Imani Perry

Professor, Center for African American Studies

Affiliated Faculty

 001 Stanhope Hall

 Curriculum Vitae


Professor Perry is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies race and African American culture using the tools provided by various disciplines including: law, literary and cultural studies, music, and the social sciences. She has published numerous articles in the areas of law, cultural studies, and African American studies, many of which are available for download at: She also wrote the notes and introduction to the Barnes and Nobles Classics edition of the Narrative of Sojourner Truth. Professor Perry teaches interdisciplinary courses that train students to use multiple methodologies to investigate African American experience and culture.


selected publications:

(in copy-editing) More Terrible, More Beautiful: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States (New York: NYU Press, 2010) 

“Tell Us How it Feels to be a Problem: Hip Hop Longings and Poor Young Black Men” in Against the Wall: Poor Young, Black and Male ed. Elijah Anderson (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) 

“It Ain’t Hard to Tell: A Story of Lyrical Transcendence” in Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’ Illmatic eds. Michael Eric Dyson, Sohail Dalautzai Basic Books, December 2009 

“Do You Really Love New York?: Contemporary Intersections of Race, Television and Social Policy” The Berkeley Journal of African American Law and Policy, expected February 2008

“Black Arts and Good Law: Literary Arguments for Racial Justice in the Time of Plessy”

Law, Culture and Humanities (peer reviewed) 2008. 

Book Review

The Brown Decision, Jim Crow and Southern Identity

By James C. Cobb (The University of Georgia Press, 2005)

25 Law and History Review, 679. Fall 2007.


“There Goes the Neighborhood”

02138 Magazine, Spring 2007


“The Practice of Racial Inequality in Post-Intent Times”

National Black Law Journal, Columbia Law School, 2007.


“Let Me Holler at You: African American Culture, Postmodern Feminism and Revisiting Sexual Harassment Law”

Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, 2007.



Debating Race with Michael Eric Dyson by Michael Eric Dyson, Basic Civitas Books, 2007.


  Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop (book)

 Duke University Press, 12/2004


Introduction and Notes

Narrative of the Life of Sojourner Truth

Barnes and Nobles Classics 8/2005.


“Occupying the Universal, Embodying the Subject: African American Literary Jurisprudence” (peer reviewed)

Law and Literature Volume 17, Issue 1, 2005 (97-129).


“Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory and Some Reflections on Methods”

Lat Crit IX Symposium “Countering Kulturkampf Through Critique and Justice Pedagogy” 50 Villanova Law Review 2005 (915-923).


“Dismantling The House of Plessy:

A Private Law Study of Race in Cultural and Legal History with Contemporary Resonances” (peer reviewed)

Studies in Law Politics and Society Volume 33, 2004 (91-159).

eds. Austin Sarat and Patricia Ewick


“Holistic Integration: An Anniversary Reflection on the Goals of Brown v. Board of Education” in Legacies of Brown: Multiracial Equity in American Education eds. Dorinda J. Carter, Stella M. Flores & Richard J. Reddick Harvard School of Education Review Press, 2004 (303-313).


“Buying White Beauty”

Cardozo Journal of Gender and Law

12 Cardozo J.L. & Gender 2006 (579-607).


 “Of Desi, J.LO and Color Matters: Law, Critical Race Theory, The Architecture of Race”

Lat Crit VIII Symposium “City and the Citizen: Operations of Power, Strategies of Resistance”

52 Cleveland State Law Review 2004 (139-152).


Book Review Essay

“Crimes Without Punishment: White Neighbors’ Resistance to Black Entry” Steven Grant Meyer As Long As They Don’t Move Next Door: Segregation and Racial Conflict in American Neighborhoods (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000)

second author, co-authored with Leonard S. Rubinowitz

The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology,

Northwestern University Volume 92, No. 2 (335-428).


“Who(se) am I? The Identity and Image of Women in Hip Hop” in Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text Reader 2nd edition

ed. Gail Dines and Jean Humez

Sage Publications, 2003 (136-148).


“Toasts, Jam and Libation: How We Place Malcolm in the Folk Tradition” in Teaching Malcolm X ed. Theresa Perry

Routledge Press, 1996 (171-186).


“It’s My Thang and I’ll Swing it The Way That I Feel: Sexuality and Black Women Rappers” Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text Reader 1st Edition ed. Gail Dines and Jean Humez Sage Publications, 1994 (524-530).