Stephen McDow’s Family History

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Aquinnah, Massachusetts (Martha’s Vineyard)

Stephen McDow’s creative spirit and professionalism is due to his family lineage. Stephen is the son of Wanda Spence, SAG/AFTRA actress. He is also the grandson of a retired elementary school teacher, Mediel W. Spence and an African-American business man – William A. D. Spence I who, along with his brothers, started and successfully ran one of the first African American owned trucking companies in the state of Virginia – during the Jim Crow South. Stephen is great-great-nephew to Joseph L. Pierce, one of the first African American graduates of the Wharton School of Business, and the first African-American Partner/Broker/CPA at the John R. Pinkett Insurance Company in Washington, DC, based in the Shaw neighborhood from 1932 until 1992. Pinkett Insurance company was the first African American owned and operated insurance company in Washington, DC. Stephen is also great-great-nephew to Delilah W. Pierce, a nationally and internationally known artist, curator,  educator, and advocate. Delilah’s work has hung in the Smith Mason Gallery, The Wilson Building of Washington, DC and The Women’s Museum of Art, to name a few.