Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Asa Hilliard




I am a teacher, a psychologist and a historian. As such, I am interested in the aims, the methods and the content of the socialization processes that we ought to have in place to create wholeness among our people.—Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III

Atlanta, GA (8-14, 2007) Dr. Asa Grant Hilliard, III, world renowned Pan-Africanist educator, historian, and psychologist, passed from this life on August 13, 2007 in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Hilliard was in Egypt to deliver a keynote lecture at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization (ASCAC), an organization he helped found. He was also lecturing for a study trip led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago. The cause of death is attributed to complications from malaria. “Dr. Hilliard was in his favorite place, with his favorite person – our mother, when he died,” said his daughter, Robi Hilliard Herron.

Dr. Hilliard was married for nearly 50 years to the Honorable Patsy Jo Hilliard, former mayor of East Point, GA and former school board member for the South San Francisco Unified School District.

Born in Galveston, TX on August 22, 1933 to Asa G. Hilliard II and Dr. Lois O. Williams. Dr. Hilliard graduated from Manual High School (1951) in Denver, CO. He received a B.A. from the University of Denver (1955) and taught in the Denver Public Schools before joining the U.S. Army, where he served as a First Lieutenant, platoon leader, and battalion executive officer in the Third Armored Infantry (1955-1957). He later received his M.A. in Counseling (1961) and Ed.D. in Educational Psychology (1963) from the University of Denver. In pursuit of his education, Dr. Hilliard worked in many occupations including as a teacher in the Denver Public Schools, as a railroad maintenance worker, and as a bartender, waiter and cook.

The professional career of Dr. Hilliard spans the globe. He was on the faculty at San Francisco State University; consultant to the Peace Corp in Liberia, West Africa; superintendent of schools in Monrovia, Liberia; and returned to San Francisco State as department chair and Dean of Education. At the time of his death, Dr. Hilliard was the Fuller E. Calloway Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University in Atlanta where he held joint appointments in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education.

Dr. Hilliard was a Board Certified Forensic Examiner and Diplomate of both the American Board of Forensic Examiners and the American Board of Forensic Medicine. He served as lead expert witness in several landmark federal cases on test validity and bias, including Larry P. v. Wilson Riles in California, Mattie T. v. Holliday in Mississippi, Deborah P. v. Turlington in Florida, and also in two Supreme Court cases, Ayers v. Fordice in Mississippi, and Marino v. Ortiz in New York City. Dr. Hilliard has lectured at leading universities and other institutions throughout the world, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Geographic Society.

As a distinguished consultant, Dr. Hilliard has worked with many of the leading school districts, publishers, public advocacy organizations, universities, government agencies and private corporations on valid assessment, African content in curriculum, teacher training, and public policy. Several of his programs in pluralistic curriculum, assessment, and valid teaching have become national models. Dr. Hilliard designed the approach and selected the essays that appeared in The Portland Baseline Essays (Portland, OR) which represent the first time that a comprehensive global and longitudinal view of people of African ancestry has been presented in a curriculum.

In 2001, Dr. Hilliard was enstooled as Development Chief for Mankranso, Ghana and given the name Nana Baffour Amankwatia, II, which means “generous one.” Dr. Hilliard spent more than thirty years leading study groups to Egypt and Ghana, as part of his mission of teaching the truth about the history of Africa and the African Diaspora. He co-chaired the First National Conference on the Infusion of African and African- American Content in the School Curriculum in Atlanta. Dr. Hilliard was a founding member and First Vice President of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations and a founding member of the National Black Child Development Institute. Dr. Hilliard was also a key advisor for the African Education for Every African Child Conference, held in Mali and sponsored by the government of Mali.

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