James Early "is Director of Cultural Studies and Communication at the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Over the course of his twenty-five year professional career, he has consistently recognized the integrity of historically evolved values and cultures of African-American, Latino, Native American and Asian-Pacific American communities. He has taught high school Spanish, worked with the incarcerated, taught at the college level, as well as lectured and written on the politics of culture.
"An activist for over 25 years, he has participated and advocated for student movements, support and solidarity committees for liberation in Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Latin American, Asia and the Pacific, and in many democratic rights movements in the U.S. He is on the board and steering committees of numerous cultural D.C.-based groups." 
"Prior to his work with the Smithsonian, Mr. Early was a humanist administrator at the National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, D.C., a producer, writer, and host of "Ten Minutes Left," a weekly radio segment of cultural, educational and political interviews and commentary at WHUR FM radio at Howard University, and a research associate for programs and documentation.
"As a long-time advocate and supporter of cultural diversity and equity issues in the nation’s public cultural and educational institutions, Mr. Early began these pursuits at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, in 1969, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. In 1971, Early entered the Graduate Studies program at Howard University on a Ford Foundation Fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History and a minor in African and Afro-American History."