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Leaving their mark

READ MORE: Leaving their mark
Ever heard the name James F. Shober? How about James Benson Dudley? David Walker? Robert Taylor? If you've lived in Wilmington a while, at least one of those should sound familiar. They are four of the most important and successful African Americans from our area. And each is honored in the city with his own highway marker. "I think we have more African American markers than most counties," said Beverly Tetterton, a Historical Librarian for New Hanover County Public Library. Tetterton has helped the city get some of these markers. She says they're often overlooked. But getting your own highway marker is no small feat. "You know I could be the best librarian in Wilmington, North Carolina for many years but I won't get a highway marker because my impact has not been greater than just the area," said Tetterton. Like Robert Taylor, who was a prominent black architect. Or David Walker--- who took a stand against racism in the 1800's. James Dudley went from slavery to president of what is now North Carolina A&T University. And James Shober--he was the state's first black doctor. Taylor, Shober and Dudley were all buried in Wilmington's historic Pine Forrest cemetary. "People are pleasantly surprised when they're walking down the street or driving down the street and they see one of these markers and they see that this person of extreme accomplishment is from Wilmington, North Carolina," said Tetterton. There are three other markers in town commemorating prominent African American institutions. They are St. Mark's Episcopal Church, St. Stephen A.M.E. church and the Gregory Normal Institute, a school for blacks named for benefactor James H. Gregory.

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