Southern People

Just this weekend I read that Benjamin E. Mays was born to sharecroppers (and former slaves) in Greenwood County, South Carolina, on 1 August, 1895.

Shame on me, but I had never heard of him. Turns out he was the youngest of eight children, a true American success story, growing up in poverty and ultimately becoming one of America’s most influential educators.  He was dean of Howard University’s School of Religion from 1934-40 before assuming the presidency of Atlanta’s Morehouse College.

After serving as president for 27 years, he became a member of Atlanta’s Board of Education, becoming its first black president. Looking back on his time at Morehouse, Martin Luther King Jr. said that the eloquent and mesmerizing sermons and lectures of Professor Mays were among his most important college experiences.

The following quote from Professor Mays seems a most appropriate guide for how to live one’s life:

“The circumference of life cannot be rightly drawn until the center is set.”

In the words of the ancient Hebrew prayer for the dead: “May his soul be forever bound up in the eternal bonds of life.”


David Evans

I'm retired from another life and live in the mountains of eastern West Virginia with my muse Jody along with one remaining dog.  We've decided no more dogs and cats.  Losing them is just too painful. Being independent and no longer in the reins of someone else's driver, I now have the chance to revisit the many people and places that have enriched my life. The good folks at Wesleyan College in central West Virginia guided me to a graduate degree in fine arts in early 2018.  My plan is to use some of the skills I learned from two years in this creative writing program to tell my story.