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Omar H. Ali

Omar AliWebsite

Omar H. Ali (Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies) is a historian of the African Diaspora who explores the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds from the early modern period to the the present. A graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, he studied ethnography at the School of Oriental and African Studies before receiving his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. Ali has been a lecturer at the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University, a Fulbright professor of history and anthropology at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, a visiting professor of 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 recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award, Ali serves on the History Advisory Committee of the College Board and as a Road Scholar for the North Carolina Humanities Council. He has also been a consultant to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the History Channel International. Nationally, Dr. Ali serves on the Board of Directors of the All Stars Project, a developmental youth program involving over 10,000 young people in New York, Newark, Chicago, Atlanta, and Oakland, and IndependentVoting.org, a national strategy center for non-partisan electoral reform. A member of CNN's Out Front Political Strike Team during the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, Ali has also appeared on C-SPAN, NPR, PBS, Al Jazeera, CBS, Fox, and Black Network Television. The author of two books and an edited journal on the history of independent black politics, Dr. Ali is completing two new book projects: Malik Ambar: Abyssinian Defender of India's Deccan (Westview Press) and Islam in the Indian Ocean World: A Documentary History (Bedford St. Martin's Press). He is the faculty advisor for both UNCG's Black Student Union and Black Business Student Association and serves as Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Recent Publications:

  • "Benkos Biohó: African Maroon Leadership in New Grenada", in Atlantic Biographies, 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, J. M. Beeby ed. (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2012)
  • "Fulani's Tools and Results," Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender and the Black International, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 2012)
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