Regular Faculty Profile

  • Portrait
  • Derrick Darby
  • Distinguished Professor
  • Henry Rutgers Professor of Philosophy
  • Specialties: Social and Political Philosophy
  • Email:
  • Office: 106 Somerset St - 307




  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Website


Dr. Derrick Darby is a Henry Rutgers professor of philosophy. He holds a B. A. from Colgate and a Ph.D. from Pittsburgh. He is the founding director of the Rutgers Social Justice Solutions Research Collaboratory and also directs its renowned Summer Institute for Diversity in Philosophy founded by Howard McGary, Jr.

Dr. Darby discovered his passion for philosophy growing up in the Queensbridge public housing projects in Long Island City, NY. For the backstory see his TEDx talk, aptly titled “Doing the Knowledge.” In social and political philosophy, he writes about rights, inequality, and democracy. He thinks about how race and racism bear on theoretical, normative and practical philosophical questions. His books include: Hip Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme to Reason (Open Court, 2005) with Tommie Shelby; Rights, Race, and Recognition (Cambridge, 2009); and The Color of Mind: Why the Origins of the Achievement Gap Matter for Justice with John L. Rury (Chicago, 2018). His scholarship has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Dr. Darby is currently writing about W. E. B. Du Bois’s democratic theory and how it bears on questions of social, economic, and global justice. He is completing a book on 20th century black radical political thought with Dr. Christian Davenport. It has chapters on W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Claudia Jones, Martin Luther King, Jr., Imari Obadele, and Angela Davis.