Salamishah Tillet

Salamishah Tillet is the Henry Rutgers Professor of African American Studies and Creative Writing; Founding Director of the New Arts Social Justice Initiative at Express Newark; Associate Director of the Clement Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University and formerly the  Robert S. Blank Presidential Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a contributing Culture critic to the New York Times and the author of Sites of Slavery (Duke University Press), Gloria Steinem: The Kindle Singles Interview for Amazon,  In Search of 'The Color Purple' (forthcoming the Abrams series Writers on Writing), and All the Rage “Mississippi Goddam,” and the World that Nina Simone Made forthcoming from Ecco Press.

In 2003, she and her sister, Scheherazade Tillet, co-founded A Long Walk Home, a nonprofit that uses art to empower young people and end violence against girls and women and is the subject and writer of the "Story of A Rape Survivor" multimedia performance.  She is featured in "Rape Is...," is an associate producer of Aishah Shahidah Simmons’s groundbreaking film "NO! The Rape Documentary," and along with Gloria Steinem wrote the new introduction for the 30th anniversary of Robin Warshaw's landmark book "I Never Called It Rape" to be reissued by HarperCollins in September 2018. In July, Tillet will join Rutgers University-Newark as the founding director of the Public Arts and Social Justice Initiative, the Associate Director of the Price Institute of Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience and as the Henry Rutgers Term Professor of African American Studies and Creative Writing.

She has been the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellow for Career Enhancement and served as a visiting fellow at the Center of African American Studies at Princeton University.   She also been awarded the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.  In 2013-14, she was a Scholar-in-Residence at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

She wrote the liner notes for John Legend and The Roots’ three-time Grammy award-winning album, Wake Up!.  and was interviewed in the documentary, “The Amazing Nina Simone.”

Tillet has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, TEDxWomen, All In With Chris Hayes, AM Joy with Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow Show, and PBS News Hour.  Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, Elle, The Guardian, The Nation, New York Magazine, New York Review of Books, The Root, Time, Callaloo as well as in the premiere academic journals, American Literary History, American Quarterly, and Novel.   

For her leadership in activism and advancing girls and women’s rights, Tillet was named as one of the “Top 50 Global Leaders Ending Violence Against Children” by the Together for Girls’ Safe magazine and America’s “Top Leaders Under 30” by Ebony.