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David Dabydeen

West Indiancarpenter murdered in Notting Hill by white youths. Britain was particularly racially tense in the late 1950s, when the white working classes felt culturally and economically threatened by the presence of Blacks. Two active political groups in the Notting Hill area were the White Defence League and the National Labour Party, one claiming to be a Nazi group, the other a racial nationalist one. The culmination of the situation were the ‘race’ riots in 1958 in Notting Hill. One of the tragic results of these events was the murder of Cochrane, an Antiguan who was on his way back from the hospital after having had his broken thumb bandaged. He was stabbed with a knife in May 1958 by six white youths who were never caught. Following Cochrane's murder, the black activist Claudia Jones campaigned for the black community and helped to organize strategies for approaching the ...

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By the eighteenth century indentured servants outnumbered African slaves in the North American colonies Unlike the situation endured by slaves however the indentured servitude was not permanent Initially an attempt to alleviate severe labor shortages in the New World settlements and to encourage emigration England s rapid population growth was becoming an increasingly worrisome economic burden the system of indenture comprised not only willing English women children and men but also convicts religious separatists and political prisoners At some points more than half of those bound for the colonies did so as the temporary legal property of a master Indentured servants labored a set number of years usually four to seven though the period for convicts could be considerably longer during which time they were considered by law the personal property of their masters Couples were often prevented from marrying and women from having children If a woman did become ...

Article

John Howard Smith

fisherman, harbor pilot, and elite member of Charleston, South Carolina's, black population, was executed by the provincial government for purportedly fomenting a slave insurrection at the outset of the American War for Independence. Much of Jeremiah's life is shrouded in mystery. Born to unidentified slave parents, Jeremiah—or “Jerry” as he may also have been known—secured his freedom by some means in the 1750s or 1760s and was married, but the identity of his wife is not known. The marriage apparently produced no children.

Like many other young Low Country slaves and free blacks, Jeremiah became intimately familiar with South Carolina's river transport networks, and by 1760 had established himself as a capable pilot in and around Charleston Harbor He parlayed the time spent on the water into a lucrative fishing business He supplied the port city residents with his daily catches and in time became arguably one ...

Article

Heather Marie Stur

Records of Michigan's early history list people of African descent living there as early as the 1760s, but it was in the early twentieth century that the state saw its largest influx of black residents. As African Americans moved north in the Great Migration, many settled in Michigan hoping to find work in the state's booming automobile industry. Over the years notable African Americans including the boxer Joe Louis, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche, the Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr., the civil rights activist Rosa Parks, the singer Aretha Franklin, the U.S. congressman John Conyers and such leading politicians as Coleman Young and George Crockett, and the actor James Earl Jones have called Michigan home But the state also has struggled over racial tensions that at times have exploded into deadly riots In the wake of deindustrialization African Americans in ...

Article

Alfred L. Brophy

businessman, lawyer, and civil rights litigant, was born John the Baptist (“J. B.”) Stradford (also sometimes spelled “Stratford”) probably in slavery at Versailles, Kentucky, the son of Julius Caesar Stradford. Little is known about Stradford's childhood. He studied at Oberlin College from 1882 to 1885 and Indianapolis Law School (later Indiana University–Indianapolis. He married Augusta, and they lived in Lawrenceberg, Kansas, among other places, before moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1899. Stradford owned and operated a rooming house, the Stradford Hotel, in Greenwood, the black section of Tulsa. Like other leaders of the Greenwood community (including fellow lawyers A.-J. Smitherman and Buck Colbert Franklin, the father of John Hope Franklin), Smitherman was concerned with aggressively preventing lynching and other violence. In 1909 Stradford challenged Oklahoma s statute that permitted unequal treatment on segregated railroad cars The statute permitted railroads to provide ...

Article

Michaeljulius Idani

Secretary of the Army and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, was born in Winston Salem, North Carolina, son of Togo West Sr. and Evelyn Carter, both high school educators. As a youth West was a gifted student, encouraged by both parents to reach his full potential. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America, eventually earning the distinction of Eagle Scout with bronze palms. In 1959 he graduated valedictorian from Atkins High School where both his parents taught.

After high school West moved to Washington, D.C., to attend Howard University. As an undergraduate his campus life was steeped in the civil rights movement. West was involved in several service organizations and played an active role in the university community advocating for social justice. Upon graduation in 1965 West was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Field Artillery Corps. In 1966 he married classmate Gail Berry they ...