Contributor Bios

About the Editor: Andra Gillespie

 Andra Gillespie is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Emory University. She earned her B.A. in Government & Foreign Affairs and African American Studies from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. Before joining the faculty at Emory, she worked as an analyst for Democratic pollster Mark Mellman.

Gillespie’s current research focuses on the political leadership of the post-civil rights generation and on studies of voter turnout. Her work has been published in the National Political Science Review and American Politics Research.  She is also under contract for a book manuscript on municipal politics in Newark, New Jersey, tentatively titled Newark and the Clash of Two Black Americas: Race, Class and the Breakdown of Linked Fate, 2002-2008. This book expands on the case study of Newark politics and Mayor Cory Booker that Dr. Gillespie presents in Chapter 3 of Whose Black Politics?.

For her efforts, Gillespie has received numerous honors.  She was a National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow.  The Urban Section of the American Political Science Association honored her as a 2009 Norton Long Fellow.  She is also a 2009-2010 Ford Foundation Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University.

In addition to her academic work, Gillespie maintains an active public profile, providing regular commentary.  She has appeared on Atlanta’s local NBC, Fox, CBS, and PBS affiliates, as well as CNN, NPR and FamilyNet.  Her editorials have been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post, and Politico.  In addition, she is a contributor to’s Arena.

The Contributors

Randolph Burnside

Randolph Burnside is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. His primary areas of specialization are racial and ethnic politics, political behavior and disaster studies. His most recent work can be seen in Sociological Spectrum and the Journal of Black Studies.


Lorrie A. Frasure

Lorrie A. Frasure is an Assistant Professor of Political Science of the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research areas include racial and ethnic politics, state and local governance, and the political economy of metropolitan areas. Her current book project examines the responsiveness of state and local institutions to the policy concerns of immigrant and ethnic minority groups in American suburbs. She is the co-Principal Investigator of the Collaborative Multi-Racial Post Election Survey (CMPS 2008), the first national, multi-racial, multi-lingual post-election study of racial and political preferences and behavior among registered voters in the United States. Frasure is also a Senior Research Associate to the Gender and Multicultural Leadership Project, the most comprehensive multiracial national study of Black, Latino, Asian, and American Indian elected officials.

Frasure is the recipient of grants and funding from the American Political Science Association and the Ford Foundation. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA in 2007, Frasure was a Post-Doctoral Associate and Visiting Faculty at Cornell University.

Katrina Gamble

Katrina L. Gamble is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Brown University. She is currently serving as a 2009-10 American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow.  Gamble’s research focuses on political representation and identity politics.  She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Legislative Studies Quarterly and is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Ted Robinson Award for Best Dissertation Proposal in Minority Politics. She received her MA and PhD in political science from Emory University and earned an A.B. in Government from Smith College.

Athena King

Athena M. King is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of South Carolina. In the Ph.D. program, her major field is American Politics. Her minor field of emphasis is Public Administration. Her research interests include U.S. racial and ethnic politics, Public Policy, African-American politics, and electoral behavior. Her dissertation explores past and present policies which have deliberately or unintentionally fostered racial stratification, as well as the role of policy entrepreneurs in bringing these policies to fruition. Ms. King is a 2009-2010 scholar in the African-American Professors Program, and a 2009-2010 recipient of the Research/Creative Award for Minority Graduate Students from the Institute of African-American Research. She has served as both a research and a teaching assistant in the Department of Political Science and in the Prevention Research Center of the Arnold School of Public Health, and has taught courses in American Government, Politics and Government, and Political Parties.


Tyson D. King-Meadows

Tyson D. King-Meadows is Assistant Professor of Political Science and an Honors College Faculty Fellow at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He received his B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina Central University and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

King-Meadow’s primary research addresses the intersections of black political behavior and attitudes, identity politics, and congressional-executive relations. Dr. King-Meadows’ current work examines public opinion about voting rights policy, judicial decision-making, and racial representation in Congress. He is co-author of Devolution and Black State Legislators (State University of New York Press, 2006) and has published articles in the National Political Science Review, American Review of Politics, and in Public Budgeting and Finance.

Dr. King-Meadows has held prestigious research fellowships and grants (e.g., Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a fellowship at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies, a Senior Fulbright Scholar Award at the University of Ghana, and a grant from the National Science Foundation). He is also active in the American Political Science Association and in the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.


Angela K. Lewis

Dr. Angela K. Lewis is an Associate Professor of Government at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Angela teaches courses in American government and black politics.  Her research appears in the National Political Science Review, the American Review of Politics, the Journal of African American Studies, the International Journal of Africana Studies, and the Journal of Race and Policy.

Lewis is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and holds several leadership positions in the American Political Science Association.  She also serves the local community as a political analyst on Cox Radio, providing detailed coverage of election

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Lewis is married with one son.

Charlton Mcllwain

Charlton McIlwain is an Associate Professor of Media, Culture & Communication at New York University. His work focuses on the construction, uses and effects of racialized communication in political campaigns. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book, Race Appeal (Temple, 2010), Co-Editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Race & Ethnicity (Routledge, 2010) and co-director of the Project on Race in Political Communication ( He also contributes regularly to

Amber Perez

Amber Perez graduated in 2008 from Emory University with a Major in Political Science and an emphasis in African American Studies. She currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona where she is actively involved in local politics.

Antonio Rodriguez

Antonio Rodriguez graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2009. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. His fields of research include American politics with an emphasis on minority political behavior and political communication.

Todd Shaw

Todd Shaw is an Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina at Columbia.  He researches and teaches in the areas of African American politics and ideology, urban politics, poverty and public policy (especially housing policy) and citizen activism.

His most recent book is Now Is the Time!  Detroit Black Politics and Grassroots Activism with Duke University Press (2009).  He is also the author of several articles in political science and Black studies journals. Currently, he is under contract with CQ Press to complete a textbook project entitled Uneven Roads:  An Introduction to U.S. Racial and Ethnic Politics with Professors Dianne Pinderhughes (Notre Dame University), Louis DeSipio (University of California at Irvine), and Toni-Michelle Travis (George Mason University).

Lester Spence

Lester K. Spence is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests include studying the impact of black power on black political behavior, developing models that predict the effect of media narratives on black public opinion, and examining the interplay between dominant mainstream political ideologies such as conservatism, liberalism, and neoliberalism, on black political action and thought. He is currently at work on a book called Stare in the Darkness: Rap, Hip-hop, and Black Politics, in which he examines the politics of the production, circulation, and consumption of rap and hip-hop in black discursive spaces.

Spence’s work has appeared in a variety of diverse media outlets including The Washington Post, The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch,,, and, as well as the American Journal of Political Science, the National Political Science Review, and the Dubois Review: Social Science Research on Race. He can be heard regularly on NPR.

Emma Tolbert

Emma Tolbert received her B.A. from Emory University in May 2008. She is currently residing in her native Alabama and pursuing a graduate degree in political science and public administration.

Rachel Yon

Rachel Yon is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida in the Department of Political Science. Her concentrations are Public Policy, American Government, and Methodology. Her dissertation focuses on the treatment of minority females in the juvenile justice system of Florida. She is currently an Instructor in the American Politics, Policy and Strategy stem of the Social Sciences Department at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.

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