Tracye A. Matthews is the associate director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago. Her involvement in documentary film and video projects includes work at the award-winning ROJA Productions, where she was the senior researcher for the PBS series Matters of Race, associate producer and co-writer of a ten-part video installation for the National Civil Rights Museum, and producer for project development for the American Experience’s Citizen King. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Race and Class, Sisters in Struggle: African American Women in the Civil Rights–Black Power Movement, and The Black Panther Party Reconsidered. She is currently writing a book on the gender and sexual politics of the Black Panther Party. She was a student activist at University of Michigan where she received her Ph.D. in American history. She works with the Hands Off Assata Campaign.
Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center
Black Radical Congress
"Support Bill Ayers"
In October 2008, several thousand college professors, students and academic staff signed a statement "Support Bill Ayers" in solidarity with former Weather Underground Organization terrorist Bill Ayers.
In the run up to the U.S. presidential elections, Ayers had come under considerable media scrutiny, sparked by his relationship to presidential candidate Barack Obama.
- "We write to support our colleague Professor William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is currently under determined and sustained political attack...
- We, the undersigned, stand on the side of education as an enterprise devoted to human inquiry, enlightenment, and liberation. We oppose the demonization of Professor William Ayers."
Tracye Matthews signed the statement.
In 2009 Tracye Matthews was a member of Chicago based organization Ella's Daughters-A network of artists, scholars and writers working in the tradition of militant Civil rights activist Ella Baker.
- We are a loose network of women who respect and admire Baker’s legacy, and are either interested in or already engaged in work that represents a continuation of her democratic, egalitarian humanistic tradition. We do not want to reinvent the wheel or duplicate or compete in any way with existing efforts. An argument can be made that the potential for a renewed progressive movement already exists and is embedded in the local trench work of organizers like Ella Baker.