Dr. Arica L Coleman is an award winning, nationally recognized American historian whose research focuses on comparative ethnic studies and issues of racial formation and identity. Her additional research interests include indigeneity, immigration/migration, interracial relations, mixed race identity, race and gender intersections, sexuality, the politics of race and science, and popular culture.
Dr. Coleman is an evaluator of African American Programs for the Delaware Humanities Forum and a freelance contributor to Time Magazine’s History and Archives Division. She is also chair of the ALANA Committee for the Organization of American Historians which focuses on the status of African American, Latino/a American, Native American and Asian American histories and historians within the history profession. She is the 2015-2017 chairperson for ALANA’s Huggins/Quarles Award and ALANA’s committee chairperson for 2016-2018. In addition, she serves on the Critical Mixed Race Conference Planning Committee.
She received her doctorate in American Studies with a concentration in African American-Native America relations in North America from the Union Institute and University in 2005. She completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Scholarly Information Resources and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University during the 2006-2007 academic year. In 2008, she was a summer Mellon Fellow for the Future of Minority Studies Consortium at Cornell University.
Dr. Coleman has held faculty appointments in Africana Studies at Widener University, the University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University. In 2014, she was lead faculty facilitator for the UNCF/Mellon Faculty Fellows Domestic Summer Institute held at the University of New Mexico. The seminar titled In Search of Home: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Shared Experiences of Indigenous and Immigrant Populations in Colonized Spaces was developed in collaboration with UNM, The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, and the Laguna Pueblo Nation.
She has lectured and presented papers at academic and public venues including The Organization of American Historians, The American Historical Association, The Association for the Study of African American Life and History, MIT’s Conference on Race and Science, The National Holocaust Museum, The Virginia Forum, The United Cherokee Nation of Virginia Annual Meeting, and the Hampton Public Library.
She has also lent her expertise on matters of race and ethnicity to the Washington Post, NPR, Indian Country Today, History News Network, L.A. Progressive, The Female View Broadcast, Native Trailblazers Blog Radio, CTV (Canada News), the Virginia General Assembly House Rules Committee, and the Atlantic Live; Her work on the Loving v. Virginia case was recently cited by The New York Times and The Root.
Her first book, That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia, a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2014, traces the history and legacy of Virginia’s effort to maintain racial purity and the consequences of this almost four hundred year effort on African American – Native American relations and kinship bonds in the Commonwealth.
Her article “Mildred Loving: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Woman” was chosen as The 2016 Gloria Anzaldua Award Honorable Mention by the Gender and Sexuality Committee of the American Studies Association.