OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Kevin Mumford

Portrait of Kevin Mumford

Kevin Mumford is a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches African American history, civil rights, and the history of sexuality. His research looks at long-term social inequalities and the dynamics of oppression and resistance in cities. He is author of Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century (1997), Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America (2007) and Not Straight, Not White: Black Gay Men From the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis (2016).

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

Is race a physical reality or a cultural category? A site of oppression or a source of belonging? What are the prospects for an end to racism? This lecture examines key debates over the meanings of race and racism from the colonial era to the present in order to consider new strategies and pathways for a future of racial justice
This lecture surveys the contributions of black gay men to the social movements of their times--from civil rights and black power to gay liberation and AIDS activism. It also examines the sources of stigma and silences and evaluates two generation of black gay men's responses and resistance to prejudice. Major themes include black masculinity, sexual objectification, religion and social community, and the ongoing search for inclusion, recognition, and equality.
In 2017, white supremacists shocked the nation by assembling in Charlottesville, VA to confront progressive activists mobilizing around anti-racist agendas and the revision of Confederate memorials. Where did these extremists come from? How had this happened? This lecture examines the rise of Anti-Semitic and racist organizations in the 1980s, such as the new KKK and the Christian Defense League, as well as left efforts to combat "hate" in the nation's cities and college campuses.