Dr. Abraham Lavender was born in the 1940’s and raised on a tobacco farm in rural South Carolina. The one thing that probably affected him the most in terms of the career he pursued was racism. Seeing how African Americans were treated while growing up is what really started him to think and analyze society. He became interested in why society did the things that it did and found that studying sociology would help him understand these issues. One moment that had a big effect on him was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death. He remembers driving and listening to the news about his death and recalls the profound lingering effects the civil rights leaders’ death had on him. It was the single most important event in his life and solidified his curiosity.
Dr. Lavender set on his path by first attending the University of South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1963 and a Master of Arts in 1964. He later received a PhD at the University of Maryland in 1972. In 1981 and 1982, he was named an Outstanding Professor at the University of Miami, a testament to his hard work and dedication to education. He began his career in academia as a professor of sociology at St. Mary’s College. From 1974 to 1977, he was a member of the faculty as a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland. His pursuits then brought him to the University of Maryland, where he taught from 1977 to 1983. Prior to joining the Florida International University, he taught as an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University from 1986 to 1988. In addition to these positions, Dr. Lavender has been the president of Clinical Sociologists of South Florida, Inc., a member of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, the Dade County Democratic Party, the Miami Beach Florida Developmental Corp. and the Miami Design Preservation League. Furthermore, Dr. Lavender served in the US Air Force from 1964 to 1966 as a second lieutenant, first lieutenant and then captain.
In addition to his work, Dr. Lavender has contributed to various conversations through his published works. In 1977, he published A Coat of Many Colors. In 1985, he became a published author again with Ethnic Women and Feminist Values. On top of contributing to numerous articles and professionals journals, he also published French Huguenots in 1990.
President, Alumni Association of South Florida, Phi Beta Kappa (1983-1987, 1988-Present)
Vice President, Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (1983-1985)
Regional Representative, Association for Humanist Sociology (1982-1984)
Genealogical Society of Greater Miami
Art Deco Society
Southern Sociological Society
Clinical Sociology Association
American Sociological Association
Honorary Member, French Huguenot Society
Zeta Beta Tau
Alpha Kappa Delta
Phi Kappa Phi