Dr. Frederick Gooding, Jr. is an associate professor of African American Studies and is the inaugural holder of the Dr. Ronald E. Moore Professorship in Humanities in the Honors College at TCU. Gooding critically analyzes race within mainstream media, effectively contextualizing problematic patterns based upon their historical roots. As such, Gooding’s best-known work thus far is “You Mean, There’s RACE in My Movie? The Complete Guide to Understanding Race in Mainstream Hollywood,” which has been utilized in high schools and universities nationwide. Also the co-editor of “Stories from the Front of the Room: How Higher Education Faculty Overcome Challenges and Thrive in the Academy,” Gooding has stayed focused on the practical applications of equity with his 2018 book, “American Dream Deferred” carefully detailing the growth and struggles of black federal workers in the postwar era. His latest work, “Black Oscar” (May 2020), expands his reach into cultural studies by analyzing African American Academy Award winners and how their narratives reflect and reinforce larger American history.
Areas of Expertise (8)
Representations of Race
Georgetown University: Ph.D., American History 2013
University of New Mexico: M.A., Latin American Studies 2001
University of New Mexico: J.D., Law 2000
Morehouse College: B.A., Philosophy 1996
Media Appearances (23)
TCU research uncovers ‘indispensable’ contributions of formerly enslaved couple
KERA News online
Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. a history professor at TCU and the chair of the Race and Reconciliation Initiative, says the erasure of Kate and Charley’s contributions speaks to a larger power dynamic in which the stories of Black Americans have not been recorded. “They were unequivocally indispensable, but yet inexplicably excluded?” said Gooding. “They were so important that they were invisible? That’s just not making any sense.”
2022 Fort Worth Inc. Person of the Year: Opal Lee
Fort Worth Inc. online
“She’s been fighting for what’s right all of her life,” says Frederick Gooding, an associate professor of African American history in the John D. Roach Honors College at TCU, as well as a Ronald E. Moore Professor of Humanities. “All of her life she has had to deal with trauma. Think about it. The home is the bedrock of building wealth in this country, and someone burns down your home. That’s a traumatic event. And for hundreds of people to say we don’t want you in this neighborhood. All [her father] was trying to do was live the American dream just like everyone else.
#OscarsSoWhite still plagues Hollywood’s highest achievement awards
The Conversation online
Four Black actors were nominated for Oscars in 2022, six years after the Twitter campaign #OscarsSoWhite rocked Hollywood. In the long history of Hollywood snubs, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets some credit for at least trying to diversify the Hollywood film industry.
Texas Christian University digs into its past with initiative studying slavery and racism
KERA News online
TCU professor Dr. Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. understands that history can be complicated, especially when it comes to the history of a college campus. “History means so many different things to so many different people. We're talking about staff, students, alumni and faculty, who all have a different perspective as to what happened and what part of the story we tell,” Gooding said.
RECONCILIATION IN ACTION: TCU Comes Together for 2022 Race & Reconciliation Week
Texas Christian University online
Even a late-season ice storm and campus closure didn’t stop TCU's Race & Reconciliation Initiative (RRI) from presenting its 2022 Race & Reconciliation Week, a series of events designed to bring the campus community together to explore and engage the topic of TCU's relationship to race and cultural identity. Though the weather delay split the weeklong programming between late February and mid-March, TCU’s second annual Race & Reconciliation Week was well worth the wait.
Museum finds success engaging historically marginalized stakeholders
Dallas Fort Worth Nonprofit Business Journal online
Once FWMSH leaders conceived of the idea and connected with the Community Foundation, they knew it was a topic that needed nuance. The Museum didn’t have anyone on staff who had expertise in that area, and looked for someone who did. FWMSH staff ultimately developed the exhibit in-house through a partnership with Dr. Frederick Gooding, the Dr. Ronald E. Moore Professor in Humanities in the John V. Roach Honors College at Texas Christian University. The exhibition’s guest curator is also a leader of TCU’s race and reconciliation work.
TCU Hosts Last Witness to Emmett Till Kidnapping
NBC DFW 5 tv
Frederick Gooding, PhD, is an associate professor in TCU's Honor College with special emphasis on African American studies. He also chairs the university's Race and Reconciliation initiative. He hopes hearing Parker's eyewitness account will open conversation and inspire the community to work towards a better future. "This gentleman, Wheeler Parker, Jr, has embodied the spirit of reconciliation because he's had to live with the difficulty of processing anger, processing despair and still finding enough power in the positivity and the art of the possible to move forward," Gooding said. "Unless I forget the small detail that Wheeler Parker, Jr., was also in the same bed as Emmett Tilll that fateful night in 1955 when he was kidnapped upon gunpoint with the flashlight in the middle of the night. Wheeler was there but wheeler is also here. Walking the walk of reconciliation. And I think it's a powerful opportunity for us to connect with living history."
Black upward mobility strongest in diverse neighborhoods with mentorship opportunities, says Census Bureau
Families have long sought to move toward better neighborhoods and schools to put their kids on the pathway toward success. A study from the Census Bureau is providing fresh insight on where to look. It revealed significant racial disparities between demographic groups. For example, white families have strong rates of upward mobility in high-income neighborhoods. But in many cases, Black families are losing wealth generation by generation.
Historically Black community tries to make voices heard on Fort Worth City Council
Fort Worth Report online
Since the 1900s, Como has remained an island of Black residents in a sea of white communities. Texas Christian University humanities professor Frederick W. Gooding, Jr. said the origins of the Como community have profoundly impacted how elected officials prioritized the neighborhood.
Fort Worth and the Green Book Exhibit
FOX 4 News tv
The Fort Worth Museum of Science & History is celebrating Black History Month with an interactive exhibit on the history of the Green Book. There will also be a lecture on February 21st about the creation of the exhibit. Also, on February 23rd there will be a virtual keynote with one of the last living relatives of Emmett Till Rev. Wheeler Parker.
The Person of the Week for February 17th - Dr. Frederick W. Gooding Jr. - Black Oscars Presentation
Martha's Vineyard Radio online
The Person of the Week for February 17th, 2022 - Dr. Frederick W. Gooding Jr., Associate Professor at Texas Christian University and author of Black Oscars: From Mammy to Minny, What the Academy Tells Us About African-Americans will give a presentation tonight at 7pm via the Oak Bluffs Library website. To learn more listen to this feature and click on the links below!
Learning From Fort Worth
TCU Magazine online
Every class is a field trip for honors students in the new course City as Text: Fort Worth. Through visits to places including museums, schools and neighborhood pools, students have been able to explore and analyze the city’s people and infrastructure through a critical lens. “I want students to learn experientially about themselves, the city and those around them,” said Wendy Williams, associate professor of professional practice in the John V. Roach Honors College. “Students remember their learning when they’re involved in creating it themselves.” Williams received grant funding to attend a National Collegiate Honors Council master class in fall 2019 that helped her develop the course for TCU. She shared the idea with Frederick Gooding Jr., the Dr. Ronald E. Moore Professor in Humanities in the honors college. They initially planned to co-teach the course, but higher enrollment resulted in them leading separate sections.
Fort Worth Green Book exhibit focuses Jim Crow era traveling through a local lens
Fort Worth Star-Telegram online
Rehnberg said museum staff knew from the beginning stages of planning that they wanted to bring in an outside expert to help curate the exhibit. Frederick W. Gooding Jr., chair of the Race and Reconciliation Initiative at Texas Christian University, took up the call.
Let's Talk About the Oscars!
Checked Out Podcast | Euclid Public Library online
The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood's most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Before you watch the 2022 awards ceremony in March, listen to this podcast. Euclid Public Library's Kacie Armstrong and Mike Stein had a lively discussion about the Oscars and movies with Frederick Gooding Jr., author of the book “Black Oscars: From Mammy to Minny, What the Academy Awards Tell Us about African Americans.”
New Fort Worth Green Book exhibition explores how Black travelers navigated roads and racism
CultureMap Fort Worth online
"As a historian, this honestly is a dream come true — to go from visiting museum exhibits as a younger child to curating museum exhibits as an older child is an absolute treat,” Dr. Frederick Gooding, TCU professor and guest curator for the exhibition, said in a statement. “If people walk away from the 'Green Book' experience with at least one new insight, then we are at least one step closer to reaching our desired destination of a [more] understanding Fort Worth."
Colin Powell had mixed legacy among some African Americans
Associated Press News online
Many Black people look to high-achieving African Americans to act on their behalf, said Frederick Gooding, associate professor of humanities at Texas Christian University. “Maybe they just disproportionately expect a Colin Powell to do more or be more than he needs to be. It might be one of those deals where he may not have spoken for every Black person, but at the same time it’s OK that he does not,” Gooding said.
USPS has shorted some workers’ pay for years, CPI finds
Associated Press online
The Postal Service has long been one of the largest employers of African Americans in the United States. During the civil rights era, it was a place where Black workers could advance their careers without as many barriers as the private sector, said Frederick Gooding, an African American studies professor at Texas Christian University. “The (Postal Service) was in many ways a beacon of hope and opportunity,” said Gooding, author of the book “American Dream Deferred: Black Federal Workers in Washington, D.C., 1941-1981.”
What's an Oscar really worth? Career boost is 'not the same' for Black actors, experts say
USA Today online
"I think this speaks to the larger mechanism of, how do we value the visibility of African Americans? Are they (considered) viable products in and of themselves?" says Frederick W. Gooding, author of "Black Oscars: From Mammy to Minny, What the Academy Awards Tell Us about African Americans." Despite the recent successes of films like "Black Panther," "Creed II" and "Straight Outta Compton" internationally, there's still a tired notion in Hollywood that Black-led movies don't sell overseas – a myth that's been busted time and time again by robust box office receipts. Yet compared with white A-listers like, say Tom Cruise, the career trajectories of minorities are "just not the same," Gooding says. "The bottom line is, the race of the winner ultimately influences their marketability by Hollywood."
What the ‘Fresh Prince’ of the ’90s Tells Us About Race Now
New York Times online
Painful subjects like racial profiling, tokenism, the daily indignities of racism and colorism were mined for laughs that revealed deeper truths, said Frederick W. Gooding, an associate professor of African-American studies at Texas Christian University. “Blacks have always had the challenge of playing the role of the jester where humor is used as protection against salient truths the king’s court tends to ignore,” he said.
Community Conversations: Social Injustice Protests in Sports
NBC Dallas-Fort. Worth online
In this week’s NBC 5 Community Conversation, Pat Doney speaks with TCU professor Dr. Frederick Gooding, Jr. and U.T. Arlington professor Dr. Frederick Engram, Jr. about the impact of kneeling during the national anthem, if athletes have a responsibility to use their platform to address social issues and if a sports team’s owner should be allowed to decide whether or not players can protest at games.
Questions of Racism Linger as Harry, Meghan Step Back
U.S. News online
Frederick W. Gooding, an assistant professor of African American studies at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, said it would be “disingenuous” to claim race had not been a factor in Meghan's treatment. “She was always going to be an outsider,” he said. “There was always going to be this barrier because of her race."
Why ‘The Clark Sisters’ biopic didn’t hit all the right notes
“Very little content is geared specifically or primarily at black viewers on mainstream media platforms, but lo and behold, once companies do, it is usually with a high return,” Gooding said. “One wonders if Lifetime and other networks were to be more consistent with such productions, how all would stand to benefit with respect to viewers, sponsors and productions that employ more black talent as a result.”
Black workers had long history with fed jobs before shutdown
Associated Press online
'These jobs offered African-Americans a chance to reach for a “slice of the American dream,” said Frederick Gooding Jr., African-American studies professor at Texas Christian University and author of the recently published “American Dream Deferred: Black Federal Workers in Washington, D.C., 1941-1981.”'
Event Appearances (1)
The Place of Memory and Memory of Place International Conference, St. Anne's College, Oxford University
Old statues of Confederate generals are slowly disappearing – will monuments honoring people of color replace them?The Conversation
2022 As part of America’s reckoning with its oppressive past, Charlottesville and the rest of the nation face the question of not just which statues and other images should be taken down, but what else – if anything – should be put up in their place. Statues of Black Americans – and, more importantly, their absence – are an often overlooked barometer of racial progress, hidden in plain sight. Despite their silence, statues are active portraits that can reinforce the value and visibility of Black Americans. The lack of Black statues sends a clear message of exclusion.
Dr. Frederick Gooding, Jr. Earns Senior Research Fellowship at National Gallery of ArtTexas Christian University
2021 FORT WORTH, Texas, March 3, 2021 – Dr. Frederick W. Gooding, Jr., associate professor of African American studies in the John V. Roach Honors College at Texas Christian University, has been named a Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellow by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. for the period of June 15 through August 15, 2021. Dr. Gooding is an intellectually gifted and accomplished scholar whose investigation of black statues in our nation’s capital will surely result in an outstanding monograph,” Dr. Ron Pitcock, interim dean of the John V. Roach Honors College, said. “Being appointed a Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellow at the National Gallery of Art represents a major achievement and is a most deserved distinction that reflects the Honors College’s commitment to critical thinking and inquiry, as well as TCU’s excellence in research in the humanities.
Where Was Such Solidarity Two Weeks Ago?History News Network
2020 Don’t get me wrong. It is encouraging to see people – not just black people – but people from varying ethnic and gender identities, various demographic and geographic profiles alike, walking hand in hand in solidarity in response to the senseless death of George Floyd, the latest unarmed black person killed at the hands of law enforcement.
Haven't We Seen This Movie Before? Tired Sequels & Teaching The OscarsEdit Media
2020 This year’s slate of Oscar nominations simply read like the eight or ninth sequel in a movie series (“Fast & Furious,” we’re looking at you) – while the latest installation of the series technically constitutes a “different movie,” the premise of the prior films is largely the same. When it comes to the Oscars, the Academy for Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has been running this movie for ninety-two years now with largely the same script.
Critical Insights on Race Relations in Film: Assessing Bringing Down the HouseInternational Journal of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Studies
2020 The American film Bringing Down the House was a huge commercial success. Starring the popular comedian Steve Martin and the popular hip hop artist and cover girl model Queen Latifah, Bringing Down the House seemed to bring a new approach to race relations to the screen in the twenty-first century.
Think Global, Act Local: How underground hip-hop gets down down UnderAlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples
2016 This article explicitly focuses upon the relationship Aboriginal Australia has with hip-hop culture. Hip-hop has become not only a tool for larger identity formation for Aboriginal Australians, but also a way to preserve traditional styles that historically wilt from outside mainstream influences.
“Can I Get in on the Joke, Too?”: Analysing Racial Humor within the Public/Private Realm of the InternetIGI Global
2016 This chapter explores the ramifications of having race-based “dirty laundry” aired through humor, without necessarily being dirty jokes. Not only is the United States of America reputed to be a “free country,” but also there are few restrictions on Internet participation outside of obvious legal infractions. Thus, while repulsive in their worst form or in poor taste in their naive form, racist jokes are not regulated on the Internet.
The Problematic Tyler PerryPeter Lang
2016 For the past decade or more, few Hollywood stars have experienced a more meteoric rise than Tyler Perry. As much as he is lauded by fans, Perry is panned by cultural critics who reject his work as overtly preachy and rife with racially stereotypical characterizations and controversial themes.