Ronald J. Stephens
Prior to joining Purdue University, Dr. Ronald J. Stephens was associate professor and chair of African American Studies, and director of the African American Research and Service Institute at Ohio University. Specializing in twentieth century African American history and culture, Professor Stephens earned a B.A. and M.A. in Speech Communication from Wayne State University, as well as a M.A. and Ph. D. in African American Studies from Temple University
An authority on the African American resort community of Idlewild, Michigan, Stephens’ research focuses on African American rural and urban communities, as well as 20th century African American culture, identity, history, and political thought. He is author of Idlewild: The Rise, Decline and Rebirth of a Unique African American Resort Town (University of Michigan Press, 2013); Idlewild: The Black Eden of Michigan (Arcadia Publishing, 2001), as well as co-author of African Americans of Denver (Arcadia Publishing 2008). In addition to authoring books and articles, and serving as a media consultant on Idlewild and other topics in African American Studies, he is co-curator of Welcome to Idlewild, a Michigan State University Museum traveling photographic exhibition (2003-present).
Stephens is currently completing three book manuscripts, Robert Franklin Williams Speaks: A Documentary History, 1925 to 1996; Reaching for the Stars: The Story of Larry Steele’s Smart Affairs; and Global Garveyism.