Before leaving Northwestern to become dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, McBride served as chair of the department of African American studies and the Leon Forrest Professor. Under his leadership, Northwestern became the seventh university to offer a doctoral program in African American studies.
A leading scholar of literary and cultural studies, he has published five books and numerous articles that examine connections between race theory, black studies and identity politics. Most recently, he co-edited “A Melvin Dixon Critical Reader,” a collection of critical essays on literature and culture from the African American activist and scholar.
McBride's other works include, “Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch: Essays on Race and Sexuality,” a collection of personal essays offering contemporary cultural criticism. It was nominated for the 2006 Lambda Literary Award and the 2006 Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.