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UR President Ronald Crutcher shares his life story in 'I Had No Idea You Were Black'

Posted at 2:27 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 19:03:21-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- He shapes the future for thousands of young adults right here in Richmond, but his road to leadership had countless barriers along the way.

Dr. Ronald Crutcher was named University of Richmond president in 2015.

He recently released a new memoir titled I Had No Idea You Were Black.

In the book, Crutcher wrote about his life as a child musician, an educator, and how he handled highly-charged social issues.

One story, which became the title of his book, detailed an encounter he had meeting with a music executive for the first time.

"I went in, shook his hand I was literally in his office, on my way to sitting down, he looked at me and said, 'I had no idea you were Black,'" Crutcher recalled. "As I'm lowering myself to my seat, I'm thinking, 'OK, how do I respond to this?'"

The book goes on to detail Crutcher's experiences at the University of Richmond -- including navigating the "university's cancel culture and his encounters with the limitations of Northeast liberalism," according to the publisher.

"Readers will appreciate his engaging approach and also the enlightening insights he provides into the complexities of race and racism in our society," Freeman Hrabowski, president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, said.