In Memory of Ahmad Rahman

Ahmad Rahman
Ahmad Rahman

Hoping to attend college after high school, he became a leader in the Black Panther Party instead.  In 1968 he was set-up in an FBI sting, falsely accused of a crime he did not commit, and convicted of murder.  While serving a life sentence, he converted to Islam and was elected Imam among the prison’s Muslims.  He also began taking classes offered through Wayne State University, becoming the first Michigan inmate ever to receive an undergraduate degree.  Thereafter, he was accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan, where he received his doctorate in African history, as well as a gubernatorial pardon after serving 22 years of his sentence. 

He soon joined the faculty at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he taught African and African American history, and was recognized in 2013 as Michigan’s College Professor of the Year.  He also served as director of the African/African American Studies (AAAS) program, and was deeply engaged with the Detroit Public Schools.  An internationally recognized scholar on the Pan-Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah, he was invited in 2009 by the government of Ghana to return to his ancestral homeland and participate in the official centennial celebrations commemorating Nkrumah’s birth and subsequent life as the President of West Africa’s first independent state.

Aside from his charismatic personality, keen sense of ironic humor, and intellectual brilliance, Ahmad is remembered for his honest pursuit of truth, uncompromising integrity, and generosity of spirit.  He is survived by his four children, Rahman, Saidah, Sundiata, and Askia, as well as by the many students, colleagues, and friends whose lives he enriched by his presence.

In Ahmad’s own invariable words of farewell:  “Peace and Justice.”

Remembering Ahmad Rahman

Dr. Ahmad Rahman (associate professor of history) was a great leader at UM-Dearborn, and a passionate Civil Rights activist. He passed away September 21, 2015 at the age of 64.

We remember Dr. Rahman in these articles and video clips.

In April 2008, Professor Ahmad Rahman discussed civil rights, African independence, and French immigrant movements with Chancellor Daniel Little

Remarks from his "Celebration of Life and Legacy"

Dr. Ahmad Rahman Memorial Scholarship

In his memory, a scholarship was created. Your gift provides aid to our future leaders majoring or minoring in African and African American Studies.

Donate to the Dr. Ahmad Rahman Memorial Scholarship