Bios are hard for me. It’s not that I can’t write them; I’ve written many for myself and others, its that it’s hard for me to tell an easy story about who I am as a professional. Depending on the day or even the hour of the day, I am a professional in many things. I have done, and continue to do a lot of things that are not easily explained in a quick blurb. A good friend called me a polymath. I am still trying to figure out if that works for me.
Nevertheless, I try to tell the professional story of me beginning with my topophilia. I am a native of Houston, Texas. To know me is to know that I love Houston and put on for my city. After situating myself geographically, I attempt to abridge the story of how I give to the world and how I make a living by describing myself as an Educator, Scholar, Writer, and Advocate.
In each role, I attempt to change the world in the pursuit of justice and to help folk become justice-oriented in their thinking and daily praxis.
Maco is currently the Director of Tutor Training and Justice Education for the Petey Greene Program, In this role, he oversees training and professional development for program staff, functioning in a train the trainer role and mentor to early career professionals. He is responsible for tutor training and justice education curriculum to ensure that tutors can effectively tutor and understand the context of tutoring system-impacted people and how to pursue systemic change. Maco is also responsible for developing and operationalizing the organization’s internal and external DEI and Trauma Informed Practices policies and strategies. He collaborates with local, regional, and national justice organizations to ensure our programming reflects best practice trends in the field. He also functions as a spokesperson on behalf of the organization in criminal justice and social justice circles, promoting the organization’s social justice objectives.
Since 2012 Maco has taught college history, Black Studies, and humanities-based courses at state, private, and community college institutions. These institutions include Providence College, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Texas Southern University, Hunter College, five prisons in New Jersey through The New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons Consortium (Rutgers University), and Lone Star Community College.
Since the summer of 2016, Maco has been an instructor for the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy and the From the Fire Leadership Academy for Young Men. For each academy, he teaches a two-week critical reading course for high school girls and boys of color.
Maco recently earned a terminal Master of Arts Degree in History from Rutgers University, where he was trained as a historian of African American life and culture. He holds an MA in History from Texas Southern University and a BA in Speech & Communications from Texas A&M University.
As an academically trained historian, Maco’s research centers on the social, cultural, and intellectual histories of African Americans in relationship to the carceral state and post-war urban spatializing. More specifically, this scholarly agenda looks at the political economy and cultural geography of the war on drugs, mass incarceration, the sunbelt south, race making, black meaning-making, and hip hop and pop culture. In his most recent research, he examined the war on drugs as a federal mandate carried out in Houston, TX.
Maco is the author of Hip Hop in Houston: The Origin and Legacy (2013), the first book that examines the history of Houston’s hip hop culture. In Hip Hop in Houston, Maco explores the nature of Houston hip-hop to discover how it came about, why it’s notable, and what it reveals about the life experiences of urban young people in Houston during the 1980s.
Maco is also a contributor to the book Religion in Hip Hop: Mapping the New Terrain edited by Anthony B. Pinn, Monica R. Miller and rapper Bernard “Bun B” Freeman. His chapter, “Mapping Space and Place in the Analysis of Hip Hop and Religion: Houston As An Example,” insists that questions about the role of religion in hip hop must also interrogate the intersection of space, place, and time as significant domains of hip hop cultural practices. From there he analyzes Houston’s hip hop culture to point to what may be religious about it. He is also a contributor to the forthcoming art book Slowed and Throwed: Records of the City through Mutated Lenses (2021), where he puts Houston rapper Tobe Nwigwe in conversation with the legacy of DJ Screw.
His writings have appeared in numerous web and print publications. As a public scholar, Maco is often invited to write, teach, and speak about issues of justice and equity, mental health, and hip hop and popular culture.
He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and firmly believes that average people follow paths, but leaders of significance carve out trails.
When Maco is not thinking, writing, teaching, or helping folks get free, his main job is being the father of two, a toddler, and a college student.