The president of Red Sea and World Press Publishing talked to Minia of the Tigrigna service about the political influence of the career of Dr. Jordan Gebre-Medhin, a member of the African studies faculty of Northwestern University, who died in early December.
Jordan was the author of the 1989 book, "Peasants and Nationalism: Critique of Ethiopian Studies," which many believe fueled the struggle for Eritrea’s independence. The book was the first major challenge to claims casting Eritrea as a subsidiary of Ethiopia, its neighbor in northeast Africa. The book provoked heated debate among political factions and drew favorable reviews from other scholars. Eritrea won independence from Ethiopia in 1993.
Kassahun Chekol, his publisher and longtime friend of Jordan, called him an intellectual powerhouse, a committed nationalist and a dedicated pan-Africanist. The Boston Globe published an article on its web site calling him “a towering teacher and the first faculty member in Northeastern's University African-American studies department to earn tenure.” Dr. Tseggai Isaac, a political scientist at the University of Missouri, also praised Jordan’s contributions to Eritrea and to political science. "He was a gentle giant, an affable personality with dignity, yet kind and gracious," said Dr.Tseggai.
Jordan passed away in
the first week of December at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was 64.