Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Thurman, Howard (1899–1981)

Thurman became a Baptist minister in 1925 and pastored in Oberlin, Ohio. He joined the faculty of Morehouse and Spelman colleges in Atlanta as a religion professor, and in 1929 studied with Rufus Jones, a known Quaker pacifist, at Haverford. Thurman then began to focus and write about peaceful activism rooted in faith, in an essay called “Peace Tactics and a Racial Minority.” He served as the dean of Howard University (1932–1944), leaving to help found the first racially integrated, intercultural church in the United States. In 1958, Thurman became the first black dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University, making him the first tenured black dean of a majority white university.