HENRY ALLEN BOYD (1876-1959)
Henry Allen Boyd was born in Grimes County,
Texas, in 1876. He was the son of Richard Henry and Hattie Boyd. His father came to Nashville in November of 1896 and founded the National Baptist Publishing Board. Henry Allen later came to Nashville to help his father. Before moving from his native Texas, Henry Allen served as a postal clerk in San Antonio. He became an ordained minister in 1904. Boyd served with his father as the assistant secretary of the National Baptist Publishing Board.
During the period of 1905-1910, Henry Allen Boyd became a local leader in his own right. Boyd became executive secretary of the Colored Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). Boyd and other prominent black businessmen restored the Colored YMCA in 1914 and led a drive to raise funds to buy a permanent home for the organization. Before the end of World War One, Boyd and his group moved the Colored YMCA into a permanent home, the old Duncan Hotel on the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue,North, and Cedar (Charlotte) Street.
After 1912, Boyd edited the Nashville newspaper, The Globe (l905-1959) and presided over the Globe Publishing Company. The most powerful and consistent newspaper black Nashville had seen, The Globe began with the effort to publicize Nashville's 1905 black streetcar boycott. TheGlobe became the voice, conscience, and "riot for the black community. Its pages documented the religious, social, cultural, political, and economic life of a thriving southern community. TheGlobe's editorials criticized those who oppressed black people, praised men and women who made good examples for the black race, opposed Jim Crowism and racism, promoted morality and religion, encouraged blacks to continue participating in politics, and pushed city authorities and black businessmen to improve local living conditions. In 1909 Henry Allen Boyd, Ben Carr, and others successfully helped to persuade the state to build the Negro State Normal School in Davidson County. During the Great World War, Boyd helped to lead the black community in patriotic endeavors. He headed bond drives, visit local black troops in northern training camps,increase the Colored YMCA's services to black soldiers, and carried government advertisements in The Globe for Liberty Bonds and military recruits.
Upon the death of his father in 1922, Henry Allen Boyd assumed the presidency of Citizens Bank and secretary of the National Baptist Publishing Board. He became secretary of the National Baptist Sunday School Congress and a director emeritus of the Supreme Liberty Life Insurance Company of Chicago. He held memberships in the National Negro Business League, the NAACP,and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Boyd promoted black (Republican) politics. However, as a pragmatist, he supported local Democrats--especially Mayor Hilary Howse.
Dr. Henry Allen Boyd died on May 28, 1959. After his death, The Globe ceased publication. His funeral services--to accommodate the overflowing crowd--were moved from Mount Olive Baptist Church to the auditorium of Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College. Nashville Mayor Ben West and other dignitaries eulogized Boyd: a great mind, a lover of mankind,a Renaissance man, a business person, a philosopher, a preacher, a publisher, and a writer.