"...So I think the problem is that we oftentimes buy into narratives, to stories, and become convinced that this is the story, this is true. And when you come along and say, no, we need to look at this again."
Ronald Bailey was born in 1948 in the small town of Claxton, Georgia. His first memory of involvement in the civil rights movement was in 8th grade, when he had to defend his right to request books from the library. Bailey obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, where he learned Russian and was able to travel and study in Russia.He joined the Black Power Movement in 1966, worked for the African Liberation Support Committee, and traveled to South Africa as an activist. He went on to study slavery at Stanford, earning a master’s degree in the newly created field of Interdisciplinary Black Studies.Bailey went on to organize garment unions and serve as a White House Intern before attended the University of California Santa Barbara to earn his PhD. Bailey has taught at Fisk, Cornell, Northwestern, Savannah State, South Carolina State University, Knoxville College, Ole Miss, and Northeastern University. He moved to the University of Illinois in 2011, where he serves on the Committee On Race and Ethnicity (CORE). CORE helped pass a resolution stating that all U of I students must take cultural and ethnic classes in order to graduate. CORE also tries to recruit a more diverse student body. Professor Bailey lives in Champaign and has five children.