Black Livingstone by Pagan Kennedy
A True Tale of Adventure in the Nineteenth-Century Congo

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A largely untold story of an extraordinary historical figure, this biography sheds light on the life of William Sheppard, a 19th-century African American who, for more than 20 years, defied segregation and operated a missionary run by black Americans in the Belgian Congo. This work shows how Sheppard returned to the United States periodically, and traveled the country telling tales of his adventures to packed auditoriums. An anthropologist, photographer, big-game hunter, and art collector, the man billed as the “Black Livingstone” helped expose the atrocities that occurred under the reign of King Leopold, and this stirring work tells how he eventually helped to break Belgium’s hold on the Congo.


About Pagan Kennedy

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Pagan Kennedy is the author of 10 books in a variety of genres, including The Exes, The First Man-Made Man, Spinsters, Stripping, and Confessions of a Memory Eater, which was featured in Entertainment Weekly as an "EW pick." She is a regular contributor to the Boston Globe, and has published articles in The New York Times. She also has been the recipient of a Barnes and Noble Discover Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a Smithsonian Fellowship for science writing. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Published September 1, 2013 by Santa Fe Writer's Project. 144 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Virginia-born William Henry Sheppard (1865–1927) wanted to spread the Presbyterian gospel in Africa, but only when a white man agreed to go with him would the church allow Sheppard to travel to the Congo.

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Publishers Weekly

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Kennedy (The Exes), a novelist, is captivated by her charismatic subject—charisma evidenced by Sheppard's enduring presence in the oral histories of the Kuba—and, like the novelist she is, offers fully developed portraits of others in Sheppard's orbit as well.

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