Headshot of Lionnell "Badu" Smith

Lionnell “Badu” Smith

Assistant Professor
Email: lsmith1914@sfsu.edu
Location: HUM 343

Please consult your course syllabus or contact the instructor directly for office hours.


Lionnell “Badu” Smith (Ph.D., University of Memphis) is an assistant professor of critical communication pedagogy at San Francisco State University. He is an Africana communication scholar whose research is situated within three primary contexts: (a) teaching and pedagogy, (b) language, race, and power, and (c) religion, faith, and spirituality. Using critical rhetorical and qualitative methods, Dr. Badu is committed to exploring and understanding the ways in which Afrocentric thought and praxis is/can be located within various rhetorical situations.

Dr. Badu is an award-winning communication educator with more than 10 years of teaching experience. He is a Fulbright-Hays Scholar having participated in two tours to West Africa—Ghana (2018) and Nigeria (2022). Dr. Badu has been recognized for his teaching, research, and service at state, regional, and national communication conferences. His research has been published in Departures in Critical Qualitative Research (DCQR), Listening: Journal of Communication Ethics, Religion, and Culture, and Dialogues in Social Justice: An Adult Education Journal.

At SF State, Dr. Badu teaches classes in rhetoric and communication pedagogy. His teaching models critical, revolutionary, decolonial, and culturally relevant orientations as he encourages his students to consider how the material world is shaped rhetorically through various interrelated discourses of power. Dr. Badu invites his students to co-create a classroom space to grapple with and respond to such discourses in ways to lead to critical consciousness and social action.

Prior to joining the communication department at SF State, Dr. Badu taught as a full-time lecturer at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada where he taught classes in communication studies and Black studies. He is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., a major Marvel and DC fan, and a proud little/big brother and uncle.