Bishop Daniel A. Payne: Great Black Leader

Written By Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop

He came from modest beginnings. Born in South Carolina in 1811 to free people of color, he was orphaned by age 9, and raised by a great aunt. At that time slavery ruled the South, but he believed in the power of education and the promise of faith, and he wanted to make a positive difference in the world. Often teaching himself, he conquered physics, Latin, and geometry. At the age of 18, he started his first school. He went on to study in the North, become an ordained minister, and later a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Untimately, he became one of the most influential religious leaders in Black America. He also made history as the first Black president of an African American college - Wilberforce University. MEET EDUCATOR, MINISTER, AUTHOR DANIEL A. PAYNE

Reading Level: Ages 9-12: Paperback: 70 Pages



With so much focus today on what Barack Obama's election means, it is good to know that preceding him was Daniel Payne, on whose shoulders President Obama stands...Change as we know it today may well have sprouted from the roots that were planted by Daniel Alexander Payne. --The Honorable Floyd Flake, D. Min. Pastor, Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, Retired U.S. Congressman & 18th president of Wilberforce University.

Daniel A. Payne may have only been five feet tall and 100 pounds, but the little bishop left giant footprints. Though he was born free in South Carolina in 1811, slavery was legal in the United States for the first two-thirds of his life. Wanting to have the same knowledge the slaveholders had, Payne taught himself Greek, Latin, mathematics, geography and science. Then he committed his life to his twin passions -- religion and education. He started schools, initiated the country's first organization of black ministers, pushed for better education for African Methodist Episcopal pastors and was the first Black president of an African-American college, Wilberforce University. He met with President Lincoln and was praised by Frederick Douglass, yet he is almost forgotten today. Clearly written, chronologically organized and making good use of archival photographs and reproductions of other important documents, this is a solid introduction to an historical figure who deserves to be better known. Kirkus 

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