|Our namesake, Dr. Ezekiel Ezra Smith, was an educator, statesman and minister who exemplified these outstanding virtues. Dr. Smith was a native of Duplin County, North Carolina. He began his education in a school established by the Freedmen’s Bureau, in Wilmington, North Carolina. He continued his education at Shaw Collegiate Institute at Raleigh where he graduated in 1875 with an A.B. degree. He founded the Boston Enterprise, one of the first Black newspapers in the state.
In 1883, Dr. Smith began his tenure as principal of first State-supported school for Blacks in North Carolina Fayetteville State Normal School. In 1898, when the United States declared war on Spain, Dr. Smith joined one of the three infantry regiments from North Carolina. Dr. Smith gave approximately 45 acres of land to increase the size of the school’s campus which is now known as Fayetteville State University.
In 1932, the Trustees of the Fayetteville Graded School voted unanimously to name the local high school in honor of Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith was an ordained Baptist minister and served as pastor of First Baptist Church Franklin Street for a short time.
Dr. Ezekial Ezra Smith