In November 2015, I gave a talk to members of Rice’s History Department, students, and alumni that were gathered at the Weiss Master’s house as part of the ‘Problems in African American History’ seminar series. It stands as one of my biggest professional accomplishments. I graduated from Rice in 2003 and decided to go to graduate school at Princeton in political science…but it was only because of the guidance of Professors Edward Cox and Alexander Byrd.
Storytime: Byrd and Cox were my undergraduate professor exemplars. Through their teaching, they exhibited a portrait of something that I *hoped* I might some day become. Both Ed and Alex took time out of their busy schedules to help me become a more thoughtful scholar and to care about the written word. From ‘Caribbean Nation Building’ to ‘Blacks in Reagan’s America,’ I was taught to think independently and that the answers to big questions often lay outside of the parameters we are traditionally taught to think about things in.