Chana Kai Lee holds a joint appointment in history and African American Studies. She is a proud graduate of California public schools. She earned a Ph.D. in history and an M.A. in African American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also holds a B.A. in African American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Lee is the author of For Freedom's Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, which won the Willie Lee Rose Prize, awarded by the Southern Association of Women Historians, and the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize, awarded by the Association of Black Women Historians.
Professor Lee teaches the history of the Civil Rights Movement, the history of Georgia, twentieth-century U.S. social history and an introductory course on contemporary issues in African American life and culture. She has served as film consultant on several projects including the critically acclaimed PBS documentary, Citizen King, produced by award-winning director Orlando Bagwell. She has presented numerous conference papers and chaired several panels at conferences organized by various associations, including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the American Society for Legal History, the Southern Historical Association, the National Women’s Studies Association, the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Historical Association. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Gender, Women and Families of Color.