Acclaimed artist, founder of Black Studies program at YSU passes away

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Known as the "Father of Black Studies at YSU," the professor brought curricular diversity to the university

Al Bright, founder of Black Studies at Youngstown State University and artist

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Alfred Bright, the founding director of the Black Studies program at Youngstown State University, passed away.

Known as the “Father of Black Studies at YSU,” the professor served as director from 1970 to 1987.

The program brings curricular diversity to the university. Students of all ethnicities and backgrounds enroll in Black Studies classes.

Bright was also an artist and used his talent to teach art to others.

YSU President Jim Tressel released the following statement Tuesday:

“We are all saddened here at YSU to hear of the passing of Al Bright. Professor Bright’s legacy at YSU is large, as both a graduate, as the university’s first African-American full-service faculty member, as the founder of the Black Studies/Africana Studies program and, of course, his artwork, which was featured in more than 100 solo exhibits. He was a tireless advocate for YSU, for our students and for the entire Mahoning Valley region.”

His artwork can be found in the Butler Institute of American Art, Kent State University Gallery, Canton Museum of Art, Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts in Virginia, Northeastern University in Boston and Harmon and Harriet Kelly Collection of African-American Art in San Antonio.

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