Smith is an associate professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a founder of Cite Black Women, a campaign to push people, but particularly academics, to critically reflect on their everyday practices of citation and how they can incorporate black women into the CORE of their work. Smith’s work primarily focuses on transnational anti-Black police violence, Black liberation struggles, the paradox of Black citizenship in the Americas, and the dialectic between the enjoyment of Black culture and the killing of Black people. Her book Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence and Performance in Brazil was published in 2016 and chronicles Black Brazilians’ experiences with police violence in Salvador, Bahia. Smith’s current research theorizes sequela: the lingering, deadly impact of police violence on Black communities and especially women in Brazil and the US.
Smith graduated with her A.B. in Anthropology from Princeton University and her Ph.D. in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University. In addition to writing and researching, she also collaborates with Black Brazilian organizers in the struggle to end anti-Black genocide in Brazil and beyond.
Smith was an event speaker at The Dialogue.