Zariyah Grant

PhD Program (She/Her)


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Black deviance; gender and racial capitalism; Black radical tradition; slavery in the Atlantic world; marxism

Major and Minor Fields


  • History of gender, slavery, and racial capitalism
  • 20th Century U.S. History

Working Dissertation


The Dishonoured Community: Black Deviants in Twentieth-Century Urban America


Melanie Newton
Max Mishler


Zariyah's dissertation investigates the dishonoured communities of Black subjects who operated in the fringes, slums, and undergrounds of post-WWII New York City. Grandmothers who trafficked narcotics, the "junkies" who used drugs, juvenile delinquents, thieves, and stubborn loiterers all comprised a pestilent swarm engaged in practices of Black deviance that remained marginal to studies of African American history and excluded from even the most radical conceptualizations of Black politics.
The silences surrounding Black subjects who rejected  the trappings of racial uplift, social reform, and revolution present a challenge to guiding principles of African American studies that often impose a reading of Black history that privileges those who are "striving" and "respectable." Zariyah's research draws on various primary sources housed in multiple archives to excavate the irreverent practices and subjectivities that comprise what she calls the Black Deviant Tradition.


Zariyah Grant is a doctoral candidate in History and the collaborative specialization program at the Women and Gender Studies Institute. Her research encompasses various areas, including gender, slavery, and racial capitalism in the Atlantic World. Additionally, she studies 20th-century U.S. history, the cultural, social, and political history of Black urban deviance, and the Black radical tradition across the African diaspora.


MA, University of Toronto
BA, University of Toronto