Tukufu Zuberi

Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations
Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies
On Leave for Fall 2016

Research Areas:
  • Sociology
  • Human Rights
  • African and African Diaspora
  • Africana Studies
  • Population and Health
  • Film
Dr. Tukufu Zuberi is the Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on Race, African and African Diaspora populations. He developed and expanded the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also been a visiting professor at Mekerere University in Kampala, Uganda and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Professor Zuberi holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago, is the author or editor of several books, articles, essays, and reviews, and has received numerous awards for his academic work. He is dedicated to bringing a fresh view of culture and society to the public through various platforms. Dr. Zuberi is currently producing Africa and the World, a unique Broadcast and New Media project designed to give American and international audiences fresh insight into the continent’s past, present, and future by examining crucial historical turning points in African history over the past 75 years. With this and other New Media projects, Dr. Zuberi is dedicated to bringing a critical, creative vision not typically seen or heard on the big and small screen. Born Antonio McDaniel to Willie and Annie McDaniel, and raised in the housing projects of Oakland, California, he embraced the name Tukufu Zuberi - Swahili for “beyond praise” and “strength.” He has said “I took the name because of a desire to make and have a connection with an important period where people were challenging what it means to be a human being.” Dr. Zuberi is the author of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot: The Mortality Cost of Colonizing Liberia in the Nineteenth-Century, published by the University of Chicago Press in 1995; and Thicker than Blood: How Racial Statistics Lie, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2001. He is the series editor of the General Demography of Africa (a multi-volume series). He has written more than 50 scholarly articles, and edited or co-edited eight volumes. Dr. Zuberi is popularly known as a host on the hit Public Broadcasting System (PBS) series, History Detectives. History Detectives is devoted to exploring the complexities of historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends and interesting objects. Currently in production for its tenth season, History Detectives regularly shows the way individual objects can serve as a lens into the past. As a History Detective, Dr. Zuberi is an observer of the social and cultural forces that shape historical mysteries in American society. For more information on his current and past projects, please check out and
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