Alfred Tatum

Degree: Ph.D.


Department: School of Education, Academic Affairs

Alfred Tatum


African American/Black Diversity/Equity Education Leadership Reading Achievement Rhetoric Teacher Education


  • Literacy Development
  • African American Males
  • Higher Education
  • Social Mobility
  • Early/Adolescent Literacy


Alfred W. Tatum, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is a leading authority and one of the nation’s prominent education scholars of African American boys’ literacy development. His research focuses on moving U.S. students to advanced levels of reading, writing and intellect development across the academic disciplines.

Tatum has authored four books, four major reading and writing programs and 79 academic papers and publications. He authored the award-winning book, “Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap.” His other books include “Reading for Their Life: (Re) building the Textual Lineages of African American Males,” “Fearless Voices: Engaging a New Generation of African American Adolescent Male Writers,” and “Teaching Black Boys in the Elementary Grades: Advanced Disciplinary Reading and Writing to Secure Their Futures.”

Prior to joining MSU Denver, Tatum was the dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2013-2020 and directed the UIC Reading Clinic from 2007-2020. He led two Post-Release Education and Preparation projects for young men on intensive probation with Cook County after convincing the juvenile court judges to assign the young males to the UIC Reading Clinic instead of jail.

Tatum received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago.

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