Terrell Jermaine Starr, a senior reporter for The Root whose writing covers Russia, Ukraine, the 2020 election, race, and security issues, will be joining the Hamilton Lugar School as part of its speaker series on Race, Gender, and Power in Global Affairs. Participants will be able to ask questions during the live event on our Facebook page on Monday, October 19 at 4pm or watch the archived video.
Starr, who is working on a book project that examines US-Russia relations from a Black perspective, has a long career in international relations that spans reporting, research, and personal experience. After college, he served in the Peace Corps in Georgia, received a Master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies, and, after receiving a second Master’s in journalism, conducted research on African-Ukrainian identity in the post-communist period while on a Fulbright scholarship in Kiev.
He witnessed the Russian-Georgian war in 2008 while he was in Tbilsi, and while doing research in Kiev he was stopped by the police 33 times. In his writing, videos, and interviews he combines his life experience and journalistic research to describe and probe international issues from the standpoint of a Black American. His podcast, Black Diplomats, is devoted to Black and people of color-led discussions on foreign policy and lifestyles. Recent episodes discuss nuclear non-proliferation, the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Eastern Europe, and a series on revolution in Belarus.
Aside from following international issues, Starr also writes about US electoral politics, having covered the campaigns of Black politicians including Stacey Abrams, Jamaal Bowman, Raphael Warnock, Mike Espy, Jaime Harrison, Phyllis Hardwick, and Pam Keith, many of whom he interviewed on video for The Root. With these politicians representing—or hoping to represent—states as varied as New York, South Carolina, Florida, and Missouri, Starr’s interviews have both raised the profile of these candidates among his readers while also asking them tough questions about policing, foreign policy, democracy, and race relations.
Some of Starr’s articles:
- “The West Abandoned Ukraine to Its Own Detriment” in The New York Times
- “A cop in Ukraine said he was detaining me because I was black. I appreciated it.” Video in The Washington Post
- “Why America’s New Nuke Upgrades Would Be an Endgame for Russia” in Jalopnik
- “Now the Army and Not Just Cops Might Be Killing ‘Drug Dealers’ in the Philippines” in Jalopnik
- “White Domestic Terrorism as a National Security Threat Presents Challenges for 2020 Presidential Candidates” in The Root
- “Defund the Police, Explained…for the Last Time” in The Root
A native of Detroit who is fluent in Russian and Georgian, Starr’s career demonstrates the connections between domestic politics and international studies and the many paths that students who study languages, critical areas and cultures, and policy research can pursue. We hope you’ll join us for what will be a fascinating discussion.