Thomas Edge

Associate Teaching Professor
Department of Ethnic Studies
238 Shatzel Hall | 419-372-2796 |

Thomas Edge is native of New Jersey, I have taught at Bowling Green State University since 2011. Prior to my time at BGSU, I was a faculty member in the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University, and taught at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and Elms College (Chicopee, MA). I completed my doctorate in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2008. My dissertation was a biography of Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, the first Black president of Howard University and a towering figure in the history of African American higher education.
When people ask about my interest in African American Studies, I point to two moments in my life: reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X in high school and the protest movement that erupted at Rutgers University in during my first year of undergraduate work, following racist remarks from our University president. The first taught me that in order to understand America, I needed to understand race and racism. The second taught me that African American Studies was much more than a dry academic exercise, but an attempt to both understand and change the world around us. Outside of the classroom, I am a huge Philadelphia sports fan, an avid family historian, and a lover of theater. I am a current board member and former president of Horizon Youth Theatre in Bowling Green. I have been happily married since 2001 and am the proud parent of one son.

Professional Affiliations:
  • Department of Ethnic Studies
  • Affiliated Faculty, American Culture Studies
  • Affiliated Faculty, Africana Studies
  • The Long Civil Rights Movement
  • Historical memory of lynching Race and family history
  • African American leadership
  • African American higher education
  • Race in contemporary politics
  • Ph.D., Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
  • B.A., History and Africana Studies, Rutgers University


  • Introduction to African American Studies
  •  Ethnicity and Social Movements
  • The Afro-American Cinematic Experience
  • Race and Urban Housing
  • History of American Racism

I am currently examining the history of lynching with an emphasis on how we remember its victims. Here, I am particularly interested in the efforts of families and communities to offer them dignity in death, especially through specific funeral practices and other forms of community remembrance. Building upon the analysis of historian Kidada Williams, I hope to shed light on grassroots reactions to lynching through the words and deeds of family, friends, and other local people who had to deal with the aftermaths of these tragedies. This includes a wide range of efforts, from those who cared for and buried the dead at that time to contemporary efforts to mark graves and create digital sites of memory in their honor.

  • Edge, Thomas J. 2017. “’Who Do You Think You Are?’: Examining the African American Experience in Slavery and Freedom through Family History Television,” Journal of American Culture. 40:4. (Winter 2017)
  • Edge, Thomas J. 2013. “’An Arm of God’: The Early History of the Charleston (WV) NAACP, 1918-1925,” West Virginia History. 7:2. (Fall 2013)
  • Edge, Thomas J. 2010. “Southern Strategy 2.0: Conservatives, White Voters, and Barack Obama.” Journal of Black Studies. 40: 426-444.
  • Served as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Cultural and Critical Studies at BGSU from 2018 to 2021.
  • Served as President of Horizon Youth Theatre from 2017 to 2021.

Updated: 08/30/2022 03:11PM