Academics: Faculty

Richard D. Benson II, Ph.D.


Upcoming Book Signings and Talks

Author, advocate and Spelman professor Richard Benson ll, Ph.D., will be traveling around the country to discuss his new book, Fighting for Our Place in the Sun: Malcolm X and the Radicalization of the Black Student Movement 1960-1973.

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About Dr. Richard Benson

Title: Assistant Professor & Teacher Certification Officer
Education Studies Program
Location: Giles 207

Richard D. Benson II is an assistant professor in the Education Studies Program at Spelman College in Atlanta. A native of Chicago, he earned a dual bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science from Saint Xavier University, an M.A. in inner city education studies from Northeastern Illinois University and a M.Ed. in instructional leadership, educational studies from the University of Illinois-Chicago.  In 2010, he successfully completed the pursuit of his Ph.D. in educational policy studies specializing in the history of education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Benson’s research interests combine a wealth of experiences and scholarship in critical pedagogy, history of American and African-American education, hip-hop history and youth popular culture, critical race theory and education, history of social movements, and school-community relationships amongst other provocative subject matter.

His expertise has led to several published works, including “Sabbath Schools” and “Floyd B. McKissick” both featured in the Encyclopedia of African American Education. As the recipient of many awards including the UNCF/Mellon Faculty Residency Award and the Avery Research Center for African American History & Culture Fellowship, Dr. Benson travels frequently as a guest lecturer throughout the U.S. and abroad, speaking on topics such as education, social consciousness, the Black student movement, and the educational philosophy of Malcolm X.

His most current projects is the book, Fighting for Our Place in the Sun: Malcolm X and the Radicalization of the Black Student Movement 1960–1973 with Peter Lang Publishing. Dr. Benson has appeared as a guest on radio shows including WVON-Chicago’s Education Roundtable and Blackanomics on Sirus XM Radio.

At Spelman College, Dr. Benson has taught a myriad of courses such as Educational Psychology, Advocacy in Urban Schools, and the History and Philosophy of African-American Education. As an educator, Dr. Benson is passionate about empowering students to utilize education as a mechanism of personal achievement in society and critical analysis of the world around them. He is involved with several youth/community organizations, including working with the Social Justice Fellows Program of Spelman College and the Raising Expectations youth development program also in Atlanta.

Benson Book Tour Dates

Upcoming Date: Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Woodruff Library and Archives Division
AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library
111 James P. Brawley Dr, SW Atlanta, 30314
Phone: 404-978-2100

Past Dates:

Tuesday, Feb. 10
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Spelman community is invited to join Richard Benson, Ph.D., assistant professor of Education Studies, on Tuesday, Feb. 10, as he shares excerpts from his newly released book, "Fighting For Our Place in the Sun: Malcolm X and the Radicalization of the Black Student Movement, 1960-1973.

During the talk, Dr. Benson will discuss the book, which illuminates the untold tenets of Malcolm X's educational philosophy. He'll also share the historical trajectory of Black activists that sought to create educational spaces free from cultural and racial oppression. Free and open to the public, the discussion is sponsored by the Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development. It will be held at 6 p.m. in the NASA auditorium of the Albro-Falconer-Manley Science Center.

Friday, Feb. 13
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Book Signing and Discussion
Northeastern Illinois University
Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies
Pre-Function Area Donn F. Bailey Legacy Hall
730 East Oakwood Blvd., Chicago, ILL 60653
Phone: 773-268-7500

Tuesday, Feb. 24

Live Special Guest Interview
Show: On Purpose hosted by Jonathan Eaglin

Wednesday, Feb. 25
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m

Woodson Regional Library Auditorium in Chicago
Phone: 312-747-6921