Sylvester Modupe Broderick Jr., a long-time educator and foreign service officer, died at his home in Potomac, Maryland, late last month. He was 81 years old.
A native of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Professor Broderick came to the United States in 1959 to attend what is now Otterbein University in Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and government as well as French and played on the tennis team. He went on to earn a master’s degree in French at Universite Laval in Quebec City, Canada.
Professor Broderick then served on the faculty in the French department at North Carolina A&T State University. In 1970, he enrolled in the Ph.D. program in African studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in anthropology. He conducted fieldwork in his native Sierre Leone that resulted in his dissertation entitled, “The Tori: Structure, Aesthetics, and Time in Krio Oral Narrative-Performance.”
Dr. Broderick then taught at Bayero University in Kano, Nigeria. After four years, he returned to the United States and married a U.S. froeign service officer. When she was assigned to Brazil, Dr. Broderick taught at the American School of Brasília and later at the University of Bahia.
Returning once again to the United States he taught at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute in Rosslyn, Virginia, where he prepared young diplomats who had been newly assigned to African countries. He later joined the United States Agency for International Development as a foreign service officer and worked in nine African countries.
Dr. Broderick was the author of the memoir Trodden Paths: A Journey From Brookfields (New Generation Publishing, 2022).