City legend has book dedication at alma mater

Ben Piggott donated signed copies of his book to his alma mater, Livingstone College.

City legend has book dedication at alma mater
November 30
10:22 2020

Winston-Salem legend and 32nd degree Prince Hall Mason, Ben Piggott, donated autographed copies of his book, “The Life and Times of Four Grand Masters: James W. Hood, George W. White, James H. Young and James E. Shepard of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina and Jurisdiction, Inc.,” to his alma mater, Livingstone College, earlier this month.

Piggott co-wrote the book with Lenwood G. Davis, who is now deceased, in 2016. Piggott is a graduate of Livingstone College where he received a B.S. in physical education and health science. He was made a Master Mason in May of 1992 in Salem Lodge #139 in Winston-Salem.

The book centers on the major contributions that the four men made to the community and beyond. The fruits of their labor can still be seen to this day.

“The book is about four Grand Master Masons that did a lot for the community,” said Piggott. “The book ties in a lot of history from a lot of areas and it makes you feel good to make reference to it.”  

There was a ceremony held earlier this month to commemorate the donating of the books to Livingstone College. Piggott was honored to have his book celebrated by his alma mater.

“Some people think that just graduating from a college was a great thing, but the greatest thing is not to graduate, it’s to give back,” he said. “It made me feel good to bring back a manifested truth that was there, but was never printed. This is very, very humbling for me and I take none of this for granted.

“When you go to an HBCU, it gives you a drive to want to be successful, because they push you to go to another level, but I never thought I’d be an author. I am happy today and that’s why right now I thank God for the work, because every time I turn around, somebody is wanting to get a book.”

Piggott says there was three years of research and writing before the book was released in 2016. He says the rich history of the Prince Hall Masons was a major contributing factor for him wanting to write the book initially.

“If I told you who were Prince Hall Masons, it would blow your mind,” he said. “What also inspired me was my co-author Dr. Davis and we got together and started traveling. At first, I almost quit trying to write this book, but I didn’t because of the connection the book had with different HBCU’s.  

“Prince Hall Masons weren’t just about the man; it’s about inspiring the race of young Black men and women to shoot for the clouds.”

Piggott stated that there has been a push from current Grand Master Mason, Daniel Thompson, to get the book out to as many people as possible. Piggott is also eager to put his book into the hands of the younger generation to show the contributions their predecessors have made.

“Young people need to know who their forefathers were,” said Piggott. “A lot of times, people are just there, and they think that everything is supposed to happen and don’t know there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears laid on those campuses.  

“If you think about it, a lot of these colleges were set up during the times of segregation. A lot of folks couldn’t go to a white college and these HBCUs opened a lot of doors for young Black males and females.

Piggott aims to donate books to local high schools and colleges to spread the history of the Prince Hall Masons.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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