Hardy T. Frye, a civil rights activist and professor emeritus of sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, passed earlier this summer at his home in Berkeley. He was 82 years old.
Born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama, after high school he joined the U.S. Army. After discharge, he went to Los Angeles and quickly became involved in the civil rights movement. In the summer of 1964, he went to Mississippi to join Freedom Summer. He was a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Field Secretary in Mississippi and Alabama from 1964-1967.
After earning a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Frye accepted an appointment at Yale as an assistant professor in 1976, where he taught for one year. After that, he returned to Berkeley as a post-doctoral fellow and was involved with the formation of the Institute for the Study of Social Change, which later became the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. In 1978, Dr. Frye joined the faculty at the University of California Santa Cruz. He retired from teaching and was named professor emeritus in 1999. Later, he was director of the Peace Corps in Guyana and lectured for many years at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Frye was the author of Black Parties and Political Power: A Case Study (1980).