LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – One of Louisville’s most prolific voices in Louisville’s African-American community fell silent Saturday morning.
J. Blaine Hudson, a noted professor who often contributed to bridging racial divides, died weeks after announcing his departure as dean of Arts & Sciences at the University of Louisville back in December.
Hudson’s most notable contribution to the community was his collaboration on the 2011 release ‘Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A photographic history’ where he discussed the challenges of African-Americans in early Louisville society.
Hudson taught history at the University of Louisville in addition to being the chair of the Pan-African studies department from 1998 to 2003. He is also credited in creating Black Student Union at the university.
Hudson was recently appointed to Mayor Greg Fischer’s task force to help curb violence in West Louisville. Hudson soon stepped down as the task force's co-chair upon his announcement of medical leave from the University in August.
Mayor Greg Fischer and University of Louisville president James Ramsey both released statements Saturday evening.
“Dr. Hudson was a true public servant who cared deeply about Louisville and its people. He understood the city’s history, and he selflessly shared his learnings and insights from both an academic and real-life perspective. Though he grew up in times of racial segregation, his entire life was spent helping bridge racial divides, from his work at the University of Louisville to his Saturday Academy to his book about African-American History in Louisville to his most recent work serving as co-chair of the city’s violence prevention work group. He leaves a deep and lasting legacy and our city is grateful for his life,” Mayor Fischer said.
“Blaine's many years and contributions as a faculty member, department chair and dean has had, and will continue to have, a lasting impact on generations of UofL students. Blaine was a visionary and leader in the academy and the community. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Ramsey said.
Currently, there’s no word on funeral arrangements or if the university plans on holding any memorials.