In Memoriam: Rudolph P. Byrd (1953-2011)

Rudolph P. Byrd, a prominent black studies scholar at Emory University, has died of cancer. He was 58 years old.

Professor Byrd joined the Emory faculty in 1991. He was the Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies and founder of the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Race and Difference.

Prior to his appointment at Emory in 1991, Byrd taught at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he was a member of the department of English and chair of the African and African-American studies program. He also taught in the English Department at the University of Delaware.

Professor Byrd was a graduate of Lewis & Clark College and completed graduate study at Yale University. He was the author or editor of 11 books and the founding co-chair of the Alice Walker Literary Society.

Related Articles


  1. As a student at Emory, I had a chance to work with him and had no idea he was such a heavy hitter. Blessings to his spirit and loved ones.

  2. I,ve. never got the chance to meet this gentle spirit of a man.According to what I have read. Not only have I missed the chance to be in his presence to witness GOD’S blessings upon him, but I never got the chance to meet my Big brother. Rest in Peace DEAN 🙂

  3. I was one of his students at Carleton College. He was an amazing professor and human. Such a gentle spirit and truly care about his students. He was an important contributor to my decision to change my major to African/American-American Studies from Political Science.

    When he left, we were devastated. I’m glad I had the privilege of being his student and learning from his brilliant mind.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Pew Research Center Provides Insight into Share of Black-Owned Businesses in the United States

Through analyzing data from the United States Census Bureau and the National Science Foundation, the Pew Research Center found that Black-owned businesses make up 3 percent of companies and earn 1 percent of gross revenue in the United States.

Martin Lemellle Appointed the Eleventh President of Grambling State University

Dr. Martin Lemelle has been serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Study Finds Elementary School Teachers More Likely to Discipline Black Boys than White Peers

“It is important to understand how race and racism shape children’s earliest school experiences,” wrote study author, Dr. Calvin Zimmerman. “Even for students as young as 6 years old, schools perpetuate existing social and educational inequalities.”

Johnnetta Betsch Cole Appointed President-In-Residence of the United Negro College Fund Capital Campaign

“With her immense expertise and passion for education, Dr. Cole will play a pivotal role in advancing the goals of our capital campaign and UNCF’s mission of ensuring equal access to higher education for underrepresented students of color,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and chief executive officer of the United Negro College Fund.

Featured Jobs