Richard Long



Richard A. Long

(February 9, 1925 – January 3, 2013)

Richard A. Long, recognized as a major cultural historian, was the Atticus Haygood Professor Emeritus of Interdisciplinary Studies at Emory University.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Temple University; did doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania; was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Paris; and received his doctoral degree at the University of Poitiers.  He began his teaching career as a graduate assistant at Temple. Subsequently, he taught at West Virginia State College. He spent a decade and a half as a teacher at Morgan State College (now University) followed by two years at Hampton Institute (now University), where he was also Director of the College Museum. While completing his doctoral work, he also worked as a lecturer at the University of Poitiers.

He became a Professor of English in 1968 at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University), where he was founder of the African American Studies program. From 1971 to 1973 he was a visiting lecturer at Harvard University. He was a U.S. committee member at the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in Lagos, Nigeria, from 1971 to 1977, and acted as a consultant for both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He lectured widely in West, Central and South Africa, the Caribbean, India, and Southeast Asia. He began an association with Emory University in 1973 as an adjunct professor, and became the Atticus Haygood Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in 1987.

His writings include Black Americana (1985), The Black Tradition in American Dance (1989), African Americans: A Portrait (1993), Grown Deep: Essays on the Harlem Renaissance (1998), One More Time: Harlem Renaissance History and Historicism (2007), and Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration (2008). He edited Negritude: Essays and Studies (1967) (with Albert Berrian), Afro-American Writing: Prose and Poetry (1972, 1991) (with Eugenia Collier), and Black Writers and the American Civil War (1989).  He founded the Triennial International Symposium on African Art, Atlanta University’s Annual Conference at the Center for African and African American Studies, and the New World Festivals of the African Diaspora. His most recent activities included serving on the Board of Directors of the Smithsonian Museum of African Art and the Board of Directors of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta as a life member.

He served on the Board of the Society of Dance History Scholars with the designation as an Honorary Fellow of the organization. He also was an active member of the National Planning Committee of the Zora Neale Hurston Festival. Dr. Long continued to lecture widely on a variety of topics and served as a consultant to many cultural organizations and institutions. Dr. Long’s Papers are deposited at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.


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