In Memoriam: Samuel A. Floyd Jr., 1937-2016

floyd-headshot-x200Samuel Floyd Jr., the founder of the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College in Chicago, died earlier this summer in Chicago after a long illness. He was 79 years old.

A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Dr. Floyd held a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Dr. Floyd began his career as an instructor and assistant band director at Florida A&M University. He joined the faculty at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1964 and became a professor of music at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. There, he founded the Institute for Research in Black American Music and the Black Music Research Journal.

Professor Floyd joined the faculty at Columbia College in 1983. In addition to his work with the Center for Black Music Research, Dr. Floyd served as academic dean and interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. He retired in 2002 and was named director emeritus of the Center for Black Music Research.

Dr. Floyd was the editor of Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance (Praeger, 1990) and the International Dictionary of Black Composers (Routledge, 1999).

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  1. I am doing some purging in my home and came across a featured story on Dr. Floyd in a 1989 Ebony Issue, and goggled Dr. Floyd’s name him to in the hopes of following his research. Is there a foundation or other organization where donations may be made in his memory?


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