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Michael Toussaint

was born in Georgetown, British Guiana, on 30 December 1945. He belongs to an extended family of writers. Both his father, Theodore Wilson Harris, and mother, Cecily (née Carew), are accomplished authors. Eon was born in the year of their marriage, which ended in divorce. Wilson’s stepmother, along with one of his two siblings, also became writers.

Eon attended Queen’s College, Guyana, from 1957 to 1964. It was there that his literary and leadership potential were greatly manifested. He proved a skillful debater and served as president of the college’s junior, and later its senior, debating society. In 1965 he moved to Washington, D.C., where he pursued his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Howard University, graduating magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1968 He then pursued a fellowship at Yale University from which he graduated with a master s degree in biochemistry Next he studied for ...

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David A. Shefferman

was born on 24 July 1909 in Santiago de Cuba. He was the last of five children born to Flora Crombet and Gustavo Lachatañeré, who was killed by one of the family’s farmhands shortly after Rómulo’s first birthday. His family names mark his roots within the unique Franco-Creole culture that emerged in eastern Cuba during the 1800s following the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804). Like many in those communities, his paternal grandparents—the Lachataignerais line—adopted Hispanicized spellings, while his maternal lineage included Francisco Adolfo “Flor” Crombet (his grandfather) and other important figures in Cuba’s nineteenth-century independence movements. After earning his high-school degree in 1926, Lachatañeré moved from Santiago to the island’s capital city to begin studies in pharmacology at the University of Havana. He received his degree on 18 November 1929 and began work almost immediately as a laboratory technician in the government-sponsored Institute for Venereal Diseases.

Lachatañeré remained in ...

Article

Debra A. Varnado

scientist and first black professor and chemistry department head at the U.S. Naval Academy, was one of three sons born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, to Samuel Proctor Massie and Earlee Jacko Massie. His twin brother died soon after birth. Massie was nurtured in an extended family of educators, devout churchgoers, and community and civic leaders. He learned from his father, an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) preacher and biology teacher, to stand up for himself and to minister to others' needs. His maternal grandmother, Josephine Jacko, a full-blooded Choctaw Indian, was born a slave. She instilled in him a sense of right and wrong and during long conversations helped him to recognize his gift for motivating and guiding others. His maternal grandfather, William B. Jacko also a schoolteacher and former superintendent of schools in Jefferson Steps Jefferson County served in the Arkansas State House of Representatives from ...