Yaba Blay

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  • Trusted Thought Leader on Global Black Identity and Culture, Black Beauty Politics, Colorism, and White Supremacy
  • Scholar-Activist and Creator of Locs of LOVE, #PrettyPeriod, and #ProfessionalBlackGirl
  • Author of the Award-Winning Book, 'One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race'
  • Former Dan Blue Endowed Chair in Political Science, North Carolina Central University



Scholar-activist, cultural critic, award-winning author, and consultant Dr. Yaba Blay centers her scholarship, work, and practice on the lived experiences of Black women and girls, with a particular focus on identity/body politics and beauty practices. Widely respected as one of the foremost thought leaders on Black racial identity, colorism, and beauty politics, Dr. Blay is a globally sought-after speaker and consultant with an extensive client list of over two dozen academic institutions including Harvard University, Duke University, Spelman College, New York University, to name a few; and such corporate entities as Netflix, Revlon, International, SheaMoisture, Estee Lauder Companies, Procter & Gamble’s ‘My Black is Beautiful’, and the #meToo. Movement. Her commentary is featured in A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond, a permanent installation exhibited in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and she is the author of the award-winning book, One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race. In riveting keynotes and conversations, Dr. Blay inspires both critical thinking and grounded, meaningful action, offering incomparable insights from her personal experience, research, and creative work that make an impact with audiences of all kinds.

Dr. Blay served as a producer on CNN’s television documentary, Who is Black in America? and has since been named one of today’s leading Black voices by “The Root 100” and Essence Magazine’s “Woke 100.” She has appeared on CNN, BET, MSNBC, BBC, and NPR, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, EBONY, Essence, Fast Company, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Colorlines, and The Root, to name a few. Lauded by O Magazine for her social media activism, she has launched several viral campaigns including Locs of Love, #PrettyPeriod, and #ProfessionalBlackGirl, her multi-platform digital community. Dr. Yaba has been sought after for events with groups including Shondaland, National Anti-Racist Book Festival, Courageous Conversation, and more.

 

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Rave Reviews About Yaba Blay
Colorism and Mediated Images offered by Dr. Blay is a deeply introspective journey and conversation about diverse media. Dr. Blay created a comfortable environment for open and honest participant discussions. From our pre-brief meetings, to the lecture presentation itself, to our debriefing sessions, she was consistently honest in her feedback, and showed a genuine care in collaborating with us, rather than simply teaching us. We are very much looking forward to working with Dr. Blay again.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Yaba Blay
  • Courageous Conversation
  • National Anti-Racist Book Festival
  • Shondaland, Inc.
  • Salisbury University
  • PIMA Community College
  • Norfolk State University
  • Milwaukee Film Festival
  • Georgia Tech
  • NCSU
  • Tarrant Community College
Late Show - Defining Blackness: How Racism Divides Black Communities - Beyond the Scenes | The Daily Show [55:42] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Talks By Yaba Blay
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Author Talk: ‘One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race’

Inspired by her award-winning book, One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, scholar-activist and cultural consultant Dr. Yaba Blay explores the extent to which historical definitions of race continue to shape contemporary racial identities and lived experiences of racial difference. Dr. Blay delves int ...

Inspired by her award-winning book, One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race, scholar-activist and cultural consultant Dr. Yaba Blay explores the extent to which historical definitions of race continue to shape contemporary racial identities and lived experiences of racial difference. Dr. Blay delves into vital questions about defining identity – how we define ourselves, each other, and how we navigate these complex ideas to create greater equity and belonging in our workplaces and communities.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging – Moving Beyond Language

Scholar-activist and award-winning author Dr. Yaba Blay inspires both critical thinking as well as action. Sought after as a public speaker and cultural consultant by global brands, Dr. Blay is widely respected as one of the foremost thought leaders on Black racial identity, colorism, and beauty pol ...

Scholar-activist and award-winning author Dr. Yaba Blay inspires both critical thinking as well as action. Sought after as a public speaker and cultural consultant by global brands, Dr. Blay is widely respected as one of the foremost thought leaders on Black racial identity, colorism, and beauty politics. In enlightening and empowering talks, Dr. Blay helps audiences move past the ‘checklist’ mindset of diversity, equity, and inclusion work toward meaningful questions and grounded action.

Colorism and Mediated Images

In one of her signature talks, cultural critic, scholar-activist, and award-winning author Dr. Yaba Blay leads audiences on a deeply introspective journey and facilitates an empowering conversation about diverse media. Widely respected as one of the foremost thought leaders on Black racial identity, ...

In one of her signature talks, cultural critic, scholar-activist, and award-winning author Dr. Yaba Blay leads audiences on a deeply introspective journey and facilitates an empowering conversation about diverse media. Widely respected as one of the foremost thought leaders on Black racial identity, colorism, and beauty politics, Dr. Blay offers an impactful presentation while creating a genuine, collaborative connection with audiences of all kinds.

Dr. Yaba Blay is an In-Demand Cultural Consultant

Widely respected as one of the foremost thought leaders on Black racial identity, colorism, and beauty politics, scholar-activist and award-winning author Dr. Blay is a globally sought-after speaker and consultant with an extensive client list of over two dozen academic institutions including Harvar ...

Widely respected as one of the foremost thought leaders on Black racial identity, colorism, and beauty politics, scholar-activist and award-winning author Dr. Blay is a globally sought-after speaker and consultant with an extensive client list of over two dozen academic institutions including Harvard University, Duke University, Spelman College, New York University, to name a few; and such corporate entities as Netflix, UniLever International, SheaMoisture, Estee Lauder Companies, Procter & Gamble’s ‘My Black is Beautiful’, and the #meToo. Movement.

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Biography

Dr. Yaba Blay is a scholar-activist, public speaker, and cultural consultant whose scholarship, work and practice centers on the lived experiences of Black women and girls, with a particular focus on identity/body politics and beauty practices. Lauded by O Magazine for her social media activism, she has launched several viral campaigns including Locs of Love, #PrettyPeriod, and #ProfessionalBlackGirl, her multi-platform digital community.

In 2012, Dr. Blay served as a producer on CNN’s television documentary, Who is Black in America?, and has since been named one of today’s leading Black voices by ‘The Root 100’ and Essence Magazine’s ‘Woke 100.’ She has appeared on CNN, BET, MSNBC, BBC, and NPR, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, EBONY, Essence, Fast Company, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Colorlines, and The Root, to name a few. Her commentary is featured in A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond, a permanent installation exhibited in the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and she is the author of the award-winning One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race.

Widely respected as one of the foremost thought leaders on Black racial identity, colorism, and beauty politics, Dr. Blay is a globally sought-after speaker and consultant with an extensive client list of over two dozen academic institutions including Harvard University, Duke University, Spelman College, New York University, to name a few; and such corporate entities as Netflix, UniLever International, SheaMoisture, Estee Lauder Companies, Procter & Gamble’s ‘My Black is Beautiful,’ and the #meToo. Movement.

Dr. Yaba Blay earned a Master of Arts and PhD in African American Studies (with distinction) and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Temple University. She also holds a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from the University of New Orleans. The former Dan Blue Endowed Chair in Political Science at North Carolina Central University, she has also taught on the faculties of Lehigh University, Lafayette College, and Drexel University, where she served as the Director of the Africana Studies program.