Randal Maurice Jelks is an Associate Professor of American Studies with a joint appointment in African and African American Studies. Professor Jelks holds courtesy appointments in History, Religious Studies, and is the Co-editor of the journal American Studies.
Dr. Jelks was the 2006-2007 Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the National Humanities Center in Research Park Triangle, North Carolina and in 2008 he was the Langston Hughes Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas in American Studies.
Jelks has published both scholarly and journalistic articles. His research and writing interests are in the areas of African American religious history, the African Diaspora, urban, and civil Rights History. He has also published an award-winning book titled African Americans in the Furniture City: the Civil Rights Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan (The University of Illinois Press, 2006). His forthcoming book on Martin Luther Kin Jr.'s mentor Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography (University of North Carolina Press, April 16 2012).
Jelks is also one of the founders and editors of theblackbottom.com, a blog of African American Politics, Culture, and Activism.