Sterling Stuckey, Renowned Historian, Dies - Higher Education
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Sterling Stuckey, Renowned Historian, Dies

by Walter Hudson

Dr. Sterling Stuckey, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Riverside and a prominent scholar of African-American history, has died.

Dr. Sterling Stuckey

An expert on American slavery and African-American intellectual and cultural history, Stuckey is the author of numerous books, including Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America.

A civil rights organizer in Chicago during the 1960s, Stuckey earned his Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University in 1972 and held teaching positions at numerous institutions before he was hired to teach at the University of California, Riverside in 1989 where he held the UC Presidential Chair.

Dr. Clayborne Carson, professor of American History and director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University said that Stuckey was a “pioneering historian whose writings provided provocative new insights about African-American history and culture,” said Carson. “I will miss his something biting wit as well as his generosity.”

In 2004, scholars from across the United States gathered at UC Riverside to celebrate Stuckey’s work on the occasion of his retirement.

“Not since W.E.B Du Bois has a scholar so brilliantly captured the spirit of African-American culture,” said Dr. Jermaine O. Archer, associate professor and chair of the American Studies/Media and Communications Department at the State University of New York at Old Westbury.

Archer, who studied with Stuckey, said the historian’s scholarship expanded and broadened the intellectual field.

“His influence throughout the world on Black folklore, slave resistance, antebellum literature, Black intellectual history and so much more is of mammoth proportions and may be impossible to quantify,” said Archer. “Our beloved Dr. Stuckey, one of the greatest minds of our time, will be sorely missed. His voice will continue to be heard through the countless scholars he has nurtured and molded over the years.”

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