Josephus Olufemi “Femi” Richards, professor emeritus of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, passed away on February 3. He was 76 years old.
In 1971, Dr. Richards began his career at the University of Massachusetts as an associate professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. He retired in 2002. Earlier in his career, he taught at the University of Lagos and the University of North Carolina. His fieldwork and research in African arts and the cultural institutions that propagate them led to numerous awards and his research has been published in Germany, Canada, Israel, and the United States. Additionally, he was a professional textile designer with his creations exhibited in museums in the U.S. and Africa.
Dr. Richards was a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. He moved to the U.S. in 1967 and earned a Ph.D. in art and architectural history from Northwestern University in 1970.