A Detroit community college professor is fighting Silicon Valley’s surveillance machine. People are listening.
Gilliard’s parents prioritized education, and Chris became a voracious reader. He went on to obtain a PhD in rhetoric and composition from Purdue University, and these days he teaches English at Macomb Community College in Shelby Township, Mich. In phone conversations and Zoom calls, he’s affable and self-deprecating, recounting examples of ignorance or injustice with sardonic humor. He peppers his discussions with references to other academics’ work; when asked about his own impact, he deflects credit to those who have influenced him, including University of Texas professor Simone Browne, UCLA’s Noble, Detroit poet and activist Tawana Petty and Northeastern University’s Woodrow Hartzog.