Michigan State University

Michigan State University wordmark Michigan State University masthead graphic

Stokes, Curtis

Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy

Case Hall
842 Chestnut Rd Room N351
East Lansing, MI 48825


Ph.D., University of Michigan; Political Science

Professor Stokes’s research and teaching areas are black politics in the United States and Michigan, as well as Marxist and radical political thought.  He was Assistant Director of African American Studies at Columbia University [1995-97] and Founding Director of the doctoral program in African American and African Studies at MSU [2002-05].  His publications include articles, review essays, and six books, including The Evolution of Trotsky’s Theory of Revolution [1982], (with Professors Joe T. Darden and Richard W. Thomas) The State of Black Michigan, 1967-2007 [2007], Race and Human Rights [2009] and most recently (with Professor Rita Kiki Edozie) Malcolm X’s Michigan Worldview: An Exemplar for Contemporary Black Studies [MSU Press, 2015]. His current research project is on ‘Race and the Criminal Justice System.’ Professor Stokes has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Co-Director of a Ford Foundation Grant [2000-01], two MSU All-University Excellence in Diversity Awards [1992/2001], and a State of Michigan Teaching Excellence Award [1991]. 


Professor Curtis Stokes and Lynn O. Scott (Professor Emerita) won a James Madison College Faculty Grant ($1,500) in 2017; the Faculty Affairs Committee provided the funds to support the publication of our forthcoming book project, “Race and the Criminal Justice System.” 

Professor Curtis Stokes participated in the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (March 15-18, 2017) in San Diego, CA.  Stokes was the discussant/respondent on the panel featuring a ‘Roundtable on Cedric J. Robinson.’ His celebrated book, ‘Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition’ was highlighted at the Conference.  

Malcolm X’s Michigan Worldview: An Exemplar for Contemporary Black Studies [2015] has been the recipient of several state-wide awards, as well as a 2016 “Outstanding Academic Title” award from Choice Magazine; and was a finalist for a 2016 Midwest Book Award.  

James Madison College’s biennial “Race in 21st Century America” conference occurred on April 14-15, 2015 at the Kellogg Center; this was its ninth edition, which focused on Race and Democracy. Professor Stokes was its lead organizer.

Choice Magazine reviewed The State of Black Michigan,1967-2007 [2007] saying “Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students through professionals/practitioners.”