© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

John Bracey, UMass Amherst professor, civil rights activist, dies at 81

John Bracey, one of the longest serving professors at UMass Amherst, has died. The university issued a statement saying Bracey died over the weekend at age 81.

A civil rights activist and preeminent scholar of Black history and the Black Arts Movement, Bracey arrived in Amherst in 1972. He was one of the seven original members of the school's newly established Afro-American Studies Department.

“John Bracey was one of the most beautiful minds, brilliant intellect and serious lover of freedom that you'd ever want to know,” said Amilcar Shabazz, a current professor and former chair of the department.

Shabazz said Bracey had varied intellectual interests and was a critical thinker.

"He had a wish, an ardent desire to see the world be a more just place, a freer place, a kinder place,” he said.

Funeral services for Bracey are pending, and UMass said tributes are being planned.

Kari Njiiri is a senior reporter and longtime host and producer of "Jazz Safari," a musical journey through the jazz world and beyond, broadcast Saturday nights on NEPM Radio. He's also the local host of NPR’s "All Things Considered."

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content