Michael Eric Dyson has described her as a "a rising star among black public intellectuals” and “one of the country's most brilliant and prolific racial theorists". Sharpley-Whiting was named one of the top 100 young leaders of the African American community by The Root, an online magazine founded by scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. She received the 2006 Horace Mann Medal from Brown University. The award is given annually by the Brown Graduate School to an alumnus or alumna who has made significant contributions in his or her field, inside or outside of academia. Sharpley-Whiting received the PhD in French Studies from Brown in 1994. Her book, Pimps Up, Ho's Down: Hip Hop's Hold on Young Black Women, received the Emily Toth Award for the Best Single Work by One or More Authors in Women’s Issues in Popular and American Culture in a specific year from the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. In September 2007, Sharpley-Whiting testified before Congress at the hearing, From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degrading Images.
Sharpley-Whiting, Tracy Denean; Leitch, Vincent B; Cain, William E; Finke, Laurie A; Johnson, Barbara E; McGowan, John; Williams, Jeffrey J (2010). The Norton anthology of theory and criticism. New York London: W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN9780393932928.
Sharpley-Whiting, Tracy Denean (2009). The speech: race and Barack Obama's "A more perfect union". New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN9781596916678.
Sharpley-Whiting, Tracy Denean (Translator); Nardal, Paulette (Author) (2009). Beyond negritude : essays from Woman in the city. Albany: SUNY Press. ISBN9781438429465.
Sharpley-Whiting, Tracy Denean; James, Joy (2000). The Black feminist reader. Oxford, UK Malden, Mass: Blackwell. ISBN9780631210078.
Sharpley-Whiting, Tracy Denean (Editor); White, Renée T (Editor); Sandoval, Chela (Foreword) (1997). Spoils of war: women of color, cultures, and revolutions. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN9780847686056.
Sharpley-Whiting, Tracy Denean; Gordon, Lewis; White, Renée T (1996). Fanon: a critical reader. Oxford Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN9781557868961.