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The university community mourns Edwin Curmie Price Jr., former student and first black member of the OHIO faculty

Edwin Curmie Price Jr. [an [anFormerUniversitystudentandfirstblackmemberoftheUniversityfacultydiedon23ofApril

The History and Status of Black Americans at Ohio University [19459005 published in 1974, notes "the recruitment of the first black member of the OU faculty, E. Curmie Price, in the Department of English" in 1963. Price obtained a master's degree in literature from OHIO in 1964. He taught first – One Year Writing Courses – then labeled ENG 100.

“He could have taught the plays of Shakespeare and Milton, but his gift was understanding Baldwin and Ellison. The birth of our friendship was in Athens the same day that President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, "said student Chris Jones '65 . , Curmie entered the classroom and immediately and extemporaneously delivered an explanatory sentence, of which I still consider a linguistic genius. For more than half a century, our relationship has grown into an enviable brotherhood … sharing interests in politics, music, travel, philosophies, theories and just about everything else conceivable. He was pragmatic but enigmatic, enlightening but attractive, cautious but incalculable, and yes, temperamental but calm. "

Paul Hubbard, Chris Jones and E. Curmie Price at the former's house OHIO President Roderick J. McDavis and his wife, Deborah.

While Price was at Ohio University for just two years, his experience in Athens served him well as a starting point for his long career in academia and service.

"It is from those two years at the University of Ohio that I would speak for a moment, "Price wrote in a 1965 letter to Dr. Edgar Whan, then chair of the English Department." To put it in its most blatant terms, I would like to thank you and the department, without a doubt, the best years of my already long life. I am much better for having spent them in Athens…. There is great beauty and lucidity in seeing men do what they should, without fanfare or posture; that is why I admire you and your department. I was one of you and still am, and that gives me great pleasure. "

Price's obituary provides some of Milestones in his important career:

He earned a BA in Philosophy from Wilmington College, an MA in American Literature from the Ohio University (and joined its faculty) and a master's degree in American studies from Yale while in the Ph.D. program. At Yale, he was a Kent Fellow and attended the Divinity School at the University of Chicago as a Danforth Fellow. Curmie was among a group of scholars who established the School of Ethnic Studies at Western Washington State College in Bellingham. While at Yale, he taught at the Wesleyan University Center for the Humanities. In Cleveland, he taught at Case Western Reserve University, Tric-C , Notre Dame C ollege, Ashland University and Cleveland State University, where he received a Fulbright to teach in Zambia at the University of Lusaka. In addition to her academic career, Curmie served the VISTA program in Philadelphia and New York. He was director of Head Start and deputy director of the local Community Action Program. He held numerous administrative positions during eleven years in the county government. While working as a director of various departments, he completed the program for senior executives in state and local government at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Price has published two volumes of poetry: The State of the Union and A country of the mind: Poems from Zambia . He participated in various poetry readings while at OHIO.

He loved literature. In writing a letter to the editor at the Post in 1963, responding to an article by Martin Tyler on "ten don'ts" to his white friends, Price relied on the black novelist James Baldwin:

The "ten not to do" are not an effort, it cannot be done, to take the risk of encounters between whites and blacks … No man in his sane judgment would negate the difficulties. And the fact that there are difficulties is not a reason why we should not try.

We have a long way to go and the road is winding; However, if we are allowed to speculate, speaking of a hint from Martin's suggestions, perhaps what we need to do is simply acquire the willingness to risk everything we know in an effort to know more. The encounter, as Mr. James Baldwin has said, can be fiery. But I am convinced that those who risk 'the fire next time', in an effort not to burn themselves now, are our most important people.

"Professor Price's own words, taken from a time before e-mail when newspapers and letters contained our speech, should inspire us to continue to build on a legacy that began here in Athens nearly six decades ago, "the president of Ohio University M. Duane Nellis said . "He inspires us to do what we must, simply 'acquire the willingness to risk everything we know in an effort to know more' in the fight against racial injustice. Baldwin's book The Fire Next Time came out in 1963 and it remains a classic and passionate witness against injustice. And that is a call that we can all still follow. "

Price would return to Athens as his career progressed. He was teaching at Western Washington State College when he returned in 1969 to give a lecture on civil rights sponsored by the Cutler Program. Price described "the South as affected by the civil rights movement and the influence of Martin Luther King in his lecture entitled 'A Land Most Strange'".

 Edwin Curmie Price Jr. "typeof =" foaf: Image "/></div><figcaption> Edwin Curmie Price Jr. speaking at a Black Alumni Reunion dinner. </figcaption></figure><p> <span> <span> <span> <span> Price returned to Athens again to speak at a Black Alumni Meeting in 2010. </span> </span> </span> </span></p></p><p> ] <span> <span> "Deborah and I were saddened to learn that Edwin Price passed away. During our tenure as president and first lady of Ohio University, we had the opportunity to meet and spend time with Edwin. He was a good person! We always enjoy our conversations with Edwin, "President Emeritus <strong> <span> <span> Roderick J. McDavis said </span> </span> </strong>." Edwin will always have a special place in the annals of Ohio University as the first African-American faculty member. He cared deeply for his students and helped them become better people. His presence as a faculty member made it possible for other African American faculty members to be hired in later years. We will miss him deeply. May he rest in peace. "</span> </span> </span></p><p> <span> <span> <span>" The Ebony Bobcat Network mourns the loss of Edwin Curmie Price ", <strong> <span> <span> Valerie Biggs-Hill BSC '78 </span> </span> </strong>] president of the National Board Ebony Bobcat Network said. "Sir. Price pioneered as the first black faculty member at Ohio University and remained an academic student throughout his life, as evidenced by his distinguished academic career. We also recognize his commitment to the students and we know that he has left an indelible mark not only on them but also on others who had the pleasure and privilege of meeting him ”. </span> </span> </span></p></p></div>

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