North American Scholar

FADUMA, Orishatukeh

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1857-09-25
  • Born City: Demerara
  • Born State/Country: British Guyana
  • Parents: John and Omolofi F.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1946-01-25
  • Death City: High Point
  • Death State/Country: NC
  • Married: Henrietta Rebecca Adams (1865-1948), 10 March 1896; two children, Omoowu b. 1902 and Francis Dubois, (1922-1992).
  • Education:

    Wesleyan Boys High School, 1876- n.d., Freetown, Sierra Leone, W. Africa; Wesleyan (a.k.a. Queen’s College), Taunton, England, 1882-1883; University of London, Intermediate B.A. 1885; M.Div., Yale Divinity School, 1891-94; S.T.M. with honors, Yale, 1895, ordained as a Congregational minister, Sept. 1895.

  • Professional Experience:

    Senior Master, Wesleyan High School, Sierra Leone, W. Africa, 1885-90; Assistant Principal, Kittrell Normal School (African Methodist Episcopal Church), Kittrell, N.C., 1890-91; Principal, Peabody Academy (American Missionary Association) Troy, NC 1895-1914 and Pastor at various times during 1895-1912 at Candor, Nails, Troy, Fly and Mt. Gilead, N.C.; Principal, United Methodist Collegiate School, Sierra Leone, W. Africa, 1916-1918; Inspector of schools and officer in charge of the Model School, 1918-1923, Sierra Leone, W. Africa; Instructor and assistant principal, Latin, ancient and  modern history and English literature, Lincoln Academy (American Missionary Association), Kings Mount, N.C., 1924-1934; Professor and acting dean, Virginia Theological Seminary and College, Lynchburg, VA, 1935-1945; member: American Negro Academy; American Philological Association Advisory Council on African Ethnology at the World’s Exposition, Chicago; Dress Reform Society,  Freetown, Sierra Leone; National Congress of British West Africa.

  • Publications:

    “A Negro on Self-Help and Self-Support,” American Missionary Magazine (September, 1896): 276-8; “A Ballad on Egbaland,”A.M.E. Church Review 6 (July, 1888) 235-40;“Thoughts for the Times, or the New Theology,” A.M.E. Church Review 7 (October, 1890) 139-45; “Africa or the Dark Continent,” A.M.E. Church Review 9 (July, 1890) 2-8; “The Pastoral Epistles,” A.M.E. Church Review 11 (July, 1894) 215-30; “Materials for the Study of the World Religions,” A.M.E. Church Review 12 (April, 1896): 461-72. “Religious Beliefs of the Yoruba People in West Africa,” African and the American Negro,  J.W.E. Bowen (ed.), (Atlanta, Franklin Printing & Publishing Company for Gammon Theological Seminary, 1896): 31-6; “Success and Drawbacks of Missionary Work in Africa by an Eye-Witness,” African and the American Negro, J.W.E. Bowen (ed.), (Atlanta, Franklin Printing & Publishing Company for Gammon Theological Seminary, 1896): 125-36;  “How to Make Reading Profitable,” Part I,  A.M.E. Church Review 13 (April, 1897) 399-403; “How to Make Reading Profitable,” A.M.E. Church Review 14 (July, 1897) 139-145; The Defects of the American Negro Church (Washington, D.C., American Negro Academy, 1904).

  • Notes:

    John G. Maynard (2017) astutely describes Faduma as “an African missionary to the American South” (58). His interest in liberal theology and in teaching were united and dominated his life. He was a persuasive, energetic and witty speaker and was author of many essays and some poetry that were not only published in the U.S. but also in many places in Africa. In 1887 after joining the Dress Reform Society to which  Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832-1912), the second black member of the APA belonged, his identification with Africa as Africa strengthened. He not only advocated the wearing of the traditional African dress of loose fitting tunics, but also put aside the name by which he had been baptized,  “William James Davis” or  “Davies.”

  • Sources:

    Moore, Moses N., Orishatukeh Faduma: Liberal Theology and Evangelical Pan-Africanism 1857-1946 (Scarecrow Press, 1996); Deveneaux, Gustav H.K.,  Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, ed. William S. Powell (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina, 2000), vol. 2 174-5; Maynard, John, Paradigm of Hope: The Story of the Peabody Academy (Lulu for the Star Heritage Association, Morrisville, NC, 2017); Okonkwo, Rina L. “Orishatukeh Faduma: A Man of Two Worlds,” Journal of Negro History (Winter, 1983): 24-36; Ronnick, Michele Valerie, Twelve African American Members of the Society for Classical Studies: The First Five Decades: A Special Publication for the Sesquicentennial of the Society for Classical Studies (New York: Society for Classical Studies, 2019): 24-5; Allman, A. and M. Moore, “Professor Orishatukeh Faduma, Class of 1894, 1895,”  https://www.facebook.com/yaledivinityschool/photos/a.170377373016861/948129161908341/?type=1&theater

  • Author: Michele Valerie Ronnick