Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (born 1982) is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and author of the forthcoming The Explainers and the Explorers (Scribner 2017) on "how black America will define itself in the 21st century." In 2014, Ghansah's profile in The Believer of elusive comedian Dave Chappelle was a National Magazine Award finalist and collected in The Best American Nonrequired Reading as well as The Believer's anthology Read Harder. The New York Times reviewed her essay's appearance in that collection as "more forceful work...[a] searching profile." Ghansah grew up in Philadelphia. Early in her career she worked for The Roots and dream hampton before becoming a public school teacher. She graduated from the Columbia MFA program in writing in 2011, and has taught at Columbia University, Bard College, and Eugene Lang College. In addition to notice for the Chappelle piece, Ghansah has drawn particular recognition for her longform profiles of subjects like Kendrick Lamar, Chirlane McCray, and Toni Morrison—which Flavorwire recommended as "necessary, even recuperative"—as well as essays on Beyoncé's fans, Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios, and James Baldwin's historic home in southern France. KQED called Ghansah "one of the most brilliant essayists writing in America today." In an Elle UK feature, "Zadie Smith On The Young Writer Who Teaches Her Everything," novelist Smith said Ghansah "always understood that to make your writing stand out online you...just need to write better than everyone else. And she does."
- "He Shall Overcome: Jay-Z Is $450M Beyond The Marcy Projects. Where Does He Go From Here?" Observer 2010.
- "If He Hollers Let Him Go: Searching for Dave Chappelle ten years after he left his own show," The Believer 2013.
- "When the Lights Shut Off: Kendrick Lamar and the Decline of the Black Blues Narrative," Los Angeles Review of Books 2013.
- "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: The BeyHive," NPR 2014.
- "Chirlane McCray and the Limits of First-Ladyship," The New York Times Magazine 2014.
- "A River Runs Through It: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios, Its Ownership, and Other Black Memories," The Believer 2015.
- "The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison," The New York Times Magazine 2015.
- "The Weight of James Arthur Baldwin," Buzzfeed 2016.
- "He Shall Overcome: Jay-Z Is $450 M Beyond the Marcy Projects. Where Does He Go From Here?". Observer. 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "The Believer - If He Hollers Let Him Go - by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah". 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
- "When the Lights Shut Off: Kendrick Lamar and the Decline of the Black Blues Narrative - Los Angeles Review of Books". Los Angeles Review of Books.
- "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: The BeyHive". NPR.org.
- Ghansah, Rachel Kaadzi (2016-02-09). "Chirlane McCray and the Limits of First-Ladyship". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "The Believer - A River Runs Through It". The Believer. 2015-01-01. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- Ghansah, Rachel Kaadzi (8 April 2015). "The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison". The New York Times.
- "The Weight Of James Arthur Baldwin". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2016-06-17.