Boundary Pusher: Benjamin E Mays
By Aniyah Ruth Lessane
Ashley Hall School
Benjamin E Mays was born on August 1st, 1894 in Epworth, South Carolina. He was the youngest of eight children, and his parents were enslaved people. He liked to learn, and refused to accept the limited resources he had. Because of this, he was accepted to Bates College, and earned his bachelor degree in 1920. After graduating, he was a pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church from 1921 to 1923. After serving as a pastor, he was a math teacher and debate coach at Morehouse. In 1925 he earned a masters degree, and in 1935 he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. In 1938, he published a book called The negro’s life, as reflected in His Literature. It was about how God is presented in the African American community and in Christianity. Around 1934 or 1935 Benjamin E Mays became the dean of the school of religion at Howard, which made him a distinguished administrator. He was the dean there until 1940, when he became the president at Morehouse. While he was teaching at Morehouse, one of his students Martin Luther King Jr., and they continued to be friends up until MLK died. Throughout his presidency, Benjamin E Mays had held numerous successful fundraisers an improved Morehouse’s faculty and overall academics. By the time of his death in 1984, he had published about 2000 articles and nine books.