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Yaba Blay

Drexel University

Dr. Yaba Blay is a professor, producer, and publisher. As a researcher and ethnographer, she uses personal and social narratives to disrupt fundamental assumptions about cultures and identities. As a cultural worker and producer, she uses images to inform consciousness, incite dialogue, and inspire others into action and transformation. 

Dr. Blay received her BA in Psychology (Cum Laude) from Salisbury State University, M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from the University of New Orleans, and M.A. and Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University with a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies. She is currently co-Director and Assistant Teaching Professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University. Dr. Blay is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of BLACKprint Press.

Recently named to The Root 100 (2014), an annual list of top Black influencers, Dr. Blay is one of today’s leading voices on colorism and global skin color politics. Her commentary has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Ebony MagazineThe Philadelphia Inquirer, The Root, Huffington Post Live, Colorlines, Al Jazeera America and elsewhere. Her book, (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, explores the interconnected nuances of skin color politics and Black racial identity, and challenges narrow perceptions of Blackness as both an identity and lived reality. In 2012, she served as a Consulting Producer for CNN Black in America – “Who is Black in America?” – a television documentary inspired by the scope of her (1)ne Drop project. In addition to her production work for CNN, Dr. Blay is producing a transmedia film project focused on the global practice of skin bleaching (with director Terence Nance); and has co-written a feature-length film entitled Black Sunshine (with director Akosua Adoma Owusu)