In Memoriam: James Edward Kennedy, 1933-2023

James E. Kennedy, a long-time faculty member at the University of Southern Alabama, died on May 20. He was 89 years old.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Kennedy was a graduate of Central High School in Mobile. He received a bachelor’s degree from Alabama State University. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he earned a master’s degree in art from Indiana University.

Kennedy began his career as a teacher and later assistant principal in the Mobile County Public School System. In 1968, he was one of the first African Americans to join the faculty at the University of Southern Alabama.

Kennedy served on the faculty at the university for 29 years and was head of the art history department for 16 years. During his tenure, Kennedy was the founder of the Black Student Union, helped formulate the Black studies degree program, and assisted in establishing the first two Black fraternity chapters on campus.

Professor Kennedy retired in 1997.

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