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Robert Chrisman Obituary. Robert Chrisman, a founding editor of /The Black Scholar/, poet, academic and activist, died on March 10^th , at his home in San Francisco, of complications from congestive heart failure. He was 75. He is survived by his brother, Philip Chrisman, and his daughter, Laura Chrisman. Robert Chrisman was raised near Nogales, Arizona. His father, Alfred Chrisman, was an automechanic. His homemaker mother, Thelma Allimono, was the daughter of New Orleans "race man"W.D. Allimono, the first African-American certified public accountant , a pan-Africanist and labor activist. Chrisman's family moved to the Bay Area in the 1950s where he became involved in the lively and diverse cultural scene in San Francisco. He entered UC Berkeley's English department to study literature.On his own he discovered the works of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Robert Hayden, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, Che Guevara, Pablo Neruda, Mao Tse-tung, and the Beat Generation writers. Chrisman turned to poetry as medium of expression for his vision. His work gained recognition from critics and other poets, including Alice Walker who wrote of his poetry: "Revealed in this beautifully lyrical poetry is a mind's intense desire to comprehend the limits of, and to break through the snares of essentially Euro-Tectonic orientation into the larger world of struggling humanity."Chrisman published three volumes of poetry, /Children of Empire/ (1981), /Minor Casualties: New and Selected Poems/ (1993) and /The Dirty Wars /(2012). Chrisman's other books include three major edited anthologies of writings from /The Black Scholar/. These are: /Pan-Africanism/ (1972), /Contemporary Black Thought/ (1974), and /Court of Appeal: The Black Community Speaks out on the Racial and Sexual Politics of Clarence Thomas v. Anita Hill/ (1992). In 2001 Chrisman co-edited with Laurence Goldstein the anthology, /Robert Hayden: Essays on the Poetry/. In November 1969, Robert Chrisman co-founded /The Black Scholar/ with Nathan Hare and Allan Ross. The launching of /TBS /followed in the wake of the historic strike at San Francisco State College. The strike involved thousands of students and faculty, including Chrisman, in a prolonged and sometimes violently repressive struggle with the administration and the state. Among the student demands were the creation of a Black Studies Department and a Third World College. These demands were won but Chrisman was forced to pay a high price for the victory. He and Nathan Hare were fired from their teaching positions in retribution for their activism in the strike. Chrisman was reinstated but not in a tenure-track position. Refusing to be silenced or driven from Black Studies, they instead decided to found a journal devoted to black studies and research, a journal that would be interdisciplinary in approach and that would seek to unite street activists and academic intellectuals in common advocacy for the needs of the black community. More than 200 issues later that journal is still publishing and has become the leading independent journal of African American intellectual inquiry. Following Chrisman's retirement as Editor-in-Chief, in 2012, his daughter Laura Chrisman became Editor-in-Chief, with Sundiata Cha-Jua and Louis Chude-Sokei as Senior Editors. Robert Allen, the long-term Senior Editor of /TBS/ and close friend of Chrisman, writes "I know of no one who has worked harder than Robert Chrisman to actualize an intellectual vision.In building /TBS/ he demonstrated the power of the principles of self-determination and self-reliance. He built the journal not by relying on grants and funding from foundations and government agencies, but by relying on the people we serve -- teachers, students, community activists, labor activists, writers and artists, librarians, academicians, and just plain working people -- our subscribers. These folks have shown that they have the power to sustain an intellectual enterprise and keep it independent.Chrisman believed that by relying on community support /TBS/ could be self determining.For over forty years Robert Chrisman's strategic vision enabled /TBS /to make a path where there was none before." Aside from his writing and editing, Chrisman was long engaged with the academy.He held an MA degree in Language Arts from San Francisco State, and a Ph,D, in English from the University of Michigan. He taught at the University of Michigan, Williams College, UC Berkeley, the University of Vermont, and Wayne State University. In 2005 he retired as Professor and Chair of the Black Studies Department at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Among the initiatives he developed while at the University of Nebraska was the creation of an annual Malcolm X Festival in Omaha, the city where Malcolm X was born. In 2004 Chrisman and /The Black Scholar/ were awarded the Pan-African Contribution for Publishing Award by the Organization of Women Writers of Africa and the Institute of African American Affairs at New York University.