Dr. Michael Simanga is an activist writer, cultural worker, scholar and educator. He came of age in Detroit as an organizer and artist for civil and human rights, Black political empowerment and development. As a cultural worker he is an advocate of art as an instrument of social justice and building and supporting community based cultural institutions. He teaches in the Department of African American Studies at Georgia State University and is the former Executive Director of the National Black Arts Festival and consultant with the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Dr. Simanga writes and lectures on African American politics and history; Race and Justice; human and civil rights and the Black Power/Black Arts Movement. As an artist, he has directed, produced and presented more than 200 artistic projects including plays, concerts, festivals, exhibitions, conferences and literary events. He is the author of several books including Amiri Baraka and the Congress of African People: History and Memory; the critically acclaimed novel In the Shadow of the Son; and co-editor of the anthology, 44 on 44: forty-four African American Writers on the Election of the forty-fourth President, Barack Obama. His recent books include No One Can be at Peace without Freedom (2017); The Identity Imperative and Black Liberation; and David Franklin: The Art Politics and Business of Black Empowerment (2019).
Dr. Simanga lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, the poet Lita Hooper, their four children and three grandchildren.