Congratulations to Lori L. Tharps, Kopenhaver Center Fellow


In 2018, she wrote with Olympic fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and it came out to great reviews.   She also launched a biweekly podcast, My American Meltingpot. The podcast provides a mix of stories about pop culture, parenting and identity politics, all from a multicultural perspective.

Lori L. Tharps is a content creator whose work lands at the intersection of race and popular culture. A public intellectual, Tharps strives to use her words to broaden the conversation about race in America; to challenge racial stereotypes; to dismantle white supremacy; and to celebrate ethnic and cultural diversity whenever possible.

An associate professor of journalism at Temple University, Tharps is also an award-winning author and a mother of three. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she now makes her home in Philadelphia.

Tharps is the author of three critically acclaimed non-fiction books that deal with race, culture and identity; Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (St. Martin’s), Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain (Atria), and her most recent, Same Family Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America’s Diverse Families (Beacon).

Tharps is also the author of the novel, Substitute Me (Atria), which explores the complicated relationship between a young White professional woman and her African-American nanny who is not exactly what she seems.

If you want to know more about Tharps’ writing and/or her professional work, including speaking engagements, please visit her personal website at



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