AKRON, Ohio — Family, friends and loved ones came together Saturday to remember and honor the life and legacy of Kent State University Professor Emeritus Dr. Edward Crosby, also known as the “father of Black History Month,” who died Feb. 10 at the age of 88.
Born in 1932 on Cleveland’s East Side, Crosby found his calling after being drafted into the Army and using his GI Bill to go on to excel as a student, and later professor, at Kent State.
Crosby became a professor at Kent State in 1969 and helped create the Institute for African-American Affairs, which later became the Department of Pan-African Studies. He retired from Kent State in 1994 but remained an active advocate in the Black Education field.
During the 25 years he taught at Kent State, Crosby organized the first Black History Month celebrations and is noted as one of the main founders of the now annual observance.
Services were held Saturday at Sommerville Funeral Home in Akron for Crosby’s family and close friends and video of the service was live streamed for others to view.
"He was a hell of a man and we love him, we'll miss him dearly," said Crosby's son Kofi Khemat. "But he left a living legacy. There's no building named after him, there's no statue of him at Kent State, but he left a legacy on all of the people whose lives he touched and so Dr. Crosby may not be walking around physically with us right now, but he's still with us."