Professor Richardson obtained his A.B. from Antioch College in 1963. Upon graduating from Yale Law School in 1966, Professor Richardson became International Legal Adviser to the government of Malawi shortly after its independence for more than two years, where he advised on inherited treaties and a range of southern African international legal negotiations and questions. Thereafter, he returned to the U.S. to become Faculty Africanist at Law and to earn an LL.M. at University of California at Los Angeles (1971) with a focus on international law and development in Africa. He was active in several anti-apartheid groups relative to international law. From 1977-79, he served on the National Security Council Staff in charge of African Policy and United Nations issues in President Carter’s administration. Professor Richardson was subsequently the Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to the Congressional Black Caucus and an attorney in the Office of General Counsel of the Department of Defense. Professor Richardson joined the Temple Law faculty in 1981.
Professor Richardson has written many scholarly articles for the American Journal of International Law and other journals on international law and development questions in Africa, legal questions arising from the anti-apartheid movement relative to South Africa, international protection of human rights, self determination, international law and African-Americans, and the interpretation of international law through critical race theory. He teaches courses on international law, constitutional law and foreign policy, international human rights and international organizations.
He also was a co-founder of Temple’s International and Comparative Law Journal. In 1999, he was awarded the Friel-Scanlan prize for best faculty scholarship. Throughout his career, Professor Richardson has presented many papers and participated in conferences and panels in the US, Europe and Africa. In 2008, he published The Origin of African-American Interests in International Law.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a past vice president and honorary vice president of the American Society of International Law, and a founding member of both the National Conference of Black Lawyers and the Project on the Advancement of African-Americans in International Law.