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Patrick Bellegarde-Smith

Dantès Bellegarde was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1877. His family had long been at the center of Haitian politics. Bellegarde's mother was Marie Boisson and his father Jean-Louis Bellegarde. His maternal great-grandfather, Jacques Ignace Fresnel, was named judge by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a leader of the Haitian Revolution, who became the first leader of the independent state in 1804 and soon proclaimed himself Emperor Jean-Jacques I. This same great-grandfather was later minister of justice under President Jean-Pierre Boyer, who ruled all of Haiti from 1820 to 1843. Bellegarde's paternal grandfather, Jean-Louis de Bellegarde, was a duke and marshal in Haiti's second empire during the rule of Faustin Soulouque, who declared himself emperor and ruled from 1847 to 1859. Bellegarde's aunt, Argentine Bellegarde (1842–1901), was a noted educator and an early feminist. Bellegarde married Cécile Savain (1875–1965 ...


Alonford James Robinson

Horace Cayton was born in Seattle, Washington, to activist and publisher Horace R. Cayton Sr. and Susie Revels Cayton, daughter of former United States senator Hiram Revels. Cayton dropped out of high school and joined the military, traveling to California, Mexico, and Hawaii before returning to Seattle in 1923. He finished high school and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in sociology.

In 1934 Cayton served as assistant to the U.S. secretary of the interior, completing a study of African American workers in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1935 he was named an instructor of economics and labor at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. By 1936 he returned to Chicago to direct a Works Progress Administration (WPA) study that focused on inner-city life.

Cayton worked as a columnist for the Pittsburgh Courier and coauthored a book with George S. Mitchell titled Black Workers and ...


Marilyn Demarest Button

educator, administrator, writer, and activist, was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the daughter of Thomas Cornelius Cuthbert and Victoria Means. She attended grammar and secondary school in her hometown and studied at the University of Minnesota before transferring to Boston University, where she completed her BA in 1920.

Following her graduation, Cuthbert moved to Florence, Alabama, and became an English teacher and assistant principal at Burrell Normal School. Promoted to principal in 1925, she began to lead students and faculty in bold new perspectives on gender equality and interracial harmony.

In 1927 Cuthbert left Burrell to become one of the first deans of Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama. In her essay, “The Dean of Women at Work,” published in the Journal of the National Association of College Women (Apr. 1928 she articulated her belief that covert sexism at the administrative level of black colleges limited their ...


Jon-Christian Suggs and Dale Edwyna Smith

[This article contains three subentries, on Du Bois's life, on his historical writing, and on his literary writing.]


Lawrie Balfour

Taught from an early age that education was the key to both personal success and social justice, E. Franklin Frazier used his learning as a weapon during his lifelong battle against racial inequality. In a tribute to Frazier, the Journal of Negro Education called him “a nonconformist, a protester, a gadfly.” He attacked the pretension of the black middle class and went to jail for picketing D. W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation, a film that perpetuated demeaning stereotypes of African Americans. Frazier publicly defended W. E. B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson, although by doing so he risked being branded a Communist.

Frazier grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., on scholarship. Shortly after graduating from Howard with honors in 1916 he began his career as a professor Despite teaching commitments throughout the 1920s and 1930s Frazier earned a master ...


Lisa Clayton Robinson

Born to former slaves in Lowndes County, Alabama, Elizabeth Ross Haynes became a pioneering urban sociologist. Haynes graduated valedictorian of the State Normal School (now Alabama State University) in 1900. She received an A.B. from Fisk University in 1903, and later received an M.A. in sociology from Columbia University in 1923.

After graduation from Fisk, Haynes taught school and worked for segregated branches of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). In 1910, she married George Haynes, a sociologist and cofounder of the National Urban League; their son was born in 1912. After her marriage, Haynes continued to work in unsalaried positions.

From 1918 to 1922, Haynes worked for the U.S. Department of Labor, and from 1920 to 1922 she served as domestic service secretary for the U S Employment Service Throughout her career Haynes was especially concerned with black women ...


Richard Robbins

Johnson, Charles Spurgeon (24 July 1893–27 October 1956), sociologist and educator was born in Bristol Virginia the son of Reverend Charles Henry Johnson a minister in the black Baptist church and Winifred Branch Bristol a small city in the state s far southwest corner had the usual pattern of racial segregation and it is where Charles received his primary education He was then sent to Richmond to a private Baptist academy linked to Virginia Union University a leading black institution where he completed his undergraduate degree with honors in 1916 Working part time in the Richmond ghetto he was shocked by the racial discrimination and economic deprivation marking southern Negro life That led him to decide on graduate work in sociology to concentrate on race relations and to focus in particular on conditions in the urban industrial North in the setting of the Great Migration the northward ...


Crystal Marie Fleming

civil rights activist, sociologist, and university administrator, was born in Battles, Mississippi. She was the youngest of three children born to Annie Ruth Woullard and Eunice Stafford Ladner, a presser for a dry cleaner. After her divorce from Eunice, Annie Ruth married William Coty Perryman, an auto mechanic with whom she had six children. Ladner and her siblings were raised in Palmers Crossing, a segregated rural district outside of Hattiesburg. Ladner grew up in a working-class family surrounded by a tight-knit group of extended relatives and neighbors who provided positive role models. Although separated by distance, she always felt a kinship toward her biological father, whose family came from a long line of Creole farmers, artisans, and craftsmen.

Ladner's childhood experiences with Jim Crow segregation racial hostility and economic hardship were mitigated by a supportive black community and a nurturing home environment that bolstered ...


Juan Fandos-Rius

Central African sociologist, politician, and author, was born at Bossangoa in the Ouham region of the French colony of Ubangi-Shari. His mother was Anne Koffio-Yassingué. His father, Fraisse Lala, a Muslim Gbeya from the village of Sassara near Bossangoa, was influenced by a Muslim from French Sudan who settled near Bossangoa and who named Fraisse's fourth son Idriss, or Iddi for short. Several of Iddi's ten siblings became prominent Central Africans, including Bernard Lala, Bevarrah Lala, and Jean Barkès Gombe-Kette. After primary school at École Préfectorale in Bossangoa, middle school in Berberati, and high school at Lycée d’État des Rapides in Bangui, Iddi studied civil engineering in Bamako, Mali, then led by socialist president Modibo Keïta Iddi then went to Paris to study civil engineering at the École Spéciale des Travaux Publics in Paris but his leftist views led him to abandon engineering and study ...


Bethany K. Dumas

linguistics professor, was born in Georgetown, Guyana, the youngest of the ten children of Eula (nee Wade), a homemaker, and Russell Howell Rickford, an accountant and auditor. In 1968 he began studying in California on a U.S. scholarship at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC). He worked closely with anthropology Professor Roger Keesing and Professor J. Herman Blake, an African American sociologist who was working on the biography of Huey Newton (whom Rickford later met). It was through a program of Blake's that Rickford first went out to Daufuskie Island, one of the South Carolina Sea Islands, in 1970, an experience that he described as “life/career changing in many ways” (personal interview with subject, 2007).

Rickford once said that as a mixed race person his black consciousness and identity crystallized when he came to the United States He was elected president of the ...