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Stephen Bourne

Black Londoner whose life as a working‐class seamstress was documented in Aunt Esther's Story (1991), published by Hammersmith and Fulham's Ethnic Communities Oral History Project, and co‐authored with Stephen Bourne. Aunt Esther's Story provides a first‐hand account of Bruce's life as a black Briton in the pre‐Empire Windrush years. Her father, Joseph (1880–1941), arrived in London from British Guiana (now Guyana) in the early 1900s and settled in a tight‐knit working‐class community in Fulham. He worked as a builder's labourer. When Bruce was a young child, Joseph instilled in his daughter a sense of pride in being black. After leaving school, she worked as a seamstress, and in the 1930s she made dresses for the popular African‐American stage star Elisabeth Welch. She also befriended another black citizen of Fulham: the Jamaican nationalist Marcus Garvey She told Bourne he was a nice chap ...


educator, literary and cultural critic, and leading scholar in African and African American studies, was born Louis Smith Gates in Keyser, West Virginia. Gates, nicknamed “Skip” by his mother at birth, grew up in nearby Piedmont, the son of Henry Louis Gates Sr., a mill worker and janitor, and Pauline Coleman Gates, a homemaker and seamstress. Born four years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education and encouraged by his parents, he excelled in Piedmont's integrated schools, including the Davis Free School and Piedmont High School, as did his older brother Paul, known as “Rocky,” who would become Chief of Oral Surgery at Bronx Lebanon Hospital.

At age fourteen Gates experienced two cataclysmic events in his young life the first a misdiagnosed slipped epithesis a hip injury that led to three surgeries in a year and the second his joining the Episcopal ...


Graham Russell Hodges

The most influential work on early African American life in slavery and freedom is by Ira Berlin, who injected time and place as critical factors in the discussion of slavery and freedom among early African Americans. Carefully articulated in articles and in two books, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America and Generations of Captivity: A History of African American Slaves Berlin argues that studies of black life must be sensitive to when and where African Americans experienced bondage and freedom This segmented approach pushed aside older studies that tended to homogenize African American experiences over time and to focus largely on the antebellum South In contrast Berlin s work based upon his primary research and wide readings of newer texts points out the differences in African American lives over a long span of time and in different parts of the country Berlin ...


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 ...