Affiliated Faculty // SIS // African-American Studies
Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2004
African-American History, Urban and Labor History, U.S. History
Cornelius L. Bynum received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2004. He teaches courses in African American history and writes about progressive impulses among African Americans and authentic and independent strains of black radicalism in the early twentieth century. His first book, A. Philip Randolph and the Struggle for Civil Rights, is an analytical intellectual history that explores central aspects of Randolph’s thought and activism. In it he argues that Randolph’s life and career shaped and were shaped by many of the monumental events, ideas, and developments of the twentieth century and demonstrates that Randolph’s firm determination to improve the lives of black workers fundamentally affected core strategies and tactics of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s
His second book examines the small, but significant cohort of West Indian radicals in Harlem that migrated into the American Communist Party in the 1920s. Led by Cyril Briggs and Richard B. Moore, this group known as the African Blood Brotherhood raised searing questions about the economic structure of black oppression in the United States, the Caribbean, and the world and illustrates the unique ways in which Harlem radicals drew on both nationalist and Marxist themes in the postwar years to fashion a distinct critique of industrial capitalism that constituted an authentic and largely independent program of social reform.