Benjamin Mays: Civil Rights Activist

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Benjamin Mays, the youngest of eight children, born August 1, 1894 near Epworth, South Carolina was raised on a cotton farm and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Bates College in Main. He served as a pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church from 1921-1923 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Recruited by Morehouse President John Hope, Mays would join the faculty as a mathematics teacher and debate coach.

He became the president Morehouse College in 1920 and launched a 27-year tenure that shepherded the institution into international prominence. He upgraded the faculty, secured a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and sustained enrollment during wartime America. His most noted forum was Tuesday morning Chapel in historic Sale Hall, where he challenged and inspired the students to excellence in scholarship and in life itself. He also delivered addresses to more than 250 colleges and universities in the United States, and was
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Mays's relentless stand against segregation earned him scorn from many sources. Nominated in 1961 to the Civil Rights Commission by President John F. Kennedy, Mays was denied confirmation by the Senate because he advocated integration, viewed by a majority of legislators as a violation of "impartiality." Because of his active opposition to segregation and disfranchisement during the 1930s and 1940s, conservatives charged Mays (and others who struggled for civil rights) with being Communists. Mays's opponents cited the Georgia Committee on Education's 1958 report, Communism and the NAACP, which listed thirty-one "Communist activities" in which Mays had participated.

Benjamin Mays, born August 1, 1894, Ninety Six, South Carolina, died March 28, 1984, Atlanta, Georgia. One of his quotes is, “It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy of life lies in having no goal to reach.
Not failure, but low aim is
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