Marya Annette McQuirter has over 20 years of experiences utilizing digital, emerging and print media to create excellent content for the public at the intersection of race, gender and culture.
Marya has a PhD in history from the University of Michigan, where she worked with leading scholars, Elsa Barkley Brown, Robin D.G. Kelley, Earl Lewis, David Scobey and Richard Candida Smith. Her dissertation, “Claiming the City: African Americans, Urbanization and Leisure in Washington, DC, 1902-1957,” is a spatial analysis of race, gender and sexuality in the 20th century.
In 1995, she collaborated with Tracye McQuirter, MPH on blackvegetarians.com, one of the earliest black internet sites and one of the earliest food-focused sites. Through recipes, original essays and mapping, she helped to forge an international community of plant-based eaters throughout the diaspora.
In 2001, she served as Project Director of the Washington, DC Online Encyclopedia, in collaboration with the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities. This was NEH's first major foray into digital humanities.
In 2009, she began the blog, chocolate & arugula, where she wrote original and pithy essays exploring identity, sustainability and technology. Her posts on sustainability @HBCUs were instrumental in forging a partnership between the United Negro College Fund and the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
Marya is the author of several award-winning publications. She wrote the African American Heritage Trail Guide, Washington, DC, a 100-page guide full of photographs and concise text highlighting the long history of African Americans in the nation's capital. Marya received two awards and considerable national and international press, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and Voice of America. She is also the author of a book in the award-winning Young Oxford History of African Americans, an 11-volume series.
For her research on a 1928 bicycling trip, in which five black women biked from New York to DC in 1928, she has been featured three times in the Washington Post and her post for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture was one of the museum's most popular blog entries. Her research also inspired two groups, including Red, Bike & Green, to embark on commemorative rides.