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Photo of Jabir, Johari

Johari Jabir

Associate Head & Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associate Professor

Black Studies

Pronouns: He/Him/His


Building & Room:

1223 UH


601 S Morgan St.

Office Phone:

(312) 996-2962


Johari Jabir is a musician and scholar. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Johari began piano lessons at an early age and was immersed in the expressive culture of St. Louis’ Black working class religious community, which is the foundation for his continued practice as a musician,
cultural historian, and contemplative teacher. He is currently director music at St. George & St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Chicago, IL. Johari has enjoyed an extensive career in church music and musical theatre, including serving as associate conductor of the 1991/1990 Broadway revival of The Wiz. His researching, teaching, and writing includes Prison Abolition, Religion and Spirituality in the African Black Diaspora, Black Music and Social Transformation, and Contemplative Pedagogy and Public Education. His first book, Conjuring Freedom: Music and Masculinity in the Gospel Army of the Civil War (Ohio State University Press, 2017), is a cultural history of the nation’s first Black regiment, the 1 st South Carolina Volunteers. Conjuring Freedom attends to the “spirituals” sung by the regiment in the ring shout as a mode of conjuring the spirit for military aims.


PhD, University of California Santa Barbara

MDiv, Pacific School of Religion, Berkely C.A.

BA, Fontbonne College