Dr. Benjamin, 1944-2014

Dr. Benjamin

The people I most admire are teaching scholars. For me, ‘teaching scholar’ has little to do with tenured university positions or PhDs and everything to do with passion, focused investigation, and deep regard for the practice of consistently and ethically sharing a discipline.

Dr. Benjamin was a distinguished member of the Howard University community; she was also an amazing and beloved teacher. Maybe I’ll always be a student. Yesterday, when I found out about her passing, I felt very isolated. I knew Dr. Benjamin as one member of a ‘we’ vigorously and tirelessly engaged in a discussion about art throughout the African diaspora, a conversation that lately I feel like I’m having with myself.

But, there was a time when I was a part of that ‘we’, and Dr. Benjamin kept me – all of us – ‘honest’ in our contributions.