Melissa V. Harris-Perry is a professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She has also previously served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Princeton University.
Professor Harris-Perry is author of several books, most-recently, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America (Yale 2011). The book sheds light on the pervasive stereotypes that are invisible to many but painfully familiar to black women. The author argues that these derogatory stereotypes, "profoundly shape black women's politics, contribute to policies that treat them unfairly, and make it difficult for black women to assert their rights in the political arena."
In 2005, she won the W. E. B. Du Bois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnic Politics Section of the American Political Science Association for her first book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought (Princeton 2004).
Mrs. Harris-Perry is a columnist for The Nation magazine; her monthly column is also titled Sister Citizen.
Her academic research focuses on of African American political thought, black religious ideas and practice, social and clinical psychology, and is inspired by, "a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges." Her work has been published in many scholarly journals and edited volumes.
She is the host of MSNBC's, "Melissa Harris-Perry." The show airs on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to Noon ET. She lives in New Orleans with her husband, James Perry, and is the mother of a terrific daughter, Parker.