In Memory of





Obituary for Ruth E. Hill (Edmonds)

Hill, Ruth Edmonds, 98, of Cambridge. April 15, 2023. Scholar, oral historian, editor, historic preservation advocate, storytelling movement founder. Born Pittsfield, MA. Treasured wife of the late Hugh Morgan Hill “Brother Blue.” Great-granddaughter Rev. Samuel Harrison, chaplain Mass. 54 th Reg. Civil War; instrumental in putting his Pittsfield homestead on National Register of Historic Places. Oral History Curator at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (RIAS), Harvard University, Schlesinger Library for four decades, seminal projects include oral histories of Black women, women in federal government, Cambodian American women, Latina women, Chinese American women, The Women of Courage: An Exhibition of Photographs exhibition, Tully Crenshaw Feminist Oral History on National Organization for Women (NOW), oral history of Radcliffe College. 2012 RIAS Dean’s Award for Excellence; 2018 Harvard Hero for “the encouragement of cross-school scholarship and the mentorship of generations of librarians and archivists of color.” Co-founder National Association of Black Storytellers, recipient NABS Zora Neale Hurston Award; Northeast Storytelling (NEST) Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award. Member Oral History Association, Editorial Board The Oral History Review, chaired Nonprint Format Award and Book Awards committees; OHA 2018 Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi Award “for outstanding achievement in using oral history to create a more humane and just world.” New England Association of Oral History’s Harvey A. Kantor Memorial Award; Psi Omega Chapter’s Lucy Miller Mitchell Heritage Award, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Greater Boston YMCA Black Achievers Awards. Honorary trustee for Samuel Harrison Society. Degrees from Massachusetts State College and Simmons College.

Predeceased by parents Florence J. Edmonds, William B. Edmonds, siblings Arreta Edmonds Smith, Lorna Edmonds Whitfield, James Jacobs Edmonds, Carlton Edmonds, nephew Keith Edmonds Whitfield. Survived by nephew Blayne Whitfield and wife Jeannie Williams; grandnephew Darren; great-grandniece Ah’lexus; reat-grandnephews TraQuan, Darren, Maxson; great-great-grandnieces Kae’dyn, Dream. Cousins Gordon Sr., Jennifer (George), Wayne, Kenneth (Christa), Gordon Jr., Stephen (Shannon), Selene, Hailey (Kwesi), Tiffany, Ashley, Theresa, Aaron, Mason, Liam.

In lieu of flowers, donations Samuel Harrison Society, National Association of Black Storytellers websites. Visiting hours April 22, 2-5 pm, Keefe Funeral Home, 2175 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Burial service Pittsfield Cemetery, 1 pm, April 25, 2023.