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Alexander J. Chenault

the first black popularly elected governor of the United States Virgin Islands, Delegate to the United States House of Representatives, and ambassador, was born in Christiansted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, to Charles and Maude (Rogiers) Evans. He attended the Christiansted Public Grammar and Junior High schools and completed his secondary education at the Charlotte Amalie High School in St. Thomas, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class.

At the age of nineteen, Evans moved to Washington, D.C., and studied at Howard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1940. In 1944 he received his medical degree with honors from the Howard University Medical School. Evans married Mary Phyllis Anderson, a nurse he met while completing his medical internship at Harlem Hospital in New York City in 1945, and they had four sons together: Melvin Herbert Jr., Robert Rogiers, William Charles and ...


Hasna Lebbady

governor of Tétouan, was born in the northern Moroccan city of Chefchaouen, sometime between 1491 and 1495. Also known as “Sitt al-Hurra,” she was the daughter of Mulay ʿAli Ibn Rashid, emir of Chefchaouen, and of Lalla Zohra Fernandez, originally from Veger, near Cadiz. Although numerous historians, both European and Moroccan, have noted her eminent position as governor, they do not always agree about aspects of her personal identity, such as the claim that she was a pirate, what her real name was, or which member of the al-Mandri family she actually married, enabling her to move to Tétouan and to eventually govern it. What they all suggest, however, is that she played a role of considerable importance in this northernmost tip of the African continent in the first half of the sixteenth century.

By the sixteenth century the Portuguese discovery of the sea route to India via the ...


Maxim Zabolotskikh

Ethiopian intellectual, politician, civil servant, diplomat, and writer, was born in June 1884 in Seyya Debr (Shewa, Ethiopia) to a family of Christianized Oromos.

Tekle grew up in his mother’s care until he was five. At the age of six he began to study in a church school. When his elder brother Gebre Sadiq moved to Harar to become a secretary of Ras Mekonnen, Tekle (nine at this time) went with him and continued his education there. He stayed in the household of Ras Mekonnen, where he was raised with other children, among whom was also Teferi (future Emperor Haile Selassie).

When the Italians invaded Ethiopia in 1895, both Tekle and Gebre Sadiq accompanied Ras Mekonnen to the front. Gebre Sadiq was killed, and Ras Mekonnen decided to do something special for his younger brother entrusting him to a member of the Russian Red Cross mission Count ...


Peter Garretson

ruler of Ethiopia’s Gojjam province, was born about 1847 in Jab-Tehnan in Damot. At birth he was named Adal Tesemma and became a dominant figure in the province of Gojjam for most of the late nineteenth century, serving three emperors, Tekle Giyorgis (1868–1871), Yohannes IV (1872–1889), and Menilek II (1889–1913). Yohannes appointed him the first and only crowned King of Gojjam when he took his regal name Tekle Haymanot. Tekle Haymanot’s family largely monopolized the office of governor of Gojjam for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

His family had been important in Gojjam s history for many generations and had two major branches that competed for power throughout the nineteenth century His major rival Desta Gwalu was in power when Tekle Haymanot came of age in mid century and he resorted to classic Ethiopian tactics by retreating to the lowlands becoming a bandit shifta to enlarge his band ...


Robert Ross

commander of the short-lived Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope, was born on the island of Mauritius. His father was Dutch and his mother, from Batavia, was the daughter of Hendrik Lievens, a Dutch ship’s captain, and Monica da Costa, a slave woman from Coromandel on the southeast coast of India. He was brought up in Batavia, and moved to the Netherlands in 1659. There he married into the influential Six family in Amsterdam. He served in the Amsterdam militia as a cavalry officer in the 1672 war with France. He was then, in 1679 appointed commander of the Dutch East India Company or VOC for Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie station at the Cape of Good Hope presumably due to Six influence and very possibly to escape a marriage that had gone sour He remained as commander until he was succeeded by his son Willem Adriaen in ...