May 12, 1957 in Detroit, Michigan. As an infant, Ransby was adopted by Charlie and Ethel Ransby. She completed her B.A. degree in history from Columbia University in 1984. During her time at Columbia, Ransby worked for the Institute of African Affairs and the Department of History as a research assistant. Ransby received her M.S. degree in history from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1987. While at the University of Michigan, she taught African American studies. Ransby founded the Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center for Anti-Racist Education in 1988 and the African American Women in Defense of Ourselves Organization in 1991. She served as an instructor of history at DePaul University from 1992 to 1995; and an assistant professor and director of the Center for African American Research from 1995 to 1996. Ransby received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1996.

Following the completion of her education, she joined the faculty of the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) as an assistant professor in the departments of history and African American studies. In 1998, Ransby co-founded the Black Radical Congress and in 2002, she was promoted to associate professor at UIC. In 2003, Ransby authored the award-winning biography of civil rights activist Ella Baker, entitled Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement. In 2004, she received the Coordinating Council for Women in History's Prelinger Award. Since 2008, Ransby has served as professor and director of UIC's Gender and Women Studies Department and in 2011, she was appointed interim vice provost for planning and programs at UIC. She has written many articles and contributed to several books on civil rights, black feminism and African American history.

Ransby has served on the board of directors for many organizations including the CrossRoads Fund, Chicago Reporter Magazine, Anti-Racism Institute and the Chicago Coalition in Solidarity with Southern Africa. She has been a member of the Association of Black Women Historians, the Coordinating Committee for Women in Historical Profession and the Organization of American Historians. Ransby serves on the editorial board of The Race and Class Journal and on the editorial advisory board of The Black Commentator, an online publication. She is married to Peter Sporn; the couple have two children Asha and Jason.

Barbara Ransby was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 19, 2012.

See how Barbara Ransby is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Ransby's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby describes her adoptive mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby talks about her adoption
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby describes her adoptive father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby talks about her adoptive parents' migration to Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her adoptive parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barbara Ransby remembers the riots of 1967 in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby remembers the riots of 1967 in Detroit, Michigan, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby remembers her social column in the Michigan Chronicle
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby describes her experiences at Columbian Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby remembers an influential teacher at Columbian Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby recalls her childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby talks about St. Leo High School in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her experiences at Rosary High School in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby talks about the African American community in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby talks about color discrimination within the African American community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby talks about her early influences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby describes her work with the Team for Justice, Inc.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby talks about her career and education in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby describes her decision to move to New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby describes her experiences at Columbia University in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby talks about her studies at Columbia University in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her political involvement at Columbia University in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby remembers her mentor, Eric Foner
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby talks about the status of black female historians
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby remembers attending anti-apartheid conferences
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby describes her role in Columbia University's divestment from South Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby remembers her professors at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby talks about her decision to study the life of Ella Baker
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her research on Ella Baker
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby talks about the role of a community organizer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby describes Ella Baker's involvement with the SCLC and SNCC
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby reflects upon the legacy of Ella Baker
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby talks about her book, 'Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby describes her anti-apartheid activism at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby talks about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby describes her experiences with the African American Women in Defense of Ourselves
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby recalls her work at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby describes her role at the Progressive Media Project
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby talks about her teaching position at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby talks about her teaching experiences
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Barbara Ransby remembers the release of Nelson Mandela
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Barbara Ransby talks about the founding of the Black Radical Congress in 1998
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Barbara Ransby talks about her literary contributions
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Barbara Ransby describes her role as interim vice provost at the University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Barbara Ransby talks about her book 'Eslanda'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Barbara Ransby reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Barbara Ransby talks about her family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Barbara Ransby describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Barbara Ransby reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Barbara Ransby describes how she would like to be remembered