Photo courtesy of Jun Kamata
Omar Ricks is an educator, writer, speaker, performance artist, and activist. He holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in New Media from University of California, Berkeley. His work uses filmic, new media, and literary representations to theorize the ethical questions underwriting the performance of Black leadership in the modern United States. He co-authored (with Kimberly McNair) “Notes from the Blackout” in TDR (2013) and has also published in venues including ASTR Online, Slingshot. He co-edits the blog Cosmic Hoboes: An Afropessimist (No)Place. He earned his B.A. in History from Johnson C. Smith University, his M.A. in US History from University of Illinois, and his M.F.A. in Drama (Performance) from UC Irvine. As a speaker, he has presented at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, York University (Canada), University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of South Africa, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (South Africa). He has performed on stage at such venues as UC Berkeley, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California, as well as on television on FX channel’s The Shield and TNT Sports. He works as a baker and an adjunct professor in Oakland, California.