The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project shares the sad news that Northeastern Professor Ángel David Nieves, a faculty affiliate of CRRJ, passed away December 5, 2023.
Professor Nieves is perhaps best known for his innovative work on 3D spatial histories and models of sites in apartheid South Africa. He was the author of An Architecture of Education: African American Women Design the New South, a pathbreaking book about nineteenth century educational edifices designed, built and administered by Black women. The book was edited by Nieves’ late husband, Richard Foote.
Ángel was funny; he was profound; he was wise; and he was passionate in his commitment to the universality of struggle.
A Professor of Africana Studies, History, and Digital Humanities in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH), an Affiliate Professor in the Department of English and in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, and Director of the Humanities Center, Nieves received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in the history of urban development and Africana Studies. Nieves was also a co-principal investigator on the project entitled Reckonings: A Local History Platform for the Community Archivist supported by the Mellon Foundation.
Nieves’ unexpected passing follows just six months after the death of his beloved husband Richard, and tributes from colleagues continue to pour in. CRRJ Director Margaret Burnham shared her respects and gratitude for Nieves’ contributions to the project and academia.
“Many of us have lost a beloved friend, and Northeastern has lost a magnificent scholar and consummate teacher,” said Burnham. “We at CRRJ collaborated with Ángel on two innovative projects – one that brought together researchers from across the university to study the relationship between place and resistance to subordination, and the other to consider modalities of racial repair in Boston. This last year he was deeply engaged in leading this work, even as he grieved the tragic loss of his husband. Proud of his New York Puerto Rican roots, Ángel was funny; he was profound; he was wise; and he was passionate in his commitment to the universality of struggle, whether in Soweto, Roxbury, or the Bronx.”