For a great many of us involved in black student politics on college campuses from Michigan to Howard, we came to our love of wisdom by dealing with the Ancients rather than the early Greeks. And our knowledge of ma’at and related concepts came not reading Cheikh Anta Diop, and listening to speakers like Molefi Asante, Yosef ben-Jochannan, John Henrik Clarke, Maulana Karenga, Ivan Van Sertima and others. Among them was Asa Hilliard. Dr. Hilliard (whose first name is an anglicized version of the Kemetic “Asr” which was then translated into “Osiris”) was part of the first cohort after Diop and was responsible for the awakening of literally thousands of young minds. What we did not get from the universities we received our degrees from, we got from brothers like Dr. Hilliard. And for the few of us who mistakenly believed that joining organizations that had greek-letters made us “Greek”, hearing Bro. Hilliard (who was himself a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity), was like taking in a breath of fresh air.
Dr. Hilliard died on August 12 while in Egypt on a tour, due to complications from malaria.
The world was a better place because of his presence. His absence will be felt.