Thabiti Lewis is from St. Louis Missouri, where he grew up in West and North St. Louis. A graduate of the University of Rochester, he received degrees in both English and History (with honors), and the Masters in the Art of Teaching (English) from the University of Rochester’s School of Education.
He obtained a doctorate in English from Saint Louis University with a special focus on American literature and culture between the 1950s-1990s and Black Feminist writer Toni Cade Bambara. While completing his doctorate he earned a fellowship at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
A Professor of English at Washington State University Vancouver he teaches contemporary American literature, specializing in Multicultural literature and Black American literature. He also teaches creative non-fiction and humanities courses with a popular culture emphasis. Lewis, who joined the WSU faculty in 2007, has published widely in the areas of American literature, masculinity, African American Studies, and popular culture (music and sports).
In December of 2010 he published a pioneering book about sports, race, and American culture, Ballers of the New School: Race and Sports in America (Third World Press). Prior to this he edited and co-edited special issues of journals exploring the topics African American Studies and Masculinity (The Willamette Journal and AmeriQuests Journal). He is the editor of Conversations with Toni Cade Bambara (University Press of Mississippi), and is completing a book-length study about the liberation impulse that informs the art of the politics in the fiction of the writer Toni Cade Bambara. He is also at work on a study of the performance of heroism and the making of gender and race within four American sports museum spaces.