Cynthia Greenlee, PhD, is the Deputy Editorial Director at Colorlines. Based in North Carolina, she is a Southerner by birth, culture, and choice. She has more than 20 years experience in editing and communications for newspapers, online publications, and international and domestic health nongovernmental organizations.
Cynthia earned her doctorate in history from Duke University, where she specialized in the late 19th-century legal history of African-American girls and women in the South. She also holds a master's in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She is emphatically both writer and editor. She won a 2020 James Beard Foundation Award, essentially an Oscar for food writing. Her work has appeared in many publications, including American Prospect, Bon Appetit, EBONY, Elle, Literary Hub, Longreads, The Nation, Narratively, Smithsonian, Vox, Vice, and the Washington Post.
After getting her start at a Black community-based newspaper, she has held editorial positions at Rewire.News, an online publication dedicated to reporting on reproductive health, justice, and rights. She also was deputy editor of Gravy, the journal of the Southern Foodways Alliance; she curated a special summer 2020 issue dedicated to the writing, photography and visual art of creatives of color, a significant intervention in food media. She's also held editorial positions at health and advocacy organizations such as Ipas, FHI 360, and National Advocates for Pregnant Women. Dedicated to making sure that writers of color are well-trained, well-represented, and well-compensated, she's served as a formal mentor for writers through the Freedomways fellowship of Press On, the Echoing Ida program of the nonprofit Forward Together, and other venues.
She is the co-editor of The Echoing Ida Collection (forthcoming, January 2021 from Feminist Press), an anthology of social-justice writing from Black women and nonbinary authors. Cynthia is also considered a leading expert on the reproductive history of Black people and is at work on a manuscript about the politics of Blackness and race.