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Khalid White

The history of Allensworth is distinctive in that it is the only town in California to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans. Allensworth was created as a place where African Americans could become self-sufficient and live free of racial discrimination.



Jim Mendelsohn

Before the Civil War, the African American presence in Atlanta was smaller than in other Southern cities. Atlanta's black population consisted overwhelmingly of slaves who arrived between 1850 and 1860. Dispersed throughout Atlanta, they lacked a substantial community.

A postwar migration transformed the city. By 1870, African Americans comprised 46 percent of Atlanta's 21,700 residents, a proportion they maintained for the remainder of the nineteenth century. The community lacked political strength, however. In 1870, when the “Radical” forces of Reconstruction were at their peak in Atlanta, only two city councilmen were African Americans—William Finch and George Graham, from the predominantly black third and fourth wards. One year later, the state legislature effectively ended black political representation when it changed city elections in Georgia from a ward to an at-large selection process. After 1875 white hostility in Atlanta reached levels that many considered the ...


Casey-Leininger Charles F.

Avondale is a neighborhood of the city of Cincinnati located northeast of the city's central business district. The 2010 US Census reported that Avondale had a population of 12,466 of which 89 percent identified as African American only, 7 percent identified as white only, and the remainder reported some other race or combination of races. Between about 1945 and 1965 the neighborhood was the scene of a massive population shift that saw its middle- and upper middle-class white population replaced by middle- and lower-income African Americans. During this period the neighborhood also became an important center of the city's African American cultural and political life.

Today Avondale is one of the poorest and most distressed neighborhoods in the city. Its poverty rate, calculated from the US Census Bureau's 2005–2009 American Community Survey ACS was 37 5 percent and 44 percent of its working age population had no employment In ...



Elizabeth Heath

Benin, formerly Dahomey, is a country better known by its past than its present. Along its narrow tropical coast, precolonial kingdoms grew wealthy through participation in the transatlantic slave trade. They developed rich religious traditions, such as Vodou, and built formidable armies, which for years resisted French conquest. During the colonial era, Dahomey—a small palm oil exporter known for frequent uprisings—found itself on the periphery of France’s West African empire. In the years that followed independence in 1960, Dahomey maintained its reputation for political volatility while doing little to invigorate an economy still heavily dependent on palm oil exports. Since democratic reforms in the early 1990s, however, Benin’s political climate and economy have both improved considerably. Observers are now waiting to see if this progress continues after the 2001 reelection of former dictator Mathieu Kérékou.



Lisa Clayton Robinson

Bermuda's reputation as a tropical paradise leads many outsiders to mistakenly identify it as part of the Caribbean Islands. In fact, Bermuda is closer to New York and New England than to Florida and the Caribbean, and as far from the Caribbean as Washington, D.C., is from Dallas, Texas. As a dependent territory of Great Britain, it shares a common legacy of colonialism and slavery with countries in the British Caribbean. But Bermuda was actually part of British North America, and its history is connected to the early British colonies in Virginia.

The name Bermuda is used in the singular to describe a country of nearly 150 islands. The principal island is Saint George's. Most Bermudans live on one of seven islands; the other islands are uninhabited. A Spanish sailor named Juan de Bermudez first discovered Bermuda in 1503. By 1510 maps of the area referred ...


SaFiya D. Hoskins

political administrator and lawyer, was born Constance Ernestine Berry in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Ernestine Siggers and Joseph Alonzo Berry. Her mother was a social worker and a nurse, her father was a physician. Berry was young when the family relocated to Tuskegee, Alabama, where she was reared and attended Tuskegee Institute High School located on the campus of Tuskegee University a private historically black university established in 1881. She was a member of the Government Club and an honor roll student. Upon graduating from high school in 1952, Berry enrolled at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1956. Three years later, in 1959 she graduated with a Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School The same year she was married to Theodore Newman a member of the United States ...


Eddie Enyeobi Okafor

The name Biafra, the alternative name for the Republic of Biafra, has been used to designate the secessionist eastern region of Nigeria, which, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (the former military governor of the region), waged a three-year war with Nigeria in the late 1960s. The secessionist state was named after a bay in the Atlantic—the Bight of Biafra—located in the curve at the easternmost coastline of West Africa, adjacent to southeastern Nigeria. During the Nigeria-Biafra war, Biafran sovereignty was recognized by five nations: Gabon, Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, and Zambia.

The Biafran secession and resultant war were caused by a very unpleasant chain of events. One of those unfortunate incidents was the bloody Nigerian military coup of January 15 1966, which was seen by many natives of northern and western Nigeria as an Igbo coup because it ...


Sarah Russell

Nestled in the Jones Valley of north central Alabama, the rocky, mineral-rich land of Jefferson County has sustained a city known in its youth for rapid industrialization and later for its hard-fought battles to overcome social, political, and economic inequality. Since its incorporation in 1871, Birmingham, Alabama, pursued the economic development of a southern Magic City. By the 1960s the efforts of the local government to maintain racial Segregation had earned Birmingham a new name, the Tragic City. Efforts to remedy a history of pervasive racial inequality continue today throughout Birmingham, through alliances among citizens that were once thought impossible.


In 1852, during California’s gold rush, there were 464 African Americans living in San Francisco. A good percentage came to the city with little money, yet great entrepreneurial skill. Mifflin W. Gibbs was one, arriving in 1850 from Philadelphia with 10 cents in his pocket. He quickly began earning a living as a bootblack, taking in as much as $15 a day. In a short time Gibbs partnered with fellow Philadelphian Peter Lester, a skilled bootmaker, to open the Pioneer Boot and Shoe Emporium. Their success reached the notice of fellow East Coast anti-slavery associates, boasting of their achievement in several abolitionist papers. They confirmed that Gibbs and Lester were examples that African Americans in California prospered at a rate far exceeding those in the eastern United States.

But all was not perfect for blacks in the great state of California Though it was not a slavery state California ...


Kate Tuttle

Although residential segregation is often considered one of the more harmful effects of racism in the United States, some African Americans in the nineteenth century chose to form their own racially separate communities. Unlike the ghettos and rural enclaves where many blacks were forced to live at the time, black towns were established to promote economic independence, self-government, and social equality for African Americans. More than eighty such towns were settled in the fifty years following the Civil War.

A few, such as New Philadelphia, Illinois, were formed even before the Civil War, but it was not until after Emancipation in the United States that the population of free blacks was large enough to supply settlers for the new towns. The first great wave of black migration began as Reconstruction ended in 1877 When federal troops withdrew from the South many blacks feared that the civil and political ...


Eric R. Jackson

By the 1970s Bond Hill had become the destination for thousands of local African American residents. Just like their non–African American counterparts, persons of color moved to this region, which was located just a thirty-minute drive from downtown Cincinnati, Ohio (also known as the “Queen City”), in a quest for better jobs and a higher quality of life. This process was not easy or simple. It required, in some ways, a dramatic transformation in migration patterns and racial attitudes, as well as both the economic and residential patterns of the community. Nonetheless this conversion took place and was championed by thousands of African American Cincinnatians. But during the 1930s this change would have not been predicated so soon after the establishment of Bond Hill as a community entity.

Gradually between the late 1930s and the late 1950s thousands of Cincinnatians began to move into regions outside the central city business ...


Covering a total area of 44,000 sq km (16,988 sq mi), Bophuthatswana consisted of seven fragments of land scattered throughout Orange Free State, Cape Province, and Transvaal, which were three of the four provinces in South Africa at that time. Bophuthatswana, which means “that which binds the Tswana together,” was established as a so-called homeland for the Tswana people, although it had significant Pedi, Basotho, Shangaan, and Zulu minorities. Bophuthatswana’s capital was Mmabatho. The territory also included the towns of Mafikeng, Onverwacht, Phalaborwa, Phuthaditjhaba, Sun City, and Thaba Nchu. In 1994, when South Africa was divided into nine new provinces, most of Bophuthatswana was incorporated into North-West Province; the remaining fragment was included in the province of Free State.

Tswana peoples lived in the region from about the thirteenth or fourteenth century c.e.., but they lost most of their land in the nineteenth century to Afrikaner ...


Robert Fay

In matters of race, Boston has a contradictory nature: racially progressive while at the same time racially oppressive. A noted center of abolitionist activity during the antebellum period, white Bostonians also permitted Segregation and other acts of exclusion of blacks. During the 1970s, when a judge ordered busing of students to integrate Boston's schools, racial tensions rose to the fore again.


Charles Rosenberg

Baltimore area leader of the Congress On Racial Equality (CORE), and founder of Activists for Fair Housing, was born in Monroe, North Carolina, the son of Walter L. and Carrie P. Carter. Census records suggest he had at least four older sisters and an older brother, as well as a younger sister.

Carter entered North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College (NCAT) in 1941, but his studies were interrupted for military service in World War II. He enlisted as a private at Greensboro on 15 December 1942, was assigned to the Signal Corps (Natl. Archives WW II Army Enlistment Records, Record Group 64), and won five battle stars (MD House Joint Resolution 29, 26 Apr. 1972). Discharged in June 1946, Carter resumed studies at NCAT where he worked on voter registration campaigns participated in the campus debate team and joined the Progressive Party Many Americans ...


Eric Montgomery

“Paris is lovely. It is beautiful it is lush and wonderful. I would gladly trade it all for a corner at 41st Street & Central Ave” —John Kinloch

The United States is a nation of movement, with the population expanding and contracting in regions as a result of technological, societal, and economic changes. With each significant change came opportunities for mobility both socially and geographically—there was no time that this was truer than during World War II. As the war continued, defense production in the United States grew exponentially and there was a surge in need for labor in automobile, rubber, and steel factories. As a result, there was a second great migration as more than 5 million African Americans migrated from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West in search of work.

Los Angeles was given more than $11 billion in war contracts and saw its African American ...


The first Africans came to the region of present-day South Carolina as slaves with a Spanish expedition in 1526. Nearly 150 years later, another group of Africans arrived in Charleston—or Charles Town, the name by which it was first known. Approximately 1,000 Akan and Asante people arrived as slaves to the English settlers from Barbados who established Charles Town as the first permanent settlement in South Carolina in 1670. Beginning in the 1690s, slaves from present-day Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia provided the labor force and expertise for growing rice in the colony. There were also Bantu-speaking slaves from Kongo and Angola, the ancestors of the Gullah communities that thrived for centuries in the Sea Islands near Charleston. By 1700, African slaves and their African American children had become the majority of Charleston's population.

In the eighteenth century Charleston became the most active center ...


Debra C. Smith

Like the story of many southern cities, Charlotte, North Carolina has endured its portion of racial inequity, civil rights activism, and violent acts surrounding segregation efforts, But Charlotte, the Queen City, the largest city in North Carolina has been and remains an alcove for African American experience steeped in memory and now modern familiarity. Charlotte is a source of progress and pride for African Americans in the city who lean on historical strength to continue to develop political power, economic resources, and educational aspirations.


Shortly before the Civil War a new pastime began to sweep the gentlemen’s clubs and social societies, one that would eventually evolve into the “national pastime”—baseball. The game quickly gained momentum throughout America, with amateur, leisure clubs springing up across the eastern portion of the country, followed by professionalized teams in the 1870s.

Almost from the beginning the nascent pastime caught fire within African American communities just as it did in white society. However, for most of baseball’s first century of existence, a largely informal but nevertheless real “color line” divided the players, owners, journalists, and fans with the same type of racial segregation that plagued almost every other aspect of American society.

But despite this discrimination the passion for and subsequent quality of baseball was just as vibrant in African American culture as it was elsewhere and Chicago developed into what was arguably the strongest and most vital locus ...


Jonathan Morley

Journalist and activist born to wealthy parents, against whom she rebelled. Cunard became a well‐known figure in the London modernist movement, and throughout the busiest period in her career, the 1930s, was a controversial advocate of black emancipation in the United States and Africa.

At 855 pages long, weighing nearly 8 pounds, with 150 contributors, the NEGRO anthology of 1934 was Cunard's most ambitious publication: a collection of essays, polemics, and poetry from France, Britain, and America designed to highlight the vibrancy of the black world and to lobby for black freedom. Writers of interest include the future African presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Pan‐Africanists George Padmore and W. E. B. DuBois, the black modernist novelist Zora Neale Hurston, and the poets Nicolás Guillen, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Countee Cullen, Alain Locke, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound who ...