Justin Gomer – Faculty Bio

Justin Gomer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of American Studies

Office: F02-221

Ph.D., African American Studies, UC Berkeley 
M.A., African American Studies, UC Berkeley 
B.A., African American Studies, UC Berkeley 

Courses Taught
AMST 142: Race and Hollywood
AMST 419: The Suburbs 
AMST 426: The American Studies Mixtape
AMST 498: Senior Seminar in American Studies


Justin Gomer, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of American Studies at California State University, Long Beach. His research and teaching focuses on racial formations, popular culture, and modern African American and United States history.

Dr. Gomer is the author of White Balance: How Hollywood Shaped Colorblind Ideology and Undermined Civil Rights (UNC Press, 2020), which was named of “The Best Black History Books of 2020” by the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). In addition, his work appears in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and SocietyThe Washington Post, Boston Review, and Black Perspectives, among others. His research has been featured on NPR, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. 


White Balance: How Hollywood Shaped Colorblind Ideology and Undermined Civil Rights. Studies in United States Culture Series. UNC Press, 2020.

Peer-Reviewed Articles & Chapters

“How Hollywood Pictures Whiteness.” In Whiteness in American Literature and Culture, ed. Jolene Hubbs. “Themes in American Literature and Culture Series.” Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming.

Coaching While Black: The NFL’s Rooney Rule and the Myth of The Pipeline.” Journal of Sport and Social Issues. Co-Authored with Shaun Ossei-Owusu. December 2022. 1-23

“They Should Have Called Katrina, ‘Gone with the Wind’: Charles Burnett’s Quiet As Kept and the Neoliberal Racial State.” Souls–A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society. Vol. 19, No. 2, April-June 2017, pp. 162-176.

“Leave the Prejudice, Take the Power: Race in Hollywood in the 21st Century.” In Race Still Matters: African American Lived Experiences in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Yuya Kiuchi. SUNY Press, 2016, pp. 301-320.

Select Opinion Editorials

“‘Not a racist bone in his body’: The origins of the default defense against racism.” The Washington Post. Republished July 16, 2019. Originally published April 11, 2019. Co-Authored with Christopher Petrella.

Housing Discrimination and the Racial Wealth Gap.” KCET.org, Los Angeles Public Television. September 4, 2018.

“How the Reagan Administration Stoked Fears of Anti-White Discrimination.” The Washington Post. October 10, 2017. Co-Authored with Christopher Petrella.

“Reagan Used MLK Day to Undermine Racial Justice.” Boston Review. 16 January 2017. Co-authored with Christopher Petrella.

“White Fragility, Anti-Racist Pedagogy, and the Weight of History.” Black Perspectives. July 27, 2017. Co-authored with Christopher Petrella.  

“Race and Civil Rights Dramas in Hollywood.” Black Perspectives. March 24, 2017.

“White Supremacy is Not An Illness.” Black Perspectives15 December 2016. Co-authored with Christopher Petrella.

“Black Protest, White Backlash and The History of Scientific Racism.” Black Perspectives. 5 October 2016. Co-authored with Christopher Petrella.

Select Interviews and Podcast Appearances

“Hollywood’s Colorblind Illusion.” Think radio show. KERA. NPR Dallas. September 14, 2020.

“Hollywood’s Colorblindness Problem.” All of It radio show. WNYC. New York Public Radio. August 6, 2020.

New Books in History podcast. New Books Network. July 24, 2020.

“The Unreality of Racial Justice Cinema.” New York Times. October 24, 2018.


1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840