Design Team

Shari Arnold is a Georgia native who completed her BA in English at Kennesaw State University.  She is currently working on her PhD in literary studies with an interest in 20th-century African American writers.  Besides her academic endeavors, she is also a proud amateur gourmet chef, a hip-hop aficionado, a contemporary art enthusiast, and a pop culture critic.

Jeff Brown was raised in the suburbs of North Atlanta. He is currently pursuing his Master of Arts (MAT) in Secondary English Education at Georgia State University. He cannot wait to become a high school English teacher and basketball coach and make a positive impact on his community.

Keith Freeman was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia.  Keith Freeman is currently a student in the Master of Arts in English and Literary Studies program at Georgia State University. 

Ebony Gibson is completing a PhD at Georgia State University.  Her areas of interest include 20th-century African American Literature, black television and film, and fiction writing.  She is also currently an assistant professor of English at Georgia Gwinnett College.

Nikkia Grant is a native of Harlem, New York, but has been living in Georgia with her family since 2004.  She received a BA in English from Hampton University in 2013 and is currently pursuing an MAT in English education with a concentration in middle and secondary levels.

Te’Eris Hardwick is also known as Phoenyx J. He began fine-tuning his craft by earning a creative writing degree at the University of Central Florida. Now completing his MA in English at the historic Clark Atlanta University, his future ambitions include becoming a great African American writer of the 21st century.

Joshua Ryan Jackson is a PhD student at Georgia State University. He came to southern studies during his MA at the University of Arkansas, after which he freelanced as a self-taught data journalist, marketing copywriter, and editor. He attended MLA’s 2016 roundtable discussion on Future Souths, where he was inspired to return to graduate school and explore any intersections that might exist between southern studies, speculative fiction, and the digital humanities.

Adeerya Johnson is a Hip-Hop Womanist from East Atlanta, Ga. She received her BA in Psychology from Spelman College. She is currently a Masters student in the Department of African American Studies at Georgia State University. Adeerya’s interest includes Black popular culture, Black Psychology and Hip-Hop politics. Her future plans are to be a professor in Black psychology and pursue research on the psychology and mental health of Black women.

Mara Johnson was raised in the suburbs of Atlanta and is currently pursuing her MAT in Secondary English Education.  She plans to pursue a career teaching high school literature and change the world one young mind at a time.

Rebecca Kumar holds a PhD in English from Emory University, and she is pursuing an MA in Fiction at Georgia State University.  Her research interests include global Shakespeare studies, feminist and queer theory, Afro-Asian relations, and science fiction.

Anastasia Latson is a native of Georgia. She is currently completing her Ph.D. at Georgia State University.

Cecily McMillan is a social justice organizer and advocate for prison reform. She currently works as an organizer in Atlanta while also pursuing a Ph.D. in English at Georgia State University. In addition to writing for The New York Times, Al Jazeera and Huffington Post, her memoir, The Emancipation of Cecily McMillan was published in 2016 by Nation Books.

Radhika Nataraj is not Mindy Kaling. She’s just a clinically dorky girl-woman of Indian descent sharing the workings of her overly sensitive heart and frustratingly neurotic brain. And she has just realized how much she sounds like Mindy Kaling. She spent ten years teaching high school English and SAT prep classes, though, and has earned a B.A. in Economics from Georgia Tech, along with an M.Ed in Secondary English Education and an M.A. in English from Georgia State University, if any of that makes her sound like a better person. (She’s not, unfortunately.)

Andy Reid is a graduate student at Georgia State University, receiving his MA in African American Studies.  His research interests include early 20th-century African American history, and his forthcoming master’s thesis examines the southern Garvey Movement and its association with southern black churches. 

Tysheira Scribner is working on a MAT in secondary English education at Georgia State University. As a first generation high-school and college graduate, she has strong interest in the importance of education and leadership within the black community. She earned her BA in writing & rhetorical studies at Georgia Gwinnett College and considers herself merely a “lover and writer.”

Brittany Stewart is a PhD student in literary studies in the Department of English at Georgia State University where her areas of interest include African and African American literature, African folklore, and African American culture.  She currently teaches English as a middle school educator and as an adjunct instructor.

Jihad Uhuru is an authority on practical and effective solutions for the empowerment of young African American Kings and Queens to overcome systemic oppression.  Having lived the street life that is so often glamorized in rap and popular culture, he weaves these experiences into positive, uplifting narratives.  He is the author of 13 novels, including Street Life, The Message, and Dark Horse Assassin.  Jihad is a graduate student in African American studies at Georgia State University with a special interest in critical pedagogy.  For more visit

Darius Wimby is a proud native of Atlanta, Georgia.  He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in secondary English education at Georgia State University.  His areas of interest include 20th-century African American literature; urban education; and African American television, music, and film.  Upon graduation he plans to teach high school English, using his personal and professional experiences to impact students in the classroom.

Kelon Blackshear

Jamari Devine

Justin Jones

Sarah Murphy

Visual Design

Kweku Vassall is a current MA student in African American Studies at Georgia State University.  His research interests include critical pedagogy, African-centered/Black independent school experiences, and educational methods that combine visual arts, digital media, and the social sciences.

Director | Content + Design

Dr. Scott Heath is a professor in the Department of English at Loyola University New Orleans, where he specializes in African American literature, black popular culture, and speculative race theory.  His book Head Theory: How Hip Hop Works is being published by Oxford University Press.