By Steven D. Gish
A biography of Dr. A.B. Xuma, the American-educated President of the African nationwide Congress within the Nineteen Forties, and the 1st western-trained black South African doctor to perform medication in Johannesburg.
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Additional info for Alfred B. Xuma: African, American, South African
30 Perhaps the person whom Xuma came to know and respect most during his years at the University was William Riley, head of the Department of Entomology and Economic Zoology in the College of Agriculture. Riley had arrived at the University in 1918 after 19 years teaching at Cornell. He met Xuma shortly after taking up his new appointment and soon became the South African's mentor. For the next two years, Xuma worked as Riley's laboratory assistant, preparing museum specimens, setting up class demonstrations, and assisting with experiments.
During the winter holidays in December 1919-January 1920, Xuma joined the University of Minnesota delegation at a conference of Christian students in Des Moines, Iowa. In mid-June 1920, Xuma traveled to Wisconsin to attend the Lake Geneva student YMCA conference. Some of the friends Xuma made at these and other YMCA-sponsored events would later help him find jobs and sources of financial assistance. Besides his involvement in Christian student activities, Xuma also was a member of the College of Agriculture's debating society.
After studying at the American Board Mission's Amanzimtoti Institute in Natal, Dube traveled to Ohio to enroll at Oberlin College's preparatory school and later attended a theological seminary in Brooklyn, New York. T. Jabavu, Charlotte Maxeke, Pixley Seme, and James Thaele followed Dube overseas and achieved almost as much recognition in South Africa's black press. By the time Xuma began to contemplate studying overseas, such a step was considered the pinnacle of academic achievement by South Africa's African elite.