Huntsville Revisited – Dr. William Hooper Councill
William Hooper Councill: The Greatest Negro the Race Ever Produced. In only twenty-two years from slavery’s chains, William Hooper Councill would rise to become an editor of his own newspaper, an author, a religious leader, a famed orator, a politician, a lawyer, and a civil rights pioneer, standing his ground on the battlefield of prejudicial practices years before Homer Plessy and Rosa Parks. Sold on an auction block in the Deep South, Councill would return to that very site and become the first ex-slave in America to found and to become president of a school for higher learning, known today as Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University, opening the door for Booker T. Washington to teach in Alabama six years later. Councill, a remarkable man was highly revered, and according to former Secretary of Alabama Frank Julian, was “the greatest man of the Negro race…. Undoubtedly the greatest benefactor of his own people that the Negro race has ever produced.” This compelling biography reveals conditions in the segregated South and revisits the strategies Councill used in order to help elevate his race, while also attempting to mend the racial divide among all men in the country he loved. Read and learn about William Hooper Councill, a man whom the world once knew; explore his story of sacrifice, and witness the impact that his work generated that is still producing today. His life effort is truly a “glorious work well done.