T.J. Desch-Obi is of West African--NIgerian and Liberian parentage and grew up in the United States. He received his doctorate in African history from the University of California Los Angeles and is currently a visiting professor at Universidad ICESI’s Centro de Estudios Afrodiaspóricos in Cali, Colombia. He specializes in the historical ethnography of pre-colonial Africa and the African Diaspora with a focus upon martial arts, physical culture, religion, sport, historical linguistics, and military history. He is the author of Fighting For Honor: The History of African Martial Art Traditions in the Atlantic World (University of South Carolina Press, 2008) and his current research focuses on the social history of the machete and the Afro-Colombian machete fighting from 1848 to 1960, and twentieth century prison boxing. Dr. Desch-Obi is a permanent member of the history department at the City University of New York’s, Baruch College, where he also teaches in the Black and Latino Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Departments.

T.J. Desch-Obi has been a guest on 3 episodes.