African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Series will retell explorer Sheppard's life

Larry Muhammad - The Courier-Journal Who was the swashbuckling explorer, big-game hunter, missionary in Africa and human rights activist that the Smoketown housing project Sheppard Square was named for? That would be Dr. William H. Sheppard, the self-styled "Black Livingstone." Professor Blaine Hudson, dean of the University of Louisville's College of Arts and Sciences, will tell the story of the Louisville leader in a public presentation Saturday. "Sheppard is a very unusual case," Hudson said, "when you think about a black man being a missionary, an explorer in central Africa in the 1890s and early 1900s, helping expose atrocities in Belgian colonization and then ending up in Smoketown." The son of freed slaves, Sheppard became a celebrated missionary adventurer in Africa for 20 years. He grew up in a well-to-do black Presbyterian household in Virginia and, after his travels, settled in Louisville, becoming a leader of the African-American community in the early 1900s. Sheppard pastored Grace Hope Presbyterian Church from 1912 to 1927, when he died at age 62. "Pioneers in the Congo," his 1917 autobiography, recorded his exploits 230 miles into the African continent, where he administered mission services, learned native tongues and built a rapport with leaders through his hunting skills. Full Story:


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