Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, Ph.D. University of Connecticut

Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, Ph.D.

Professor of History


Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar’s research interests include the 20th century United States, with a focus in African American history.

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Jeffrey Ogbonna Green Ogbar was born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, California. He received his BA in History from Morehouse College in Atlanta. He earned his MA and Ph.D. in U.S. History with a minor in African studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. Since 1997 he has taught at the University of Connecticut’s Department of History. From 2003-2009 he served as the Director of the Africana Studies Institute. He served as Associate Dean for the Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 2009-2012. In June 2012 he was named the University’s Vice Provost for Diversity. In 2014 he became founding director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music.

Dr. Ogbar’s research interests include the 20th century United States with a focus in African American history. More specifically, he studies black nationalism and social justice movements. He has developed courses, lectured and published articles on subjects as varied as the New Negro Renaissance, mass incarceration, social movements, hip-hop, and urban history.

Dr. Ogbar has held fellowships at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, where he completed work on his book, Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity. He also held fellowships at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, and the Africana studies program at the University of Miami where he conducted research for his book Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap. He won a UConn Humanities Institute Faculty Fellowship to continue researching and writing his latest book, America’s Black Capital: How African Americans Remade Atlanta in the Shadow of the Confederacy.

Along with research and teaching, Dr. Ogbar has enjoyed his role as the advisor to numerous student organizations, as well as working in various community service projects.

Areas of Expertise

African American Studies
U.S. Popular Culture
Black Nationalism
Social History
Twentieth-Century United States


Indiana University



Morehouse College






Media Appearances

Arrest in Tupac Shakur murder case follows decades of conspiracies

NBC News  online


"It's a story that has captivated people for a generation now," said Jeffrey Ogbar, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut and author of "Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap."

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Honoring Harrison ‘Honey’ Fitch: Star Athlete, UConn Trailblazer

SI FanNation  online


The college community’s embrace of Fitch was remarkable, explains Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar – a professor of history with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who studies the 20th century United States, with a focus on African American history – because of how systemic segregationist policies were in the United States at the time. “In the South, every single flagship university refused to admit students based on merit alone,” says Ogbar. “One had to be white. All professional sports, and even the U.S. military, were segregated. That UConn admitted Fitch and played him is one thing. But that he won accolades, and critical support, from his peers on and off the team is significant.”

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White Nationalism and the Formation of Atlanta

The Empowerment Zone with Ramona Houston  online


Today Ramona has a fascinating discussion with University of Connecticut history professor and former classmate, Dr. Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar. Listen as they discuss his current book project on how neo-Confederate politics of white nationalism provided the space for the rise of Atlanta as a Black Mecca.

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Unpacking Tupac's complicated legacy, on what would have been his 50th birthday

CBC Radio  online


Experts like Jeffrey Ogbar and Kevin Powell say Tupac's contradictions are part of what him so powerful as a figure.

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Matters of Diversity with Dr. B and Special Guest, Dr. Jeffrey Ogbar

Matters of Diversity with Dr. B Podcast  online


Dr. B. invites Dr. Jeffrey "O.G." Ogbar to talk about his research in rap music and its influence in today's culture.

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Rediscovering Black Power With Professor Jeffrey Ogbar

The Dave Chang Show  online


Dave and Chris Ying and joined by Jeffrey Ogbar, professor at the University of Connecticut, historian, and author of ‘Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity.’ They trace the Black Power movement and its various influences, including Asian American advocacy, to the present-day discourse on race relations and racial justice.

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Imani Perry. Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry.

American Historical Review

2020 Few African American artistic and political figures of the twentieth century have been as well known yet one-dimensionally represented in historical memory as Lorraine Hansberry. She is widely remembered as the successful writer whose play A Raisin in the Sun made her an award-winning talent and the first black woman to have a performance on Broadway. Hansberry, as revealed here, was much more. Born in Chicago in 1930, Hansberry’s life was a circuitous one that produced many other plays, poems, and journalistic articles. In the public sphere, she was an activist, radical, public intellectual, and friend to many high-profile people. The FBI investigated her; some black writers criticized her; many conservatives scorned her; and many others celebrated her discursive brilliance.

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Black nationalism defined

Routledge Handbook of Pan-Africanism

2020 Although scholars have grappled with defining the contours of nationalism, there are basic precepts that are definitive. Among these is the belief in political sovereignty and territorial independence for a people. Black nationalism, therefore, as a variant of the wider belief, adheres to these principles in its purest expressions. 1 Black nationalism emerged in the mid-19th century and endorses the creation of an independent black nation state. This form is known as ethnonationalism. It is predicated on an ethnic basis for a sovereign nation state. Examples include Serbian and Basque nationalisms in Europe, or Igbo, and Hutu nationalisms in Africa, and Sikh and Azerbaijani nationalisms in Asia. 2 Black nationalism is not, however, a pure form of ethnonationalism in that it is broader than an ethnic group.

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The mark of criminality: Rhetoric, race, and gangsta rap in the war-on-crime era Bryan J. McCann

Journal of Communication Inquiry

2019 Over the last decade and a half, there has emerged a veritable subfield known as Hip-Hop Studies, of which rap music is a central component. No subgenre of rap has drawn as much attention by scholars than gangsta rap. Bryan J. McCann, an assistant professor of communication studies, makes a worthy contribution to the field with the Mark of Criminality: Rhetoric, Race, and Gangsta Rap in the War-on-Crime Era.

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The Black Arts Movement Reprise: Television and Black Art in the 21st Century

European Journal of American Studies

2019 Beginning in the late 1960s, the Black Arts Movement grew as the cultural wing of the Black Power Movement. It was represented by a rich cross section of artistic work, often forged by young urban artists in genres as diverse as music, dance, visual arts, literature and theatre. No aesthetic was unaffected by inflections of this new black consciousness. This article explores the ways in which, a half-century after the Black Arts Movement, African Americans in television have cultivated an aesthetic and politics that resonate with the core thrust of the Black Arts Movement, one that sets black people in the center of their own cultural and political narratives, and inextricably bound to the wider movements of social justice in black communities.

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The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta by Maurice J. Hobson

Journal of Southern History

2019 The prosecution of Wilkins, Eaton, and Thomas is important because it represented the first modern convictions of Ku Klux Klan members by a southern jury in the United States. Prior to the federal case, the state of Alabama had tried the three men for murder in two separate cases; the first ended in a hung jury, and the second ended in an outright acquittal of the defendants. The failure of the state prosecutions led the US Department of Justice to try the defendants for conspiracy to deny Liuzzo of her civil rights. For several reasons, which Turner discusses in detail, the federal case proved successful, resulting in convictions, and the judge sentenced the three men to the maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.

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In Tupac’s life, the struggles and triumphs of a generation

The Conversation


Moviegoers this summer have enjoyed “All Eyez on Me,” the biopic of Tupac Shakur, one of the most iconic and influential musicians of the 20th century. Since his death in 1996, Tupac’s place in the pantheon of cultural icons has been firmly cemented. Scores of books and documentaries have detailed his life, career and tragic death, while musicians continue to pay tribute to his influence in their songs. He has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide, and earlier this year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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