Nathan Hare, the founder of The Black Scholar: A Journal of Black Studies and Research and called by many scholars “the father of Black and Ethnic Studies,” was born on April 9, 1933, in Slick, Oklahoma, to Seddie H. Hare, a sharecropper from Arkansas, and Tishia Lee Hare, a housekeeper. Hare’s early education began in 1938 at L’Ouverture Elementary School in Slick, Oklahoma. After his parents divorced, however, his mother took her children, Nathan Hare, Mildred Hare, Lieutenant C. Hare, Orgi Lee Lewis, and Ida Mae Lewis, to San Diego, California.
Hare’s family returned to Slick, Oklahoma and he graduated from high school in 1950. Hare enrolled in the historically-Black Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology in 1954. In 1956, Hare married Julia Ann Reed, a psychologist and sociologist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, whom he met at Langston University.  The two would later collaborate on a number of books and articles.
Hare won a Danforth Fellowship, and in 1957, he earned a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago. His first professional position was as an instructor in sociology at Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) in Petersburg from 1957 to 1958. He taught in the same field as an assistant professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C., from 1961 to 1967. His students included Stokely Carmichael, who later became Kwame Ture, and Claude Brown, the author of Manchild in the Promise Land.
While at Howard, Hare was an amateur boxer who fought under the name Nat Harris, but when Howard administrators discovered his work as a pugilist, they told him he could “fight or teach” but not both.  Hare gave up boxing, and in 1965, while still at Howard, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. That same year, his book, Black Anglo Saxons, was released. It focused on middle-class African Americans attempting to assimilate into White culture and became a model critique for students and scholars who, in the Black Power era, repudiated racial integration.
In 1967, Hare left Howard and began serving as the Black Studies program coordinator at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University).  The following year, he publicly opposed S.I. Hayakawa, the interim president, who attempted to close the program.  That clash resulted in Hare leading faculty and student protestors who clashed with San Francisco police. As a result, Hare was fired.
In 1969, Hare and Robert Chrisman founded The Black Scholar, which quickly became the leading journal for Black Power advocates both on and off college campuses. In 1972, Hare earned a second doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. Afterward, he went into private practice as a psychologist in 1975. In 1984, he teamed with his wife to write The Endangered Black Family which explored the relationship between slavery and contemporary racism. In 2019, Hare received a lifetime achievement honor from the American Book Awards. Two years he and Julia wrote Bringing the Black Boy to Manhood: the Passage.
Dr. Nathan Hare died on June 10, 2024, in San Francisco. He was 91 and left behind a body of scholarship and Africana Studies at SFSU, which began as Black Studies.
Do you find this information helpful? A small donation would help us keep this available to all. Forego a bottle of soda and donate its cost to us for the information you just learned, and feel good about helping to make it available to everyone. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and our EIN is 26-1625373. Your donation is fully tax-deductible.
Brian Murphy, “Nathan Hare, a scholar who led the fight for Black studies, dies at 91,”;
“In Memoriam: Nathan Hare, 1933-2024, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education;
“Nathan Hare, 91, Forceful Founder of First Black Studies Program, Dies,” The New York Times (;