Walter D. Greason is one of the nation’s leading urbanists and public historians. Currently the Chair of the Department of Educational Counseling and Leadership at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, Dr. Greason is an internationally recognized speaker and award-winning author of six books, including Suburban Erasure: How Suburbanization Ended the Civil Rights Movement in New Jersey and The Path to Freedom: Black Families in New Jersey. He has also published more than 100 articles and essays, which appear frequently in both scholarly journals and popular print media. Two of his digital humanities projects, the Wakanda Syllabus and the Racial Violence Syllabus, have attracted an audience of millions from around the globe, and public acclaim for his work on the cultural movement of Afro-futurism directly supported the creation of the 2018 Marvel Comics film Black Panther, recipient of dozens of awards including three Academy Awards and ten NAACP Image Awards. Dr. Greason also serves as President of Red Bank’s T. Thomas Fortune Foundation, a group that saved the early 20th century home of journalist and civil rights leader T. Thomas Fortune from disrepair and ultimately transformed it into one of the area’s most recognized and active cultural centers.
In this interview, Dr. Greason discusses his upbringing in 1970s Freehold, the experiences that shaped a decades-long career in world history, education, and anti-racism leadership, and his thoughts on the current landscape of social justice movements like Black Lives Matter.