Professor Melissa Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair in the Department of Politics and International Affairs, the Department of Women and Gender Studies, and the Program in Environment and Sustainability at Wake Forest University. There she teaches courses on American politics at the intersections of race, place, and gender. Harris-Perry is the author of the award-winning Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, and Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. Her scholarly work is published in academic journals and edited volumes.
Harris-Perry currently serves as interim host of The Takeaway, a daily news and information program produced by WNYC Studios and broadcast on more than 300 public radio stations across the country.
Professor Harris-Perry is founder and president of the Anna Julia Cooper Center, whose mission is to advance justice through intersectional scholarship and action. She supervises a small staff that generates intersectional programming, creates original media content, and supports innovative research. Along with Dorian Warren, Harris-Perry is co-creator and co-host of the podcast System Check. In partnership with her husband, James Perry, she is principal of the Perry Partnership offering both private and political consulting.
From 2012-2016, she hosted the television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” on weekend mornings on MSNBC and was awarded the Hillman Prize for broadcast journalism. She has served as editor-at-large for Elle.com and for ZORA. She continues to serve as contributing editor for The Nation.
Professor Harris-Perry is an award-winning author and sought after public speaker, lecturing widely throughout the United States and abroad. Harris-Perry received her B.A. degree in English from Wake Forest University and her Ph.D. degree in political science from Duke University. She studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Harris-Perry previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and Tulane University. Harris-Perry has been awarded honorary degrees from many universities including Meadville Lombard Theological School, Winston-Salem State University, Eckerd College, New York University, and Ithaca College.
Melissa and James are rearing two fulfilling daughters and tending a flock of more than two dozen chickens at their home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
- Maya Angelou Presidential Chair in the Department of Politics and International Affairs, the Department of Women and Gender Studies, and the Program in Environment and Sustainability at Wake Forest University
- Founder and president of the Anna Julia Cooper Center
- Interim host of The Takeaway, from WNYC
- Contributing editor for The Nation
- Host, “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC
- Editor-at-large for Elle.com
- Editor-at-large for ZORA
- Ph.D., political science, Duke University
- B.A., English, Wake Forest University