At the end of the Civil War my father was able to get an elementary school education. And by working as a farm laborer, he was able to go the all-Black Lincoln University near Philadelphia to earn his A.B degree in theology in 1876. After which he became the pastor of a community in Wilks-Barre, Pennsylvania.

It has been said that there were many students a Lincoln that were regarded as “Uncle Toms.” But not Pop. He was said to be “among the notable exceptions.”

While at Lincoln my father had met my mother, Maria Louisa Bustill, a local teacher eight years younger than he was. She was a tall and slender with pale brown eyes, raven hair and olive skin—suggestive of her Cherokee, Quaker and African mixture. One of the things they both had in common was their ability to trace their ancestry back to the Ibo of Nigeria.


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