Riché J. Daniel Barnes is a sociocultural anthropologist whose teaching and research specializations are at the intersection of black feminist theories, work and family policy, and African Diasporic raced, gendered, and classed identity formation. Her research focus has been on Black women and Black motherhood. Her ethnographic field research focus is the U.S. South and the Black Diaspora broadly defined.
Barnes is an award-winning scholar. Her book, Raising the Race: Black Career Women Redefine Marriage, Motherhood, and Community, won the 2017 Distinguished Book Award for the Race, Gender, Class section of the American Sociological Association. She has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Sloan Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. Additionally, Barnes has held research affiliations with the Clayman Institute at Stanford University and Yale Center for the study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration. She has published her research in numerous scholarly journals and collections and has been a speaker for various universities, corporations, and print and broadcast news outlets.
Her conceptual framework, “Black Strategic Mothering,” has been used to understand the complexities of Black women's survival strategies as they pertain to motherhood, family, work and community, over time and space. She is currently working on two book projects that expound on these strategies. One looking at Black women’s health and pregnancy disparities. The other looking at how Black mothers navigate what is referred to as the school-choice “market place,” tentatively titled “The Struggle for Progress”. She is also co-editor of a volume in progress on African American Contemporary Lives from a social scientific perspective, under contract with NYU press.
Barnes has also received awards in recognition of her scholar-activism, teaching, and mentoring. She has been active with the Movement for Black Lives, #SayHerName, and the Black Girls and Women Research Group, convened by the African American Policy Forum. She co-founded and chaired the Association of Black Anthropologists Mentoring Program and she is currently the president of the Association of Black Anthropologists. Her efforts were recognized with the 2019 AAA/Oxford University Press Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology award and the 2020 American Anthropological Association President’s Award.