The Nashville community mourns the passing of Dr. Bobby Lee Lovett, award-winning author, Emeritus Professor of History, and former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Tennessee State University. The homegoing service for Dr. Lovett will be held at First Baptist Church Capitol Hill on Friday, December 30, 2022, at 12:00 pm CST. There will be visitation at the same location beginning at 11:00 am CT. The family requests guests to wear black or dark attire. Masks are required for the visitation and homegoing service.
Dr. Lovett, born in Memphis, Tennessee on January 19, 1943, graduated from Booker T. Washington High School there. He then earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science at Arkansas AM&N State College (now known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff). He subsequently earned his Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in American History at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Dr. Lovett began his career teaching history in the Memphis Public School System (1969-1970) and then moved to college teaching at Eureka College (1970-1973). He came to Tennessee State University in 1973, where he taught history and African American history for 30 years, serving as Dean of the TSU College of Arts and Sciences for more than 10 of those years.
As a historian, Dr. Lovett authored over eight books on American and African American History, nationally recognized by historical institutions and universities across the country. Among them are A Touch of Greatness: A History of Tennessee State University; The African American History of Nashville, 1780-1930: Elites and Dilemmas; How It Came to Be: The Boyd Family’s Contribution to African American Publishing from the 19th to the 21st Century; and The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee: A Narrative History.
Dr. Lovett was a pillar in the Tennessee historical community. He was also a civically engaged leader in the Nashville community throughout his life, who proudly served on the Boards of Directors for many organizations. His research and articles have appeared in numerous documentaries, history books, encyclopedias, and scholarly journals.
Dr. Lovett was a faithful member of the historic First Baptist Church Capitol Hill for more than 35 years, where he served on the Board of Trustees. He was a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Lovett was married for over 38 years to Mrs. Lueatrice Green Lovett, a former educator in Nashville Public Schools. He was the proud father of five children: Todd, Bridget, Kenyatta, Catherine, and Leigh. His children blessed him with five beautiful grandchildren: Omari, William, Kiersten, Kyle, and Kennedy. He is also survived by his younger brother, Julian Lovett, his aunts, Annie Hill and Josephine Ivory, his uncle, George Cotton, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. He transitioned on Friday, December 23, 2022.