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William Henry Sheppard an African Art Missionary

William Henry Sheppard
Known As "A Black White Man & The Darky"

In Africa Sheppard was referred to a Black White man or a Black man with White clothes on. In the American South Caucasians saw Sheppard as a little pickninny and a good darky that knew his place in Southern society. PRESS THIS BUTTON TO RETURN TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE

The following quote is taken from The Journal of Southern Religion in an article titled "A Black-White Missionary on the Imperial Stage: Wiliam H. Sheppard and Middle-Class Black Manhood", by John G. Turner - "....Twelve years later, Sheppard resigned from the mission when accused of multiple extramarital affairs, one of which resulted in the birth of a son whom Sheppard left behind in the Congo. After Sheppard returned to his native Virginia, a resident of his hometown commented that Sheppard “was such a good darky; when he returned from Africa he remembered his place and came to the backdoor.” Similarly, after Sheppard spoke in the pulpit of a local Presbyterian church, an affluent white congregant invited him to a dinner reception. She seated Sheppard on the back porch, which was adjacent to the dining room in which the other guests ate. Through a raised window, Sheppard answered questions about his experiences in the Congo." PRESS THIS BUTTON TO RETURN TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE

This is the story of a man that was weak when it came to confronting everyday personal issues and strong when dealing with external issues which did not appear to concern him directly. Sheppard would be best classified as a pathetic figure rather than a tragic one. He has almost slipped passed the pages of history unnoticed, but we can not allow that to happen because Sheppard posses an important piece of the puzzle concerning African Art History. He was the first literate person from any Civilization out side Africa to keep a written journal about the life and art of Kuba people. The Kuba had only oral records. They did not have any written records prior to that time. Sheppard was a product of Western Colonial Civilization with a slave mentality. Sheppard collected art and artifacts so that anyone could bear witness to some of the things that he was writing about.

Sheppard and his Family of FourShepard And His Wife
Sheppard BiographySheppard Father and MotherShepard's Notes and Photographs


Dr. William Henry Sheppard was the first Western to reach Kuba territory in Central Africa. He was noted for a number of things in the area of religion and human rights, education and art. PRESS THIS BUTTON TO RETURN TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE PRESS THIS BUTTON TO MOVE FORWARD TO A PREVIOUS PAGE

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THE CLAUDE LOCKHART CLARK ART FORUM ---- is (first and foremost) a master woodcarver - , graphic artist, painter, writer, family archivist, printmaker, photographer and webmaster. His artwork is about his family heritage; the African and Diaspora exsperience. This link will take you to my - Yahoo! 360 Forum - on the world wide web. THE CLAUDE CLARK ART CENTER --- Claude Clark and Claude Lockhart Clark are father and son African American artists. The father's work consist of paintings and the son is a sculptor. Their artwork is about the common man and African exsperience.