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George F. Bragg (George Freeman), 1863-1940

George Freeman Bragg, Jr. was born on January 25, 1863 in Warrenton, North Carolina. When Bragg was two years old, his family moved to Petersburg, Virginia. Bragg's paternal grandmother lived in Petersburg; she had been the slave of an Episcopal minister, and at the end of her life she helped to found St. Stephen's Episcopal Church for Negroes. Bragg grew up in St. Stephen's Church, and he attended its parochial school until 1870, when he was expelled due to claims that he was not sufficiently humble. In 1885, he reentered the school.

Bragg founded The Lancet, a weekly newspaper for African-Americans, in 1882. When Bragg returned to seminary in 1885, The Lancet became the Afro-American Churchman (and finally the Church Advocate).

In 1887, Bragg was ordained as a deacon, and in 1888 he received his ordination as an Episcopal priest in Norfolk, Virginia. Both within and beyond the church, Bragg was a leader, working to advance education for African Americans. Bragg was a critic of racism in the church; he was opposed to the exclusion of African Americans in the missionary organization of the church. George Freeman Bragg, Jr. died in Baltimore, Maryland on March 12, 1940.

Karen Ruffle

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