Professor Jacob Carruthers was born on February 15, 1930 in Dallas, Texas. He was a firm believer that a large part of liberating African American people comes from understanding and connecting history, culture and heritage. He received a B.A. from Samuel Huston College in Austin, Texas in 1950; an M.A. from Texas Southern University in 1958; and a Ph.D. in Political Studies from the University of Colorado in 1966. From 1966 to 1968, Carruthers worked as an assistant professor at Kansas State College before joining the staff of Northeastern Illinois University's Center for Inner City Studies (CICS). Carruthers, along with Dr. Anderson Thompson, Robert Starks, Dr. Conrad Worrill and others shaped the CICS program into one that emphasizes self-determination, activism and study of the global black community.
In this context, Carruthers earned respect as one of the world's leading experts in classical African civilizations. His interests carried him throughout the continent of Africa, conducting study tours to Egypt, Ethiopia, the Nile Valley, Zimbabwe, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, and other parts of West Africa. Carruthers wrote or edited hundreds of essays and papers on his findings and his major works included: The Irritated Genie: An Essay on the Haitian Revolution, Essays in Ancient Egyptian Studies, Intellectual Warfare, MDW NTR: Devine Speech and Science and Oppression. He lectured at various educational institutions; served on evaluation teams for many area high schools; and worked as a consultant to both the Dayton and Chicago public school systems. Carruthers served as founding president of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations for five years. In that capacity, he led a group of 1,000 black teachers, students, artists and scholars from the United States to the Nubian Cultural Center in Aswan, Egypt for a two week conference and tour of Nubia and Egypt.
He was a founding member and priest of the Temple of African Community of Chicago and founding member and director of the Kemetic (Egyptian) Institute, which sponsors the annual Teaching About Africa program for schoolteachers and administrators. He married his wife, Ifé, in 1986 and had four children.
Carruthers passed away on January 5, 2004 at age 73.