B Mo’s Black History Month Fact of The Day – Day 14
Today's fact is about William Sanders Scarborough.
In 1852 Scarborough was born in Macon, GA. to a free black father and a mother who was both multiracial and enslaved. He would eventually become the first black member of the venerable Modern Language Association and is more generally considered the first African American classical scholar.
Scarborough learned to read and write from his white neighbors and a free black family in Macon. Eventually, he also learned and mastered Greek and Latin. He attended Lewis High School and Atlanta University before completing his education at Oberlin College in 1875.
He would return to Lewis High School to teach classical languages. This is where he met his wife Sarah Bierce, a white missionary. At 25 years old, Scarborough became a Latin and Greek professor at Wilberforce University in Xenia, Ohio. He published the widely used textbooks such as First Lessons in Greek.
He also became very active in the Ohio Republican Party. He lobbied for legislation that prohibited legal segregation in Ohio's schools. He also worked for legislation that banned the operation of Jim Crow railroad cars in the state.
Eventually, he served as president of Wilberforce University from 1908 to 1920.
In 1921 he was appointed by President Warren G. Harding to a post in the Department of Agriculture. He would hold this position until his passing in 1926,
and THAT is B Mo's Black History Month Fact of The Day!