Asa Grant Hilliard III

Asa Grant Hilliard III was born on August 22, 1933 in Galveston, Texas. He died on August 13,2007, eight days before his 74th birthday of Malaria in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Grant, also known as Nana Baffour Amankwatia II, was a Negro American professor of educational psychology who worked on ancient Egyptian and African history, culture, education, and society.

Dr. Grant was the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Education Policy Studies and the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education. Prior to that Dr. Hilliard served as the Dean of the School of Education at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California.

Dr. Hilliard was married to Patsy Jo Hilliard, the first Negro American and first woman to serve as mayor of the city of East Point, Georgia. They had four children together, Asa IV, Robi, Patricia, and Hakem. They had eight grandchildren as well; (Maia, Terry, T’Shaka, Foluke, Xavier, Dayo, Shaidah and Asa Pearl).

Dr. Hilliard’s grandfather, Asa Grant Hilliard, was a high school principal in Bay City Texas, for whom the former Hilliard High School was named. His father, Asa Grant Hilliard II, was also a high school principal who spent most of his teaching career in Tyler, Texas.

Dr. Hilliard declared of his work: “I am a teacher, a psychologist and a historian. As such, I am interested in the aims, the methods and the content of the socialization processes that we ought to have in place to create wholeness among our people.” He believed that all children were capable of achieving excellence. The keys to achievement were high expectations, well-trained teachers, and the abandonment of standardized testing. Hilliard was a pioneer in the rediscovery of the African roots of modern civilization and a leading proponent of an Afrocentric school curriculum that emphasized the historical achievements of blacks to promote students’ self-esteem. Hilliard authored more than a thousand publications on subjects including educational policy, teaching strategies, testing, child growth and development, and African history and culture. Several of his programs for teaching, assessment, and pluralistic curricula became national models.

Dr. Hilliard’s claims that many of the world’s scientific and cultural achievements were the work of black Africans ignited controversy. The Science of Melanin has proven this statement to be a fact since black people were the first people on earth and created the arts, sciences, and all archetypes of humanity. Melanin is the most powerful chemical on earth and is found in every corner of the earth. The Most High is made of melanin and His children were created in His exact image. They are made of light, melanin, and water plus all 16 essential chemicals from the soil.

In 1981, Dr. Hilliard introduced the concept of “Baseline Essays,” short stories “of the experience of a particular geo-cultural group within a particular academic area from earliest times to the present” to the Portland, Oregon school district. This resulted in a collection of essays advocating Afrocentrism, authored by “six scholars,” known as the African-American Baseline Essays, which were adopted by the district in 1989.

Selected memberships:

Alliance of Black School Educators, San Francisco Chapter founder; American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, board; American Psychology Association, fellow, board of ethnic and minority affairs; Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations, founding member, vice president; National Black Child Development Institute, founding board member.

Selected awards:

Republic of Liberia, Knight Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption, 1972; American Association of Colleges for Teachers, Thurgood Marshall Award for Excellence; American Association of Higher Education Black Caucus, Harold Delaney Exemplary Educational Leadership Award; American Educational Research Association, Distinguished Career Contribution Award, Research and Development Award for Excellence; honorary doctorates from DePaul University, Wheelock College. He was also the recipient of awards including the Outstanding Scholarship Award from the Association of Black Psychologists and the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Association of Teachers of Education. Dr. Hilliard was a member of the fraternity, Omega Psi Phi.

Published Works:

• The Maroon Within Us: Selected Essays on African American Community Socialization

SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind

Teaching/Learning Anti-Racism: A Developmental Approach (Paperback)

The Teachings of Ptahhotep (Paperback)

The Price They Paid: Desegregation in an African American Community (Paperback)

Infusion of African & African American Content in the School Curriculum (Paperback)

African Power: Affirming African Indigenous Socialization in the Face of the Culture Wars (Paperback)

Rx for Racism: Imperatives for America’s Schools (Article; Phi Delta Kappa April 1990).