About Dr. Hudson
Hudson was born in Birmingham, Alabama, firmly believing in the transformative power of education. He received his bachelor’s, master's, and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan. In 1968, and came to Indiana after teaching at Florida A&M University, the University of Puerto Rico, and Kabul University in Afghanistan.
His success was not easily achieved. Hudson suffered from health issues, including meningitis, and was legally blind for most of his life. Yet, despite this disability, his commitment to dreaming bigger and doing more never wavered.
Only two years after the groundbreaking first program in Black Studies began at San Francisco State University, Hudson, as vice chancellor for Afro-American Affairs, founded and chaired Indiana University’s Afro-American Studies department in 1970. The Office of Afro-Americans Affairs grew under his leadership in the roles of vice chancellor and later dean from 1970 until June of 1981 and from 1990 to 1993.
Because of his vision, the Afro-American Studies department (now known as the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies), became a launching pad for creating other groundbreaking efforts to celebrate Black culture and develop Black talent through performance. This includes the creation of what is now known as the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and the African American Arts Institute, which houses the IU Soul Revue, the African American Dance Company, and the African American Choral Ensemble.
Mentoring was perhaps the one constant in Hudson’s life. For countless students, he became known as a teacher, friend, and father figure who encouraged them to stay focused on their goals despite the obstacles. In addition, he assisted in recruiting Black faculty whom schools and departments identified while they were advanced graduate students. He also supported their research and that of other young Black faculty.
Hudson served as one of the founders of the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program, a scholarship and support program for high-achieving students from communities historically excluded due to race and ethnicity. The program is the largest merit-based scholarship effort at Indiana University.
Additionally, he played a crucial role in helping to form the National Council of Black Studies. The organization was established in 1975 to formalize the study of the African World experience and expand and strengthen academic units and community programs devoted to this endeavor.