The Race and the American Story Project was created by Adam Seagrave and Stephanie Shonekan while they worked together at the University of Missouri. Since then, it has been brought to Arizona State University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and several schools in the US and abroad, where the program continues to grow.
Adam Seagrave is Associate Professor in the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University. He is also Associate Director of the Center for Political Thought and Leadership within the School. Seagrave received his PhD in Political Theory from the University of Notre Dame and has taught at Pepperdine University, the University of Notre Dame, Northern Illinois University, and in the Kinder Institute at the University of Missouri before joining ASU in 2018.
Stephanie Shonekan is Dean of the College of Arts & Humanities and Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland. In 2003, she earned a PhD in Ethnomusicology and Folklore with a minor in African American Studies from Indiana University. From 2003-2011, she taught at Columbia College Chicago, and from 2011-2018, she was a faculty member at the University of Missouri in the Black Studies Department and the School of Music. From 2015-2018, she was chair of the Department of Black Studies at the University of Missouri. From 2018-2020, she was professor and chair of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Shonekan’s dual heritage combining West Africa with the West Indies allows her to straddle the black world comfortably. She has published articles on afrobeat, Fela Kuti, as well as American and Nigerian hip-hop. Her publications explore the nexus where identity, history, culture and music meet. Her books include The Life of Camilla Williams, African American Classical Singer and Opera Diva (2011), Soul, Country, and the USA: Race and Identity in American Music Culture (2015), Black Lives Matter & Music (2018), and Black Resistance in the Americas (2018).