Black focuses on African American studies and how current students of color, from early childhood through graduate school, succeed. His secondary scholarly focus is on representations of Black life in the slave narratives and other 19th century documents, and how these depictions conceal various modes of survival through literary irony and the folkloric trickster.
Black has taught early childhood education (Head Start), has been the coordinator for a nonprofit program seeking to keep young men of color in high school, and led campaigns for reform-minded school board candidates. He applies these interests and experiences in mentoring current and former students.
A first-generation college student, Black was named one of CSU’s Best Teachers in 2016.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.