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Liberian lawyer and diplomat and the first African woman to preside over the General Assembly of the United Nations, was born on 24 August 1928 (or 1929, according to some accounts) in Virginia, Montserrado County, Liberia. Her parents were of mixed ethnic background representing several of Liberia’s indigenous groups, and her father was a Baptist minister. As one of nine children, she was fostered out to a widowed seamstress as a child and attended Monrovia public schools. Although she had a great desire to continue her education, she entered an early marriage with Richard A. Henries (1908–1980 a member of a prominent Americo Liberian family who was twenty years her senior Her husband was a lawyer and politician who eventually became the speaker for the Liberian House of Representatives She and Henries had two sons but the marriage ended in divorce and she turned her attention to ...

Article

Rayford W. Logan

William H. Dean, Jr. was born on July 6, 1910, in Lynchburg, Virginia, the only son and the third of four children of the Rev. and Mrs. William Henry Dean, Sr. He spent his early years in Lynchburg, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his father was a pastor in Methodist churches. In 1926 Dean graduated as valedictorian of his class from Douglass High School, Baltimore. Recipient of a scholarship from the Baltimore chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year at Bowdoin College in Maine and received his B.A. degree, graduating summa cum laude, in 1930. He earned his M.A. degree in 1932 and Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in Massachusetts in 1938; both degrees were in economics.

From 1933 to 1942 Dean taught economics and business administration at Atlanta ...

Article

The son of Limas and Dora Lee Brooks McHenry, Donald Franchot McHenry was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He grew up in poverty in East St. Louis, Illinois, where a public school is now named in his honor. McHenry received a B.S. degree from Illinois State University in 1957 and an M.S. degree from Southern Illinois University in 1959. As a student he was president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). McHenry was involved in negotiations to end segregation in area housing and restaurants.

McHenry then moved to Washington, D.C. He taught English at Howard University beginning in 1959 and entered the graduate program in international relations at Georgetown University. His public career began when he joined the U.S. Department of State in 1963. In 1968 he was made assistant to the secretary of state. From 1971 ...

Article

Elizabeth Heath

Born and raised in an affluent African American family in New Orleans, Louisiana, Andrew Young had opportunities as a child that were available to few blacks in the South, including an exceptional education. He attended Howard University and Hartford Theological Seminary. Ordained a Congregational minister in 1955, he soon after accepted a pastorate in Thomasville, Georgia. This experience made him keenly aware of the poverty African Americans suffered in the rural South and inspired his work as a civil rights activist.

In 1959 Young moved to New York to become assistant director of the National Council of Churches and to raise financial support for activities related to the Civil Rights Movement in the South. He returned to Georgia two years later and joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference SCLC His energetic work as funding coordinator and administrator of the SCLC Citizenship Education Programs soon won him the ...