A Yale Alum Amid the 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’ Epidemic in Sierra Leone

As we all reflect on the challenges presented by COVID-19 pandemic, faculty, students, alumni/ae, and friends of Yale Divinity School look to Orishatukeh Faduma (1894 B.D) to gain insight and learn from his efforts to assist the residents of Sierra Leone to make sense of the ravages of the 1918 flu pandemic.

Orishatukeh Faduma traveled to the United States and in 1891 became a student at Yale Divinity School. Faduma is hailed as the first West African to “successfully pass the intermediate B.A. at London University.” On his return to Sierra Leone in 1885, Davis joined the faculty of Boys High School, where he distinguished himself as a gifted teacher and cultural activist. 

Faduma was an educator and an activist. Faduma’s long career and contributions were testimony to the theological and pedagogical liberalism that was nurtured during his study at YDS and doggedly embraced even as it was chastened and tempered amid the relentless persistence of Southern racism, the wake of the brutality of two world wars, and the horror of the 1918 influenza pandemic, particularly as experienced firsthand among the residents of Sierra Leone.  

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Read the Yale Divinity School’s full article here.