Jenn M. Jackson (they/them) is a genderflux androgynous Black woman, a lesbian, an abolitionist, a lover of all Black people, and an Assistant Professor at Syracuse University in the Department of Political Science.
Jackson’s primary research is in Black Politics with a focus on racial threat and trauma, gender and sexuality, political behavior, and social movements. Jackson also holds affiliate positions in African American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and LGBT Studies. They are a Senior Research Associate at The Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, as well.
Jackson is the author of the forthcoming book BLACK WOMEN TAUGHT US (Random House Press, 2023). The book is an intellectual and political history of Black women’s activism, movement organizing, and philosophical work that explores how women from Harriet Jacobs to Audre Lorde to the members of the Combahee River Collective, among others, have for centuries taught us how to fight for justice and radically reimagine a more just world for us all.
Jackson’s first academic book project POLICING BLACKNESS (University of Chicago Press, 2023) investigates the role of group threat in influencing Black Americans’ political behavior. Methodologically, they utilize quantitative analyses of survey data and experiments as well as qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with young Black Americans ages 18 to 35 to investigate both intergroup and intragroup differences in responses to and ideas about group threat. Jackson finds that Black women are most likely to express concerns about state-based and intragroup threat. Comparatively, Black men vary drastically in their responses to group threat depending on their sexual orientation, gender expression, and vulnerability to stereotypes.
As a recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, Jackson is a 2020 recipient of the Tenth Decade grant ($20,000) and the CUSE Seed Grant ($5,000) funding her book research.
Jackson has spoken at many symposiums, events, and conferences about Black Politics and Feminist scholarship and race politics in the United States including the Race and Criminal Justice mini-conference at APSA 2019, the Race and the American Criminal Justice System webinar at Stanford University (June 2020), and the GenForward Data for Liberation “Contested Politics” webinar (October 2020). Jackson is also regularly invited out to community-based events to speak about policing, social movements, youth politics, and Black political behavior today.
Jackson is a columnist for Teen Vogue and a highly sought after writer for many online publications like Truth Out, Al Jazeera, Washington Post, The Lily, and many others. Jackson is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Jackson co-runs Colored Convos Media, LLC, a media company committed to elevating the work of Black and queer content creators.. They are the co-host of the That Black Couple podcast, an honest look at Blackness, culture, and adult life.
Through their research and teaching in the academy, their work as an organizer and political educator in Black-led movement spaces, and their journalistic and book-length work, Jackson seeks to disrupt the status quo which demands silence from those who are most marginalized in society. In the traditions of women like Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells, and Angela Davis, Jackson is a firm believer that it is the job of Black queer/trans/womxn academics to make space and hold that space for the fullness of Black experiences especially in the Ivory Tower, social justice, and publishing realms.
Jackson received their doctoral degree in Political Science from the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago where they also received a graduate certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Jackson earned an MA with honors in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton in 2011 where they later taught Political Science Research Methods and Black Politics.
In 2007, Jackson earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Southern California with a minor in Sociology.
Jackson is a proud native of Oakland, CA (ancestral home of indigenous Chochenyo-speaking Ohlone people) though they currently reside on conquered Onondaga Lands in upstate New York.
If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.
Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.
If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.