Ronald Lamar Ross (Runoko Rashidi)

August 16, 1954August 2, 2021
Obituary of Ronald Lamar  Ross (Runoko Rashidi)
Runoko Rashidi was born Ronnie Ross, the sixth of seven children, to Joseph Ross and Pearlie Moore on August 16, 1954 in Stockton, California. He attended Budlong Elementary School and Washington High School in Los Angeles, and graduated from Northridge College. As a child he was highly intelligent and showed signs of potential greatness, and he eventually changed his name to Ronald Lamar. In the 1970’s, Ronald changed his name to Runoko Rashidi and thereafter dedicated himself to the uplift of Black people. He joined a number of Pan African organizations, engaged in extensive research and began following great Black scholars such as Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan and Dr. John Henrike Clarke. Rashidi often stated that around 1975, his life was changed. At that time he read an article in the Black Scholar that focused on the fact that Africans reached the Americas thousands of years before Columbus, and revealed that Africans were the indigenous people of not only Africa but also Europe, Asia, the South Sea Islands, Australia and the New World. This exposure to the antiquity and universal presence of African people launched a 45-year career of research, travel and lectures by Rashidi, and catapulted him into a status of international prominence. In 1981, Rashidi joined the staff at Compton Community College in Compton, California, and served under Dr. Billie J. Moore, director of the Extended Opportunity Program and Services. She was so impressed by Rashidi’s brilliance and passion that she appointed him program chairman of the African People’s Conference. In that capacity, for years Rashidi organized conferences around various themes focusing on Black people in Africa and the diaspora. By the late 1980’s Rashidi had developed a reputation as an authority on African history and culture. He began speaking at churches, schools, colleges and universities, first in Southern California, then around the nation and finally around the world. For over 30 years Rashidi travelled to more than 125 countries. He often conducted study tours of African Americans to a number of countries, especially Egypt, revealing the African origin of civilization. He documented his travels with considerable video footage and photographs, which he presented in thousands of lectures. Rashidi wrote numerous articles and books. Among the latter are: “My Global Journeys in Search of the African Past,” “Black Star: The African Presence in Early Europe,” “Beautiful, Royal and Divine: The Black Image in Antiquity,” “African Presence in Early Asia,” “African Star Over Asia” and “Uncovering the African Past: The Ivan Van Sertima Years.” Rashidi was particularly revered in India. Not only did he conduct vast research on the subcontinent and lecture broadly about its people and culture, he also joined with the Dalits in their historic fight against racism and oppression. At the time of his transition in Egypt, Rashidi was one of the most renowned authorities on Black people in Africa and the diaspora; and had recently embarked on a video series about African history and culture that would have been designed for use on all academic levels. Runoko Rashidi was preceded in death by both of his parents Pearlie Moore and Joseph Ross, and by four brothers: Robert Rhoden, Steven Rhoden, Clevester Rhoden and Eddie Ross. He is survived by a daughter, Assata Garvey Ross, who lives in Paris, France with her mother, Zawadi Sagna; two sisters, Brenda Miller and Carol Strong, a brother-in-law, Donald Strong, a sister-in-law, Shirley Caldwell Ross, Karen Johnson, girlfriend/partner and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. A public chapel visitation for Ronald will be held Sunday, August 29, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Rose Hills Hall of Grace, 3890 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, California 90601. Masks and appropriate social distancing will be required per LA County Health Departments guidelines. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Ross family.

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Past Services

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Visitation in Chapel

Grave Location

Ronald Lamar Ross (Runoko Rashidi)

Mimosa Lawn

Flowers and decorations are removed every Friday.

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