Bishop James W. Hood, minister and publisher
James Walker Hood, was born on this date in 1831. He was an influential Black minister and policy advocate.
Bishop James W. Hood, of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, was born in Chester County, PA, the son of a preacher. In 1856, he was licensed to preach in New York. He began as a preacher in Nova Scotia in 1860, served later at Bridgeport, CT., and then went to North Carolina, where his successful work exalted him to the bishopric in 1872.
He was elected president of the convention of Negroes assembled at Raleigh in October, 1865, one of the first, if not the first, political convocation of this sort ever assembled in the South. He so fearlessly advocated equal rights for the Negro that the people around him warned that his life would be in danger if he did not desist.
In 1867, he was elected as delegate to the constitutional convention of North Carolina. He took an active part in framing the fundamental law and incorporating into it liberal provisions for homesteads and public schools.
In 1880, Hood was ordained AME deacon of New Haven, CT. In 1884, Hood published the first collection of sermons by an African-American, "The Negro in the Christian Pulpit."
His other works include "One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church," 1895, and "The Plan of the Apocalypse," 1900. He informally advised President Theodore Roosevelt from 1901 to 1909.
James W. Hood died on October 30, 1918.
An Encyclopedia of African American Christian Heritage
by Marvin Andrew McMickle
Judson Press, Copyright 2002
Hood, James W.
Today in American History