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|[Updated] Rudolph Byrd, noted African-American gay Emory scholar, dies|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|October 21, 2011 17:27|
Rudolph Byrd, a gay Emory professor and noted scholar on African-American literature, has died, according to a report by the Associated Press. He was 58.
"It is historic that the Arcus Foundation has taken this step," said Byrd at the time, He was also the Johnson Institute's founding director and Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies.
Charles Stephens of Atlanta, co-editor of the forthcoming anthology "Black Gay Genius" who knew Byrd through the community, said Friday that Byrd "was an accomplished scholar, a progressive academic, and one of the most eloquent champions of the African-American literary tradition. He was also a pro-feminist black gay man who brilliantly critiqued homophobia and sexism."
Added Stephens: "Though Dr. Byrd and I were not close, our paths crossed several times over the years. I’ve known of his work as long as I’ve been engaged in the world of ideas. He was a towering figure, a true man of arts and letters. His commitment to African-American literature, critical thought and progressive worldview, made him a model and an inspiration."
Earl Lewis, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies and also
Details of funeral and memorial services will follow in the next few days.
Watch a video of Byrd's tribute to Alice Walker:
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