Obiora N. Anekwe is a professional writer, editor, poet, visual artist, bioethicist, counselor, and educator. He was born in Alabama at the John A. Andrew Hospital on the campus of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). Reared in Lagos, Nigeria, Obiora attended the University of Lagos Staff School as a child. He is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University (B.A, mass media arts with honors), Tuskegee University (M.Ed, counseling and student development), Auburn University (Ed.D, educational leadership), and Columbia University in the City of New York (M.S, bioethics with high honors and distinction). His early educational experiences influenced his commitment to learning, presenting, and conducting research in international education in Germany, Italy, Poland, and Scotland.
Before moving to New York, Obiora previously worked as a counselor, instructor, and educational coordinator in the office of the provost at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. In addition, he has taught undergraduate teacher education students as an adjunct instructor in educational foundations at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. Obiora has received additional training in bioethics, health care, and clinical ethics from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, Union Graduate College, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Chemical Society.
Obiora has published in the fields of education and bioethics. His first book, Celebrating Life at 24 Hampton Place, documented the Igbo traditional life and home-going celebrations of his great aunt, Catherine N. Anekwe. His second book, Chronicling the Tuskegee Syphilis Study: Essays, Research Writings, Commentaries, and Other Documented Works, was cowritten with his brother, Ejinkonye C. Anekwe, Ph.D. Obiora’s third book, Ancestral Voices Rising Up: A Collage Series on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, was published in 2014. In 2015, Obiora published his fourth book, Ethically Speaking: Essays and Other Writings on Race, Class and Justice in Health Care and Medicine, featuring his Columbia University bioethics master’s degree thesis on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Based on his 2007 doctoral dissertation in educational leadership, Obiora’s fifth book, Satisfaction Matters: A Comparative Study of African American Students in Teacher Education Programs within the Academy, was also published in 2015. His two books, Ancestral Voices Rising Up (2014) and Ethically Speaking (2015), were selected by the Bioethics Research Library at Georgetown University as two respected books to read in the field of bioethics. Obiora’s first children’s book, The Adventures of Blind Tom, was released in the summer of 2015 under his own publishing company, Ethically Speaking Press. The book chronicles the extraordinary life story of Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins, a black enslaved child prodigy with autism who played classical piano music to audiences around the world during the 1800s.
As a founding contributing editor and writer for the Columbia University online bioethics journal, Voices in Bioethics, Obiora has written art reviews on public health and bioethics-related issues and other relevant topics referring to race, gender, and vulnerable populations in human subjects research. In addition to his duties as contributing editor and writer, Anekwe also serves as coordinator for the art and bioethics section of Voices in Bioethics. He has had his art collages featured in or on the cover of medical ethics journals such as Academic Medicine, The Hastings Center’s Bioethics Forum, and Voices in Bioethics.
Dr. Obiora N. Anekwe resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Rev. Alexis Southerland Anekwe.