Gloria Louise Harper Dickinson was the only child
born of Clifford Harper, a merchant seaman and Martha Louis Sinton Harper
Hasell, a registered nurse on August 5, 1947. She was raised in Jamaica,
Queens, NY and her early education was received in the New York City
Public Schools. Gloria graduated from Hunter High School then attended
CCNY where she received her Baccalaureate degree, later earning her
Masters and Ph.D from Howard University.
Dr. Gloria H. Dickinson, who resided in Willingboro, NJ, was the
immediate past chair of the Department of African-American Studies at the
College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ. Her spheres of academic expertise
included Africana religion and food ways, black popular culture, women
writers of the African Diaspora and infusing New Media Technologies into
Africana Studies. Since patenting “Sisters at the Spa”, Dr. Dickinson had
also planned numerous African spa trips for organizations and individuals.
Her love of travel around the world must have been “a genetic imprint
from her father”, her mother stated on many occasions. Her extensive
globetrotting took her to five of the seven continents where she met and
connected with many people.
Gloria was a multi-tasker before that term was coined. During her
life she was a wife, friend, soror, neighbor, professor, mentor, confidante,
advisor, sponsor, presenter, matchmaker, organizer, photographer, ultimate
shopper, therapist, historian, collector of Black memorabilia, Black Art and
Angels. She was the consummate mass communicator via snail mail, the
telephone, fax and the Internet.
Gloria was a woman of many passions, the warm sands of a beach,
delicious tastes of exotic food, spa treatments, gospel music, good down
home collard greens, crispy fried chicken, rhythm and blues, the effervescence of a glass of chilled champagne, spicy tuna sushi,
the Motown Sound, gumbo, dancing, watching CNN, crabs or lobster, going into Manhattan for live theatre, attending concerts,
fried fish and grits, Jazz, reading the Sunday New York Times, and staying up late.
Gloria was involved and belonged to several professional and civic
organizations. GHD was the immediate past President of the “Association
for the Study of African American Life and History”, former Vice President
of the “Association of Black Women Historians” and served on the Board of
Directors of “ASALH”, the National Council for Black Studies and the
American Studies Association Crossroads Digital Media Project. She was a
member of the Rancocas Valley Chapter of the Links, Inc. Gloria was the
primary catalyst in establishing “Sister Will You Help Me?”, a breast cancer
support group for Women of Color and Faith in the Willingboro community.
She was an active parishioner at the Wesley African Methodist Episcopal
In 1966 as a member of Lambda Chapter in New York City, Gloria
began her commitment to her beloved Sorority. She was a Silver Star Life
member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and has held a myriad of key
leadership positions on the local, regional, national and international levels.
In July 2008, because of her health, she resigned her most recent office as
Centennial International Regional Director.
Gloria received her wings and became an angel on Sunday, January
18, 2009 and is survived by her devoted husband of thirty eight years, Lt
Col. (Ret.) Arthur C. Dickinson, her cousins; Joelyn (Charles) McIwain, N.
Babylon, NY, Jacqueline Sinton, Jamestown, NY and Ronald (Cheryl)
Goodridge, Hempstead, NY, Thurston Groomes of S. Orange, NJ, her
nephew, Wyndell (Pam) Dickinson, her grandniece, Nadia Dickinson, Leonia,
NJ and “Aunt” Daisy Poole McFadden, Bronx, NY; also her godsons, Jason
Hollingsworth, CA, and Darrell G. Thomas, CA. She will be sorely missed
and always cherished by a host of other relatives, friends, colleagues and
|Gloria Louise Harper Dickinson