Metropolis legend has guide dedication at alma mater
The story of Winston Salem and the 32nd degree of Prince Hall Mason, Ben Piggott, presented their essays, “The Life and Times of Four Grand Masters: James W. Hood, George W. White, James H. Young and James E. Shepard of the Great Worship Worship Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina by Jurisdiction, Inc., ”for alma mater, Livingstone College, earlier this month.
Piggott co-authored the book with Lenwood G. Davis, who is now deceased, in 2016. Piggott is a graduate of Livingstone College where he received a BS in physical education and health sciences. He was ordained Master Mason in May 1992 at Salem Lodge # 139 in Winston-Salem.
The book focuses on the great contributions the four men made to their community and to others. The fruits of their labor are still extant.
“The book is about four Grand Master Masons who have been very helpful to the community,” Piggott said. “The book is linked in many histories from many places and it makes you happy to mention this book.”
A ceremony was held earlier this month to commemorate the handing over of the books to Livingstone College. Piggott was credited with making his book known as an alma mater.
“Some people think that just graduating from college was a big deal, but the main thing is not graduating, I’m giving back,” he said. “It made me feel good and brought out the obvious truth that was there, but it was never published. This is very humble for me and I do not take this lightly.
“When you go to HBCU, it gives you a chance to do well, because it forces you to go to another level, but I didn’t think I could be a writer.
Piggott says there were three years of research and writing before the book was released in 2016. He says the rich history of Prince Hall Masons is what helped him to start writing the book in the first place.
“If I told you who the Prince Hall Masons were, it would make you happy,” he said. “What also inspired me was his co-author Dr.Davis and we agreed and started traveling. At first, I almost gave up trying to write this book, but I did not because of the connection with the book and the various HBCUs.
“Prince Hall’s mother was not just about the man; seeks to encourage the type of black boys and girls to shoot in the clouds. ”
Piggott said there has been interest from Grand Master Mason, Daniel Thompson, to bring the book to as many people as possible. Piggott also wanted to present his book in the hands of young people to showcase the contributions their peers have made.
“Young people need to know their parents,” Piggott said. “Most of the time, people just sit there, thinking that everything is going to happen and they don’t know that there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears in those schools.
“If you think about it, most of the colleges have been set up for apartheid. Many people could not afford to go to white college and these HBCUs opened many doors for black boys and women.
Piggott wants to donate books to high schools and colleges to spread the history of Prince Hall Schools.