‘Doing What He Loved Most’: Acclaimed Historian, Lecturer, and Pan-Africanist Runoko Rashidi Has Passed Away In Egypt :: ATL Black Star

‘Doing What He Loved Most’: Acclaimed Historian, Lecturer, and Pan-Africanist Runoko Rashidi Has Passed Away In Egypt

Posted byBy Niara Savage | August 5, 2021 

Historian and anthropologist Runoko Rashidi passed away on Aug. 2 at the age of 66 while on his annual trip to Egypt, his family announced in a statement on his website.

“He was on tour in Kmt, doing what he loved most. He will be greatly missed. Please allow his family the time and privacy needed during this difficult moment.” the statement said.

Historian and anthropologist Runoko Rashidi passed away on Aug. 2 at the age of 66 while on his annual trip to Egypt. (Photos: Runoko Rashidi/ Facebook)

Rashidi’s Pan-Africanist studies focused on Africans outside of the African continent before and after enslavement. Born in 1954, Rashidi was specifically interested in the African presence in Asia. The well-traveled researcher had visited 124 countries, authored 22 books, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Amen-Ra Theological Seminary in Los Angeles in 2005.

His recent works include “My Global Journeys in Search of the African Presence,” “Assata-Garvey and Me: A Global African Journey for Children” and “The Black Image in Antiquity.”

Rashidi spoke at major forums and conferences across the globe and had focused his research on the African presence in the museums of the world prior to his death. His lifetime goals included uplifting African people through history and the promotion of “knowledge of self.”

“History is a light that illuminates the past, and a key that unlocks the door to the future,” Rashidi sad about the discipline of history.

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Rashidi was set to speak at the first Pan African Heritage World Conference, a three-day hybrid and virtual event scheduled to run from Aug. 5-7 at the Association of African Universities in Accra, Ghana.

Rashidi has delivered speeches in 67 countries and was named to the Curatorial and Academic boards of the Pan-African Heritage Museum in 2020.

Rashidi explored the history of African people’s presence around the globe. In a 2014 account for Atlanta Black Star, he recalled meeting Guyanese scholar Ivan Van Sertima, who authored the book “They Came Before Columbus” that explored the presence of Africans in ancient America.

“I was honored to be in his presence,” Rashidi wrote about meeting Sertima in 1980. Upon learning about Sertima’s death in 2009, Rashidi explained, “You know, with Ivan’s transition (I could not write the “d” word), it seems almost like I have lost my bridge to those early years and those scholars who mentored and influenced me at that pivotal stage in my life.”

Rashidi also wrote about the African presence in the Roman world, and about Africans’ involvement in the slave trade.

Rashidi’s cause of death has not been made public. A statement on his website said updates will continue to be provided.

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::: Remembering Dr. Ronoko Rashidi ::: Saturday, August 7, 2021 ::: 10 pm ET

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theGrio’s 100: OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, Barbara Arnwine

theGrio’s 100: Barbara Arnwine, keeping civil rights front and center

Laywers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Executive Director Barbara Arnwine (2nd R) speaks during a news conference to voice opposition to state photo identification voter laws with the Rev. Jesse Jackson (C) and members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol July 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. In what the the committee calls 'vote supression legislation,' eight states require photo identification for people to vote and 22 others are considering similar legislation. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Laywers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Executive Director Barbara Arnwine (2nd R) speaks during a news conference to voice opposition to state photo identification voter laws with the Rev. Jesse Jackson (C) and members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol July 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. In what the the committee calls ‘vote supression legislation,’ eight states require photo identification for people to vote and 22 others are considering similar legislation. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Arnwine is president and executive director of theLawyers Committee on Civil Rights Under Law,which works on issues like racial profiling and voter protection.

Why is she on theGrio’s 100? 

Arnwine and her group were instrumental in battling controversial voting laws, such as ones requiring photo identification to vote, that were passed by Republican legislatures in 2011 and 2012. The committee joined lawsuits against many of the laws, helping lead to many of them being struck down by courts. The group also created a “Map of Shame” depicting which states had the most controversial voting laws and a hotline for people to report voting or registration problems in the months before Election Day.

“Voter suppression legislation that has been debated and passed across the nation since the 2010 mid-terms threatens to heighten voter confusion this November,” Arnwine said in the midst of the campaign.

The effort by Arnwine and others was successful, as Obama campaign aides said the voter laws had little impact on the 2012 election results.

What ‘s next for Arnwine? 

The battle over voter laws is likely to continue. While courts put aside many of the laws in 2012, Republican-led legislatures and governors are likely to propose them again in the future. And the 2014 and 2016 campaigns are not far away.

Arwine

LISTEN TO OUR COMMON GROUND with Barbara Arnwine HERE

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