Orishatukeh Faduma. Image from UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries.

Advocate for African Culture, Orishatukeh Faduma

On January 25, 1946, noted educator Orishatukeh Faduma died.

Born in the South American country of Guyana to freed slaves from West Africa, Faduma settled in Sierra Leone while he was still in elementary school. Educated there by missionaries, Faduma was baptized with the name William James Davies.

Through his years of teaching and study in Europe, Africa and America, Faduma became known as a linguist, educator, author and minister. Interested in political issues and social causes, he was a proponent of African heritage and culture evidenced in his work with the Dress Reform Society, which advocated wearing traditional African garb rather than western jackets for comfort in the African climate, and by adopting the name Orishatukeh Faduma.

From 1895 to 1912, Faduma was pastor and principal at Peabody Academy in Troy, a school for black children founded by the American Missionary Society.

He returned to Sierra Leone and taught for a few years before coming back to North Carolina where he was a professor of Latin, English Literature and Modern History at Lincoln Academy in Kings Mountain.

He finished his career at the Virginia Theological Seminary and College in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Check out NCpedia for more on the history of education, in North Carolina.

Image from UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries.

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