Tyson D.

Department of Political Science


About Dr. King-Meadows

Dr. Tyson D. King-Meadows is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and has served as the Associate Dean for Research and College Affairs in the College of Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences since 2016. His teaching and research interests include racial identity politics and electoral behavior in America. His book When the Letter Betrays the Spirit Voting Rights Enforcement and African American Participation from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama chronicles how intergovernmental conflict over the Voting Rights Act emboldened the executive and judicial branches to exercise discretion when addressing election-related racial discrimination. The book illustrates how Congress’ acquiescence to executive and judicial discretion strengthened public attachment to a presidency-centered model of American governance and weakened Congress’ power to protect black voters. Dr. King-Meadows’ current book project examines the role of racialized thinking in shaping perceptions of election law and in shaping the coalitions supporting black senatorial and gubernatorial candidates.

Dr. King-Meadows is particularly interested in exploring the impact of black political engagement, civil rights law, identity group politics, and racial representation on the black socioeconomic condition from the latter twentieth century to present day. King-Meadows is also co-author with Thomas F. Schaller of Devolution and Black State Legislators: Challenges and Choices in the Twenty-first Century (State University of New York Press, 2006). His next book (forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press) examines contemporary racial identity politics and the senatorial and gubernatorial candidacies of black federal representatives. Before joining the Dean’s Office, Dr. King-Meadows served as co-chair of the Provost’s Executive Committee for the Recruitment, Retention and Advancement of Underrepresented Minority and served as Chair of the Department of Africana Studies. He is also an affiliate faculty member of the School of Public Policy, the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, and the Department of Africana Studies. Dr. King-Meadows earned his BA from North Carolina Central University and his MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Research Fellowships

& Select Publications

W. E. B. Dubois Research Institute Fellow

Harvard University, 2002

Fulbright Scholar & Ambassador

Ghana, 2003-2005, 2008 & 2004-2012

Ford Foundation Fellow

Princeton University, 2005-2006

Tyson King-Meadows' Select Publication List (Forthcoming)


Click on book image for summary

Devolution and Black State Legistlators

Devolution and Black State Legistators:

Challenges and Choices in the Twenty-first Century

Devolution and Black State Legislators examines whether black state legislators can produce qualitative gains in the substantive representation of black interests. Once a battle cry by southern conservatives, “new federalism” has shifted power from Washington to the respective state governments and, ironically, has done so as black state legislators grow in number. Tyson King-Meadows and Thomas F. Schaller look at the debates surrounding black political incorporation, the tradeoffs between substantive and descriptive representation, racial redistricting, and the impact of black legislators on state budgetary politics. They situate contemporary constraints on black state elites as the union of macro- and micro-level forces, which allows for a reconsideration of how the idiosyncrasies of political, economic, and geographic culture converge with the internal dynamics of state legislative processes to produce particular environments. Interviews with black legislators provide valuable insights into how such idiosyncrasies may deprive institutional advancement—committee assignments, chairmanships, and party leadership positions—of the influence it once afforded.

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Authors: Tyson King-Meadows

and Thomas Schaller

Publisher: SUNY

Publication Date: 2006

When the Letter Betrays the Spirit

When the Letter Betrays the Spirit

Voting Rights Enforcement and African American Participation from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama

When the Letter Betrays the Spirit examines the wide latitude provided to the executive branch and to the Supreme Court by the text of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Drawing from government enforcement data, legislative history, Supreme Court rulings, the 2006 reauthorization debate on the VRA, and from the 2007 scandal involving the firing of U.S. attorneys under the Bush Administration, the book examines when, why, and how executive and judicial discretion facilitates violation of voting rights. Connecting Johnson to Obama, the book outlines why the executive-centered model of voting rights enforcement relegates Congress to the sidelines, and outlines why a Congress-centered approach provides the best protection against the effects of the law enforcement axiom: the law is neither self-executing nor self-interpreting. The book also examines 2008 survey results about public support for a Jim Crow-era election reform policy that would require voters to read a passage of the Constitution. Describing the civic literacy dimensions of voting rights law from Shaw v. Reno (1993) to Northwest Austin Utility v. Holder (2009), the book highlights the complicated nature of the post-racial rhetoric surrounding the 2008 election cycle and surrounding the upcoming post-2010 census redistricting cycles.

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Author: Tyson King-Meadows

Publisher: Lexington Books

An Imprint of Roman & Littlefield

Publication Date: 2011

African American Leadership

Art Of Coding

Clean & Minimalistic Design

An authoritative, up-to-date reference guide organized in A to Z fashion covering all the major inter-disciplinary themes related to individual and group leadership in the African American communities and beyond. Key themes include African American academic, business, political, scientific and sports leadership. Appropriate for academic, public and high school libraries.

Key Themes: Academic Leadership, Artistic Leadership, Aspects of Leadership, Business Leadership, Leadership in Faith Communities, Political and Social Leadership, Scientific and Technological Leadership and Sports Leadership.

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Author: Tyson King-Meadows

Publisher: Mission Bell Media

Publication Date: June 2015


Email, Mail, Visit, or Call

Use the form below to write and send Dr. King-Meadows a message.

  • Phone: 410.455.2194
  • Email: tkingmea@umbc.edu

  • Mailing Address:
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Fine Arts Building, Room 442
  • Baltimore, MD 21250