Bessie House-Soremekun is Professor of Political Science at Jackson State University. She received her Ph.D. in International Studies from what is now the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Her research focuses on political development in Africa, gender relations and contestations over power differentials between African men and women in the colonial and post-colonial periods, economic development and entrepreneurship in Africa and the African Diaspora, and globalization and sustainable development processes. She is the author/editor of 8 books. Her edited volumes include African Market Women and Economic Power: The Role of Women in African Economic Development (Greenwood Press); Gender, Sexuality and Mothering in Africa (Africa World Press); and Globalization and Sustainable Development in Africa (University of Rochester Press). She is the author of Class Development and Gender Inequality in Kenya, 1963-1990; Confronting the Odds: African American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio, 1st Edition, winner of the Henry Howe Book Award (Kent State University Press); Confronting the Odds: African American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio, 2nd Edition (Kent State University Press); Yoruba Creativity: Cultural Practices of the Modern World (Carolina Academic Press); and African American Entrepreneurship: Philanthropic Giving, Self Help, and the Struggle for Economic Empowerment (under contract with Indiana University Press.)
She has written and received more than 24 grant awards through the years, totaling almost $1.5 million dollars to support her research, outreach, programmatic activities, and conference development activities. She has received grant funding from the Shell Foundation, the Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Urban University Program, the Ohio Employee Ownership Program, Kent State University, the Cleveland Foundation, the Federal Government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Cleveland Empowerment Zone, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana University Bloomington, the Indiana Humanities Council, and the Mahoning-Youngstown Community Development Corporation.