Dr. Lenwood G. Davis, a retired Winston-Salem State University history professor, recently released his latest book, “Selected Writings and Speeches of James E. Shepard, 1896-1946: Founder of North Carolina Central University.
In the book, Davis, a North Carolina Central University alumnus, reveals aspects of Shepard that few knew. He wore many hats, including those of minister, politician, pharmacist, entrepreneur, world traveler, civil servant and businessman. Shepard was also one of the founders of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, the world’s largest African American-owned life insurance company, and Mechanics and Farmers Bank of Durham. In addition, he served as president of both the International Denominational Sunday School Convention and the North Carolina Teachers Association.
Shepard made history when he founded NCCU, where he also served as president. The school was the first state-supported liberal arts college for African Americans in the United States.
Davis’ book is the first and only collection of the writings and speeches of Dr. Shepard.
“This book was a labor of love because it was about the founder of my alma mater,” said Dr. Davis, who has also taught at Livingstone College, Portland State University, Ohio State University, the University of Delaware and Montclair College.
The Beaufort native earned an undergraduate and MA degree, both in history, from NCCU and a doctorate in history from Carnegie Mellon University. Davis is the author of 23 books, including “I Have A Dream: The Life and Times of Martin Luther King Jr.,” “A Travel Guide to Black Historical Sites and Landmarks in North Carolina,” “A Paul Robeson Research Guide” and “African Americans in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County: A Pictorial History.”
Autographed copies of the book can be ordered from the author by sending him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.