Robert Washington

Published Date: September 2nd, 2008
Category: Uncategorized

Professor of Sociology

Bob WashingtonAn outstanding lecturer whose classes are packed, Bob has advised many Black students from the United States, Caribbean and Africa about curricular and career choices, spending well beyond what is expected in office hours. He has also exposed many students to the societies and cultures of East Africa, particularly Kenya, through curricular and field work. Working with Professor Kalala Ngalamulume this year, he organized two Africana Studies conferences on the changing meaning of Black identity in the United States. His pioneering sociological study of Black American literature book was selected as a CHOICE book. His co-edited work, Confronting the American Dilemma of Race, which explores the contributions of African American scholars to the discipline of sociology, has also filled a major gap in the literature. He is currently working on a book with Professor Dave Karen on sports and society. Bob is a founding member of the Africana Studies Program and former coordinator of that program, as well as Bryn Mawr’s Title VI Program in African Studies with the University of Pennsylvania Swarthmore and Haverford.

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3 Responses to “Robert Washington”


Bob Washington was the only faculty of African descent at the undergraduate school known to me when I was a graduate student and well into my time on the faculty of the GSSWSR. He was the point person for me when I wanted to know what was happening on the main campus. At any gathering of students and/or faculty of color, Bob was there. I so appreciated his attention to the welfare of the students who were trying to fathom being at Bryn Mawr and remaining connected with their communities. He encouraged all of us to stay grounded and to use what we had to benefit others. He set a good example for students and faculty alike because he practiced what he preached.

Nell Lokey Rivers '74

Bob Washington as I remember him was a new professor at Bryn Mawr in the ’70’s. He had a large Afro as did most of his African American students. He was an excellent educator who also mentored students informally outside of the classroom. Congratulations to Bob Washington on receiving this well deserved honor.


I wasn’t one of those fortunate students, who had Bob Washington as a professor. Like so many black students, Bob Washington still played an important role in my education at Bryn Mawr. During my senior year, I took a class on African History. I loved the class, and it gave me an opportunity to talk with Bob Washington about his interest in East Africa. As a result of conversations with Bob and others, I decided to apply for a Thomas Watson Fellowship to study African professional women in four countries in West and East Africa. My fellowship year represents one of the most interesting experiences I have had in my life. Through it I gained an understanding of Africa and the diaspora, learned resilience and flexibility, and made life-long friends and colleagues. I am so pleased that Bob is being honored for his unique contributions to Black students at Bryn Mawr.