Omar H. Ali

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Omar Hamid Ali (born February 10, 1971) is a historian of the African Diaspora who specializes in the history of independent black political movements in the United States, Islam in the Indian Ocean world, and black resistance to slavery in Latin America.


Ali is of East Indian and Peruvian background. He is an Associate Professor of Comparative African Diaspora History and Director of Graduate Studies in the African American & African Diaspora Studies Program with faculty appointments in the History Department and International and Global Studies at The University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He has also been a Fulbright professor of history and anthropology at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, a visiting professor in the Program for African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, and a Library Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. A graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, he studied anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies and conducted fieldwork in West Africa with anthropologist Maxwell Owusu before receiving his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University in 2003 under the direction of Eric Foner. Ali is the author of several books, including In the Lion's Mouth: Black Populism in the New South (2010)[1] and In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third Party Movements (2008).[2] He wrote the narrative for The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World[3] exhibit for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in collaboration with curator Sylviane Diouf. His forthcoming books include Islam in the Indian Ocean World and a biography of the seventeenth-century Ethiopian ruler in western India, Malik Ambar: Abyssinian Defender of India's Deccan. A recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award, he serves as a Road Scholar for the North Carolina Humanities Council and previously served on both the History Academic Advisory Committee of the College Board and the Teaching Prize Committee for the World History Association. He is also a member of the board of directors of the All Stars Project[4] and,[5] and has appeared on CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera, Telemundo, C-SPAN, and PBS, among other national and local media.[6][7][8][9]

Selected Bibliography[edit]

  • "Benkos Biohó: African Maroon Leadership in New Grenada", in Atlantic Biographies: Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World, M. Meuwese and J. Fortin, eds (Boston, MA: Brill, 2013)
  • "The African Diaspora in Latin America: Afro-Peru and San Martin de Porres," New African Review, Vol. 2, Issue 4 (Summer 2013)
  • "The Mu'azzin's Song: Islam and the African Diaspora of the Indian Ocean," North Carolina Conversations, Vol. 6, Issue 1 (Winter-Spring, 2012)
  • "Re-Conceptualizing Black Populism" in Southern Populism Revisited: New Interpretations and New Departures, James M. Beeby eds. (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2012)
  • "Black Populism: Agrarian Politics from the Colored Alliance to the People's Party" in Beyond Forty Acres and a Mule: African American Farmers Since Reconstruction, Debra A. Reid and Evan P. Bennett, eds. (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012)
  • "Fulani's Tools and Results," Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender and the Black International, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 2012)
  • "The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World," Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (The New York Public Library, 2011)
  • In the Lion's Mouth: Black Populism in the New South, 1886-1900 (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2010), foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley
  • "Islam, Trade, and Empire", in Africa and the Wider World, by Hakeem Tijani, Raphael Njoku, et al., eds. (Boston, MA: Pearson, 2010)
  • "Lenora Branch Fulani: Challenging the Rules of the Game", in African Americans and the Presidency: The Road to the White House, B. Glasrud, et al., eds. (New York: Routledge, 2010)
  • "Islam and the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World", in Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed (2009)
  • In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third Party Movements in the United States (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008), foreword by Eric Foner
  • "Standing Guard at the Door of Liberty: Black Populism in South Carolina, 1886-1897," South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 107, No. 3 (July 2006)
  • "Independent Black Politics", editor, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society Vol. 7, No. 2 (Spring 2005).


External links[edit]