Gregory Jerome Hampton

November 6, 1968November 29, 2019

Gregory “Greg” Jerome Hampton departed this life on November 29, 2019. He was born November 6, 1968 to Geneva Hampton and John Jeffries in Meridian, Mississippi. His early years were spent as a part of a large extended family in Mississippi whose closeness taught him about the value of the collective. He was later raised in Cleveland, Ohio by his mom and his stepfather, John 'JR' Rush. Greg always had an inquisitive mind and graduated high school with honors. Greg received a B.A. in Economics and African-American Studies from Oberlin College; an M.A. in African-American Studies from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Duke University.

Greg met his wife, Maria, while they were both in graduate school in North Carolina after being connected by a mutual friend in 1995. They later married May 31, 1997. Greg traveled with Maria to finish her training in Washington, DC and Boston, MA where he completed his dissertation and worked at Trinity College, Nobles and Greenough School, and Salem State College. Greg led the pair back to the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Metropolitan area when he accepted a position at Howard University.

Once settled in the D.C. area, they expanded their family to include Safi and Hodari who were both a tremendous source of pride and joy in his life. Not surprisingly, he is affectionately known as Safi's “YouTube” coach as he taught himself the art of volleyball to work out with Safi and to help her transform into a solid hitter. He became a fixture at the gym near their home where other players would join them for regular workouts. Despite his emerging love for volleyball, he remained a devoted soccer and basketball dad for Hodari by teaching and coaching him in the art of both games. He edited and posted videos to document the skill and athleticism that was developing from their hard work and commitment.

As a poet and semi-professional jazz musician, Greg shared his love for arts and music with his children and supported their active engagement in the school orchestras. Since education and academic achievement have always been a priority, as a family they chose to invest in experiences rather than things. This resulted in family adventures that enhanced the children’s education, transformed them into early explorers, and created lasting memories of family fun. Greg was a Professor of African-American Literature and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English at Howard University. He published articles in the English Journal, the College Language Association Journal, Children’s Literature in Education: An International Quarterly, Obsidian III, and Callaloo. His most recent courses have been about the black body and its portrayal in literature and film. His book, Changing Bodies in the Fiction of Octavia Butler: Slaves, Aliens, and Vampires (Lexington Books) is the first monograph of literary criticism invested in examining the complete body of fiction produced by Octavia E. Butler. Greg’s most recent monograph, Imagining Slaves and Robots in Literature, Film, and Popular Culture: Reinventing Yesterday's Slave with Tomorrow's Robot (Lexington Books) is an interdisciplinary work about the relationship between technology and human nature. In addition to African-American speculative fiction, Greg’s fields of interest include 19th and 20th Century American and African-American literature and gender studies. His next book, The Bloomsbury Handbook to Octavia E. Butler is forthcoming in 2020.

Greg will be remembered for his intellect, infectious laugh, love of science fiction, movies, and music. He will also be remembered for his adventurous spirit, unconditional loyalty to those he loved, and commitment to his family. He leaves behind his wife, Dr. Maria Trent, and two children, Safi and Hodari Hampton; mother, Geneva Hampton; sister, Marquita Hampton; mother-in-law, Vivian Trent; sister-in-law, Granette Trent, Esq; brother-in-law, Jacob Marlow (Deborah); chosen brothers, Todd Easler (Lia) and Eric Jones; two god-children, Jada and Quentin Easler; uncles, Herbert Hampton (Clementine), Carl Hampton (Corvette), Alan Hampton, Ezra Hampton, Nathaniel Hampton, Donald Hampton (Vena); aunts, Betty Brown (Othell), Gwen Steele (Lee), Cathy Easley (Larry), Virginia Liburd (Al), Annette Johnson, Joan Jeffries, nieces, a nephew, cousins, friends and his beloved dog, Zuri.

May he rest in peace knowing the depths to which he was truly loved. In his memory, let us remember the legacy he lived, 'I am because we are’ and find strength in his belief that ‘God is change’.

Friends and family are invited to gather at the Dunbarton Chapel, located at Howard University School of Law, 2900 Van Ness St. NW, Washington D.C., 20008, at 10am. A memorial service will start at 11am with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers please consider making contributions to


  • Visitation

    Saturday, December 7, 2019

  • Ceremony

    Saturday, December 7, 2019


Gregory Jerome Hampton

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rosalee Hart-Morrison

December 15, 2019

I am so sorry, Maria, to hear of your loss. I will keep you, the children, and your whole beautiful family in prayer. Greg was an amazing man, as I could always tell by the way your face lit up whenever you talked about him. He was a devoted husband and father, a rarity today. Please know I am always here for you.

Much Love,

Seth Addo-Yobo

December 13, 2019

Dr. Trent:

My condolences and prayers. This is very strange. I was researching a pediatric medical issue concerning a client's immigration case and a video of you came up. After I clicked further I saw this unfortunate news. This is a sad way to reconnect but I felt that I should show my support.

Meaggan Aiosa

December 9, 2019

Maria, Safi, and Hodari,

My deepest condolences for your loss. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

Meaggan Aiosa

Adriana Sánchez-Benítez

December 9, 2019

Mrs. Maria, the girls and I are extremely sorry for the loss of Mr. Gregory. Alexis, Victoria and I will keep you and your children in our thoughts. We hope that with time Hodari, Safi and you will begin to enjoying the memories of your husband without so much pain.

The Sánchez-Benítez

Tasha Perkins

December 9, 2019

Maria, Safi and Hadori ... I pray that you stay in love with the love your father shared. I pray that your memories of him stay lit up in each of you his talents and his gratitude is shared thru you as you grow. Family is a big deal to him and we all lost a great man. I will always miss him but I know he is good. Stay strong let out them cries and kids be strong for your mother. I love you all..

Nia Imani

December 7, 2019

A mentor for a very brief but impactful time during my studies at Howard University. Dr. Hampton, I will honor you in my life as a pillar during my studies as a graduate student of English at Howard. To your beautiful family please grieve, heal and cherish a wonderful ancestor who is available to you from a powerful realm, the spiritual!

Nana Brantuo

December 7, 2019

Dr. Hampton truly changed my life. His deep love, appreciation, and reverence for African American literature was undeniable. From him, I learned more than just close textual analysis. I learned how words must be used deliberately and thoughtfully, as writing with haste could lead to misunderstands and misconceptions. I send my love and comfort to his loved ones during this time of mourning. I will miss you, Doc.

Shandha Louis

December 7, 2019

I had the pleasure of taking Dr. Hampton’s literature course in 2004. His love for literature inspired us to dig deep. I still quote Dr. Hampton to this day. May he rest in perfect peace . I pray that his family, colleagues, and scholars will have the strength to continue his legacy. Much love!
-Shandha Louis

Al Liburd

December 7, 2019

May your legacy continues through your immediate family. May the examples you exhibited through commitment, dedication and education be forever embedded in the hearts of those that follow! The legacy continues...

Zelene Turner

December 7, 2019

My sincere condolences to you and family. May God wrap his loving arms around you all. May have he Rest In Power and Peace. Sending love from Hertford NC.