Runoko Rashidi – a historian, author, anthropologist, scholar and master teacher who was a big proponent of Black people having knowledge of self – died Aug. 2 while on his annual research tour of Egypt, also known by its ancient name Kemet. He was approximately 67 as his exact birth month in 1954 is unknown.
News of Rashidi’s death was announced by his family in a statement on his website. “Family, it is with our most sincere and deepest regret that the family of Dr. Runoko Rashidi announced the sad news that he has transitioned into the ancestral realm on today, August 2nd, 2021. He was on tour in Kmt, doing what he loved most. He will be greatly missed,” the announcement stated.
“Please allow his family the time and privacy needed during this difficult moment. We will be posting more information and updating this website as it becomes available,” the statement concluded.
According to his bio, Rashidi’s life’s work was focused on what he termed the “Global African Presence,” which is the study of Africans outside of Africa before and after slavery. His writings about African origins, history and Black culture overall had an immense impact on modern academic writings on the subject.
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Rashidi’s bio said he traveled extensively to 124 countries, serving as a lecturer and presenter in 67 of them. He received an honorary doctorate from the Amen-Ra Theological Seminary in Los Angeles.
Rashidi also led tours to “India, Australia, Fiji, Turkey, Jordan, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Togo, Benin, France, Belgium, England, Cote d’Ivoire, Namibia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Peru, Cuba, Luxembourg, Germany, Cameroon, the Netherlands, Spain, Morocco, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar,” his bio states.
He authored and/or edited 22 books including “Black Star: The African Presence in Early Europe”; “African Star over Asia: The Black Presence in the East”; “Assata-Garvey and Me: A Global African Journey for Children” and “The Black Image in Antiquity.”
Those who loved and were inspired by Rashidi took to social media to offer an outpouring of tributes and condolences.
“A great one transitioned to the ancestors’ realm. Rest in Power Master Teacher. “I have a sense of passion about Black, about African people, so I want to use any vehicles we have to uplift Black people and I see history and ‘knowledge of self’ as part of that.” -Runoko Rashidi,” @CEADA tweeted.
“Tragic news. Baba Runoko Rashidi was amazing scholar-activist whose warm but firm manner helped many, including me, learn how to discuss issues of race, ethnicity and racism with sensitivity,” @LigaliOrg wrote. “His photographic talks were legendary. Now an Ancestor, may he RIEP.”
“I heard Dr. Rashidi speak many times, I remember the first time was in Oakland after I moved to CA, and he was talking about the global African presence and the origins of African people around the world. His lecture opened my eyes on another level! Rest in Peace Great King,” @AshlaybytheBay wrote.
***Article Image Info: Photo Courtesy of drrunoko.com gallery. Link to image: http://drrunoko.com/10494689_10152753231306222_4507281283431657943_n/***