The following is an expanded version of a memorial from the April 6, 2016, issue.
Khalid died Sept. 8, 2015, in New Haven, Conn.
A pioneering classmate and an active community leader in New Haven, Khalid died of Lewy body dementia after several years of declining health. He was 64 years old.
A native of Jamaica, Queens, he came to Princeton from the Hun School of Princeton and was known to us as “Eric.” Classmates recall that in his freshman year, Khalid participated in crew for a short time.
During his Princeton years, Khalid was a tireless and passionate advocate on behalf of black undergraduates. He was a research assistant for the development of a library for the nascent African American Studies program; chairman of the fellowship committee of the Association of Black Collegians, and was active in the establishment of the Third World Center, the predecessor of the Carl A. Fields Center. His activism extended beyond the campus boundaries: Khalid was also a member of the United Front on South Africa.
Frank Pendraza ’75 recalls being befriended by Khalid as a freshman. “He was warm, charming, brilliant, generous, and extremely friendly, ” Pendraza said. “He shared my passion for community involvement and I will always remember the times we went to Trenton during Thanksgiving. He bought turkeys for poor families and we distributed them.”
Khalid majored in politics and assumed a founding position with Yale University as its director of the Afro-American Cultural Center after graduation. Khalid guided the center to the stability necessary to allow for the hiring of a student staff and for the center to sponsor a variety of events and programs aimed at forging a strong link with the New Haven Community.
He worked as a reporter for the New Haven Independent and was active in local politics, serving as press secretary for New Haven’s first African American mayor, John C. Daniels. He also ran the greater New Haven African American Historical Society.
Khalid is survived by his daughter, Khadija Lum Bshara and husband Timothy Bshara and son Khalid Lum, a sister, Katherine Curry and husband Bill and their two sons. The class sends its condolences to the family.