Dr. Jocelyn Imani is a storyteller, educator, and community builder with over a decade of experience as a public historian; she joined us as national director of our Black History and Culture program in 2022. In her work, she is focused on reimagining how Black history and culture sites are activated and aims to make shared spaces more relevant and accessible to all populations. Prior to joining TPL, Dr. Imani spent time as an interpretive ranger with the National Park Service, served as historian at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, and worked in the Office of Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
She has taught U.S. history at Fisk and Howard Universities, as well as Washington Adventist University, Coppin State University, and others. She is also particularly dedicated to the development of strong children, a passion reflected in her founding of the Big Brown Get Down, an annual community event that connects upwardly mobile professionals with middle and high school students from underserved communities.
Dr. Imani holds a PhD in African diaspora and public history from Howard University and a BA in history from Fisk University. She is a member of the Nashville Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and the Junior League of Nashville. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Progress, Inc, an organization that promotes health, happiness, and safety for people with disabilities and senior adults needing care.
An avid fan of arts, music, and culture, Dr. Imani comes from a long line of musicians and sang before she spoke. A proud daughter of the South, she is a native of Nashville, Tennessee.