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Sunday, January 6, 2008

William Sydney Pittman's Joshua Chapel

American Architect William Sidney Pittman designed the Gothic styled Joshua Chapel A.M.E. Church on 119 N Aiken in Waxahachie. "Sidney Pittman died a pauper and was buried in an unmarked grave in South Dallas. But a legacy of the strange life and brilliant mind of Dallas' first black architect still stands on Elm Street." The Pythian Temple on 2551 Elm Street was symbol of pride for the Black community in Dallas. His father-in-law was Booker T Washington and Pittman moved to Dallas to make a name for himself and get out from under his famous Father-in-law. Pittman had the artist personality. "He was highly individualistic and an eccentric" said his biographer Ruth Ann Stewart. Pittman was the extreme Bill Cosby of his time and he fought against hypocrisy in the Black Community. Pittman had a volatile temper and eventually because of this his wife left him. "In 1931, Pittman turned to publishing to provide a forum for his campaign against the hypocrisy of some black leaders. He published the "Brotherhood Eyes" every Saturday, gathering gossip sent in by correspondents called "the Eyes" across the South, and goading the black establishment with his criticisms." He eventually served two years of a five year sentence at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas for sending obscene material, presumably his newspaper, through the mail." President Franklin D Roosevelt helped Pittman get released. He came back to Dallas and died 1958.

Joshua Chapel A.M.E Church Rev. Dr L R Emanuel, Pastor
119 N Aiken Waxahachie TX 76165 USA 972-923-9490

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