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Carolyn Richardson Durham

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Carolyn Richardson Durham Obituary
GREENSBORO, NC - Dr. Carolyn Richardson Durham, a professor at North Carolina A&T State University died on Monday, April 28, 2014. A native of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Carolyn joined Saint James A.M.E. Zion Church at an early age. She was born on January 13, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York to the late Dr. Herbert N. Richardson and Fannie Franklin Richardson. She developed a passion for foreign languages and cultures at an early age as the result of being the product of a multilingual, multinational family. She spoke several languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian. Durham earned both her master's and doctorate degrees in Spanish Peninsular and Spanish American Literature from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In addition, she earned her bachelor's degree in Spanish Language and Literature with a minor in French from Drew University in Madison, NJ. She studied abroad during her junior year of college at la Universidad de las Americas in Mexico City. Durham's experiences as a teenager in Mexico City strongly influenced her career choice as a language professor. She was a lifelong proponent of study abroad opportunities and she encouraged all of her students to view themselves as global citizens. Durham's professorships included tenures totaling more than 40 years at Hampton University, Texas Christian University and North Carolina A&T State University. While at Hampton University, she took groups of students on educational excursions to Mexico, Spain and Morocco. While at Texas Christian University, she served as the Co-Director of "TCU in Mexico", a summer program held on the campus of la Universidad de las Americas in Puebla. In 2006, she led a group of students, faculty, administrators and alumni from North Carolina A& T State University to Brazil. Durham's work focused on the experiences of Black people throughout Latin America. In 1989, she first traveled to Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar and subsequently made more than 20 trips in order to study and document various aspects of Afro-Brazilian life including art, music, language, literature and religion. In addition to Mexico and Brazil, she traveled to places in Costa Rica, Haiti, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, France, Panama, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Spain, Morocco, St. Maarten/ St. Martin, Venezuela, and Anguilla. In 1995, she co-edited and translated Enfim Nos: Finally Us, An anthology of Afro-Brazilian Women's poetry. Enfim Nos was the first book of its kind published in the United States and is considered a landmark publication in the arena of Afro-Brazilian Literature and Culture. At the time of her death, she was working on a project to preserve important Afro-Brazilian manuscripts. She is survived by her husband, Edward C. Durham; two daughters, Diana and Dara; grandson, Michael; sister, Dr. Joyce Richardson Melech; son-in-law, Steve Bowden; sisters-in-law, Sallie Baker, Marion Yvonne Jones, Constance Baker Howard, Hazel Ernestine Baker, and Patricia Lee; brother-in-law, Robert Baker; five uncles, John J. Richardson, John Hugh Richardson, Hubert Carty, Austin Gumbs and Elvin Jones; one aunt, Nina Christian Franklin; special cousins, Rose Franklin Taylor, Dr. William A. Franklin, Shauna Franklin Epps, Nadra Franklin, Thomasine Hammed-Owens, Shelley Staton, Muriel Matthew and Phyllis Bodie; as well as host of numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held 12 noon, Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Hampton University Chapel. Viewing will be from 1-7 pm at the funeral home and two hours prior to the service at the chapel on Saturday. O.H. Smith & Son Funeral Home is honored to serve the family.
Published in Daily Press on May 1, 2014
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