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Robert Fikes

Born into a large family in a racially segregated middle-class section of Demopolis, Alabama, where he was not allowed to visit the town's public library, James S. Haskins was deeply affected by the swirl of events related to the mid century civil rights movement He received his bachelor s degree in history at Alabama State College but limited career opportunities in the South in the early 1960s led him to seek employment in New York City Two years of selling newspaper advertisements and working as a Wall Street stockbroker brought him to the realization that he was better suited for a career in education and thus he applied for a position in the New York City public school system After teaching music at several locations he found a job teaching a special education class at P S 92 Obsessed with the plight of his inner city pupils he was ...


Roanne Edwards

In 1960 the diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus, an impoverished black woman, was published in Brazil—a development that brought her national and international celebrity. Titled Quarto de despejo (Portuguese for “the trash room”), the diary sold 90,000 copies within the first six months, making it the most successful book in the history of Brazilian publishing. It was translated into more than a dozen languages and attracted worldwide attention. It was published in English as Child of the Dark in 1962. The book also brought Jesus financial success, allowing her to move out of the Favelas, or squatter settlements.

But Jesus's success was short-lived. Her subsequent writings, including a second diary, Casa de alvenaria (I'm Going To Have a Little House, 1961), were not successful, and she soon drifted into obscurity. As scholar Robert M. Levine has said Ill prepared for her meteoric ...


Eslanda Robeson's father died when she was six, and the family moved from her native Washington, D.C., to New York City. In 1921, she married singer and actor Paul Robeson. Eslanda Robeson received a B.S. in chemistry from Columbia University and, in 1945 a Ph ...