Mary Frances Phillips is a proud native of Detroit, Michigan. She is a scholar-activist and public intellectual and currently works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Lehman College, City University of New York. Her research areas include the Modern Black Freedom Struggle, Black Women’s Studies, and Black Feminism. She was selected as a 2018-2019 award recipient for the American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship. Currently, she is working on her book, “Sister Love: Ericka Huggins, Spiritual Activism, and the Black Panther Party” (Under contract with New York University Press). This project is the first and only biography of Huggins. She documents the previously untold story of Huggins’ early life and career in the Black Panther Party. The heart of her book excavates Huggins’ day-to-day experience and acts of political dissent during confinement.
She has published journal articles in SOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, the Women’s Studies Quarterly, the Western Journal of Black Studies, Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, and the Syllabus Journal. Two of her essays have been nominated for the Association of Black Women Historians Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Journal Award. Outside of the academy, her essays have been featured in the Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine’s blog, New Black Man (in Exile), Colorlines, Vibe Magazine, Black Youth Project, and the African American Intellectual Society’s blog, Black Perspectives. She has presented her research at various conferences and panels including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. She earned a Ph.D. in African American and African Studies from Michigan State University, an MA in African American and African Studies from The Ohio State University, and her B.S in Health Studies from Michigan State University.