Riché Richardson

MLK, jr. - Riché Richardson
MLK, jr. – Riché Richardson

Riché Richardson was born and raised primarily by her mother Joanne Richardson and grandparents Joe and Emma Lou Jenkins Richardson in Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement.  She was baptized at Maggie Street Baptist Church and attended St. John the Baptist Catholic School and St. Jude Educational Institute, and grew up with a love for collecting dolls, working on crafts and writing poetry. Growing up, she was also a student leader and honor student very active in extracurricular activities and community service.  She served as vice-president and president of St. Jude’s student council and as newspaper editor.  The community initiative that she developed as a teen for children at Cleveland Avenue’s YMCA reflected her aim to “make a difference,” a goal that to this day, shapes her public outreach and public voice as a scholar in the humanities.  She attended Spelman College and majored in English and minored in philosophy and women’s studies.  She received her Ph.D. at Duke University in American literature and a Certificate in African and African American Studies.  She is a 2001 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow.  She spent the first decade of her academic career in the University of California at UC Davis, where she received a citation for Diversity and the Principles of Community in 2008.  She is currently an associate professor in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University and works primarily in the fields of African American literature, Southern studies, cultural studies, and gender studies.   Her recent courses include “bell hooks Books,” “The Oprah Book Club and African American Literature,” “Introduction to Africana Studies,” “Toni Morrison’s Novels,” “Black Panther Party Autobiography:  Writing the Activist Self, 1966-2016,” “The Willard Straight Takeover and the Legacy of Black Student Movement,” and “Beyoncé Nation.”  She has published essays in numerous journals, along with the book Black Masculinity and the U.S. South:  From Uncle Tom to Gangsta (2007), and can’t wait until its sequel is available.  Since 2005, she has co-edited the New Southern Studies book series at the University of Georgia Press.  She is also an artist whose mixed-media appliqué art quilts have been featured in several solo and group exhibitions, and in the films A Portrait of the Artist (2008) and The Skin Quilt Project (2010).  In 2009, she was invited to Paris as a Cultural Envoy of the U.S. Embassy in France and honored at the Ambassador’s Residence.  She is a member of the Sister Scholars Advisory Council in the Delta Research and Educational Foundation and the Montgomery Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  In 2016, she received the “Educator of the Year Award” from St. Jude Alumni & Friends, Inc.  Currently, she is a Public Voices Fellow with the Op-Ed Project.   She enjoys spending time with her family and at church, spa visits for facials, manicures, pedicures and soy organic body waxing, traveling, and posting on Facebook.  She still reads more cookbooks than she uses but hopes to change that someday soon. 

“A Ride to NEW Futures with Rosa Parks: Producing Scholarship and Community Art” by Riché Richardson


Academic Website

Artist Website

Book Publications and Editing

YouTube Channel – Talks and Film/Documentary