Photo Credit: Ann Blake Photography

Yaba Blay, Ph.D.  is a teacher-scholar of Africana Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies. She received a BA in Psychology (Cum Laude) from Salisbury State University, an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from the University of New Orleans, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies. She has been a member of the teaching faculties of Temple University, Florida International University, Lehigh University, and Lafayette College. Dr. Blay is currently an Assistant Teaching Professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University.

While her broader research interests are related to Africana cultural aesthetics and aesthetic practices, issues of gender in Africa and the Diaspora, and global Black popular culture, her specific research interests lie within Black identities and the politics of embodiment. Among her many publications, Blay’s ethnographic case study entitled “Pretty Color and Good Hair: Creole Women of New Orleans and the Politics of Identity” is featured in the Hampton Press anthology Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities (2011). In addition to her many publications, she is an active editor, serving as a member of The Journal of Pan African Studies (JPAS) editorial board, a peer reviewer for Jenda: A Journal of Culture and African Women’s Studies, and has edited special issues of both Jenda and JPAS focused on skin bleaching in Africa and the Diaspora. Dr. Blay is the recipient of a 2010 Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant through which she embarked upon (1)ne Drop. She is currently a consulting producer for CNN Black in America 5 – “Who is Black in America?” – a television documentary inspired by the scope of the (1)ne Drop Project.

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