Runoko Rashidi's death announced: Academic community mourns scholar and historian

Olivia Olphin August 3, 2021
Runoko Rashidi's death announced: Academic community mourns scholar and historian

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The death of respected academic Runoko Rashidi was announced late last night by his friends and family. He passed away while on a research trip to Egypt on 2 August. Messages of love, support and remembrance are pouring in for the historian online. We take a look at his incredible life and academic career.

Who is Runoko Rashidi?

Runoko Rashidi described himself as a scholar, historian, author and a lecturer. Born in 1954, the historian was about 67 years old when he passed away.

He held frequent seminars about African History, Pan-Africanism, and focused his work specifically on the global African presence, which details the movement of Africans outside Africa before and after enslavement.

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Rashidi is also a highly successful author, having published collections of essays, as well as books about Black culture and Black history. He was a prolific academic writer, publishing 22 books across his career.

These include The Black Image In Antiquity, Black Star: The African Presence In Early Europe, as well as Uncovering The African Past.

Rashidi had travelled across the world, visiting 124 countries, as well as lecturing and teaching in 67 of them. In 2005 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Amen-Ra Theological Seminary in LA.

Recently he had been researching African artefacts, and African cultural presence in museums around the world. He has also been part of the curatorial and academic board of the Pan-African Heritage Museum since 2020.

Runoko Rashidi’s death announced online

Rashidi’s family announced that he had passed away, or made his ancestral transition, on the 2 August 2021.

According to reports he passed away in Kemet, or Egypt yesterday. Every year he takes an annual tour of the country starting in Cairo, and finishing in Abu Simbel.

He had embarked on this tour on 31 July, and was supposed to finish on 13 August. However, the historian died on 2 August during the first stage of this expedition.

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Friends, family and fans share their respects

Runoko Rashidi had a huge impact on modern academic writing, Black culture and African historicism. Colleagues and supporters of Rashidi have taken to social media to share their heartfelt respect for the scholar.

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We send out our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.

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Olivia Olphin is an English Literature graduate and a film and literature fanatic. She has many years of reviewing experience, recently working as accredited press for the London Film Festival. She has also written widely about culture and sex education, as well as LGBTQ+ and women's issues.