- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 5, 2006

Albert L. “Kamau” Robinson, the principal of Roots Activity Learning Center, the oldest Afrocentric private school in the District, died Dec. 31 at Washington Hospital Center from complications caused by severe hypertension. He was 50.

Mr. Robinson was born in Rock Hill, S.C., then moved with his family to the District when he was in the third grade. He graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School and the University of the District of Columbia. He did his student teaching at Calvin Coolidge.

Mr. Robinson joined the staff at Roots Learning Center in 1984 as a teacher in the middle school and taught in all of the school’s divisions. He was named principal six years ago. The students had some of the highest reading and math test scores in the city on the Stanford 9 test.

Mr. Robinson believed in lifelong learning and loved to read, teach and travel. He participated in the July 1994 Ancient African Heritage Tour II and the 1980 Fact Finding Mission to Egypt and Nigeria. He recently traveled to South America to explore indigenous people of the rain forests.

When Mr. Robinson joined Roots in January 1985, the head of the school’s board of directors wrote: “Mr. Robinson has lived in the community and states that he has always had the goal to teach at Roots Learning Center. We are glad that we are ones to provide him this opportunity.”

Prior to his career in education, Mr. Robinson had worked at the Woodward & Lothrop bookstore, the University of the District of Columbia bookstore, and the Washington Star newspaper as an editorial assistant.

Mr. Robinson’s father died when Mr. Robinson was 4. He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Lucian Johnson, of the District; three sisters, Janice R. Hunt and Vivian L. Robinson, both of the District, and Rosemary Robinson of New York City; two brothers, T. Steven Robinson and Roderick N. Robinson, both of the District; four aunts, Mary McGhee, of Raleigh, N.C., Joan Bashir, Mary Upton and Eula Washington, all of New York City, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A viewing will be held today at First Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church, 602 N St. NW, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The funeral service will follow immediately at the church.

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