Marixa Lasso teaches history at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Prior to that she was a tenured Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University. She received grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Humanities Center to support her research on this book. She has also held fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Wenner Gren Foundation. In 2016 Lasso was the Sheila Biddle Ford Fellow at Harvard's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. Her work has been translated into Spanish and Portuguese.