JAMES T. TAYLOR
DCABP Inc. “Trailblazer” Honoring Our Legacy
Tribute to James T. Taylor
James T. Taylor, noted educator and community leader was born in Danville, Virginia. He registered for the draft in 1917, and served as a first lieutenant in the Army in World War I. Taylor received his baccalaureate degree in 1921 from North Carolina College, now known as North Carolina Central University (NCCU) before receiving his M.A. degree from Ohio State University, and later an honorary Doctor of Law degree from NCCU.
He became principal of the Pine Street School in Hamlet, NC, then took a position as Professor of Psychology at North Carolina College in 1926 subsequently becoming chair of the Psychology Department. During his career he became Dean of Men and Athletic Director at NCCU, then later Director of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA). It was noted that “he was a moving spirit in the early CIAA and as Dean of Men for many years, a central force in the life of Eagle athletics.” Professor Taylor was also Executive Secretary of the Shepard Foundation and presented the statue of Dr. James Shepard located in front of the NCCU administration building in 1957.
Most notable in his civic engagement, Taylor was an organizer & co-founder of the Durham Committee on Negro Affairs, which is known today as the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People, and served as Secretary for the historic and influential organization. In 1938, Taylor was elected the Democratic Chairman (Delegates from Orange, Alamance, Person, Granville, Caswell, and Durham). Under his leadership Durham hosted the largest political gathering of Blacks since reconstruction at the Durham Courthouse. The monumental event was held on May 28th, 1938 under the auspices of the Negro Democratic Convention. Taylor was a keynote speaker, and 4500 Blacks were registered to vote.
In November 1968, North Carolina Governor Dan Moore named Taylor as chairman of the state’s Good Neighbor Council, “the official state agency for moderating racial troubles.” He also served as a Past President of N.C. Teachers Association where he led a fight for equal pay for Black teachers, and served as a Past President of the Negro Teacher Association. Tirelessly, his other civic engagement included being a member of the National Council of the YMCA, served 25 years as treasurer of the American Tennis Association, and eight years on the Executive Committee of the NC Democratic Party. In 1955, the James T. Taylor Education Building was constructed and named in his honor on the campus of North Carolina Central University. Professor Taylor retired from NCCU in 1959 leaving an indelible mark on the city, state, and society.
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Recognizing Our Future
Tolulope Omokaiye is Founder and Chief Executive Officer at EVOLVE Mentoring Inc. She holds a degree in Marketing from North Carolina Central University, along with a MBA from Meredith University. Omokaiye utilized her skills honed in corporate America to launch her organization that's making an impact on the lives of many Black youth, young adults, and communities throughout the Triangle (NC) area. She established and heads the My Brother's & Sister's Keeper initiative in Wake County, as well as provides valuable support and services for community-based organizations lead by leaders of color in the Raleigh-Durham area, and beyond.