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Akinyele Umoja is an educator and scholar-activist. Dr. Umoja has varied experiences as an educator. He has taught in secondary schools, alternative schools, and colleges and universities, as well as developed Afrikan-centered curriculum for public schools and community education programs.
Currently, he is a Professor and Department Chair of the Department of African-American Studies at Georgia State University (GSU). At GSU, Umoja is responsible for teaching courses related to the history of people of African descent in Georgia, the Civil Rights Movement and other Black political and social movements, courses on the enslavement of African people in the New World, African religion and philosophy, and 19th and 20th century Black political and social movements.
Dr. Umoja’s writing has been featured in scholarly publications as The Journal of Black Studies, New Political Science, The International Journal of Africana Studies, Black Scholar, Radical History Review and Socialism and Democracy. Umoja was one of the contributors to Blackwell Companion on African-American History, edited by Alton Hornsby; The Black Panther Party Reconsidered, edited by Charles Earl Jones;Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party, edited by Kathleen Cleaver and George Katisaficus; and "Malcolm X: A Historical Reader", edited by James Conyers and Andrew Smallwood.
In April 2013, New York University Press published Umoja's first single authored book titled, "We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement".
Dr. Umoja has been a contributor to commercial and popular documentaries on the experience of the Black Freedom struggle. Umoja was a featured commentator on American Gangster Dr. Mutulu Shakur Season 3, Episode 6, which aired on November 8, 2008. He also appears in "Bastards of the Party" (2006), produced by Anthony Fuqua and directed by Cle "Bone" Sloan, and Freedom Archives "Cointelpro 101" (2010). On March 8, 2014, he offered the solemn libations[clarification needed] to the African ancestors and mentors of his late friend, Chokwe Lumumba at the late mayor's funeral in Jackson, Mississippi.
Umoja has been active over forty years in the liberation struggle of Afrikan people, particularly working with the New Afrikan Independence Movement. He is a founding member of the New Afrikan Peoples Organization and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Brother Umoja has represented both organizations nationally and in international forums in the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. He is particularly committed to work to support and gain amnesty for political prisoners and prisoners of war and to win reparations for Afrikan people. Umoja has also involved himself in the solidarity movement for democracy and self-determination of Haiti.