Keidrick Roy

Keidrick Roy

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Speaker Profile

Keidrick Roy is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a scholar of American history, literature, and political thought since the Revolutionary era. His research brings the ideas of prominent and lesser-known African American figures across U.S. history to bear on urgent social and political concerns, including the place of race, religion, and optimism in modern society. Roy’s forthcoming book, American Dark Age: Racial Feudalism and the Rise of Black Liberalism, reveals how a Black liberal tradition that developed in the years leading up to the Civil War holds vital lessons for us today as hate groups threaten U.S. democracy. He is working on another book about how Black Americans have transformed Enlightenment ideas.

Roy has received national attention through media outlets such as CBS News Sunday Morning and the Chicago Review of Books and appears in the HBO documentary Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches. He has also curated two major exhibitions on Black American figures at the American Writers Museum in Chicago, including Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, and Ralph Ellison. Before joining academia, Roy served as a nuclear operations officer in the military and has since been an award-winning educator at the United States Air Force Academy and Harvard.