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Afikpo  

Heidi Glaesel Frontani

The Afikpo are a small subgroup of the Igbo, the largest ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria. The Afikpo account for around 672,000 of the approximately 25 million Igbo in Nigeria and are best known for their mask making, masked performances, and associated secret societies, and their unique legal system.

Archaeological findings suggest that the Afikpo Ehugbo civilization existed in Neolithic times when humans were just transitioning from hunting and gathering to farming The early Afikpo cultivated yams coco yams rice palm oil palm kernels and vegetables and fished the rivers in their forested lands Yams were for a long time central to food security and male Afikpo identity and achievement Afikpo society like Igbo societies in general was highly competitive and individualistic an Afikpo male s status was related to his age group and the number of yams in his barn which reflected the size of his extended family and ...

Article

Howard Paige and Mark H. Zanger

This entry includes two subentries:

To the Civil War

Since Emancipation

Article

Nelson Kasfir

military officer and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, was probably born in Koboko district near the Sudanese border in northwestern Uganda. Few facts about his parents, his birth date, or his upbringing can be confirmed. His mother, who was Lugbara and originally Christian, separated from his father—who was Kakwa, Muslim, and possibly a convert from Christianity—shortly after his birth and raised Amin in southern Uganda.

As a Muslim belonging to both the Kakwa and the Nubian ethnic communities, Amin received little formal education and had halting command of several languages, including Swahili and English. He practiced polygamy and married at least six women: Malyamu Kibedi and Kay Adroa (both Christians prior to marriage) in late 1966 and Nora (her full name cannot be confirmed), a Langi, in 1967. He divorced all three, according to a Radio Uganda announcement on 26 March 1974 He married Nalongo ...

Article

Matti Steinberg

Palestinian leader, was born in Cairo, Egypt, on 24 August 1929 to ʿAbd al-Raʾuf, his father, and Zahawa Abu-Saud, his mother, who had emigrated from Palestine in 1927 Arafat himself was mysterious about his birthplace sometimes he would say I was not born before I became Abu ʿAmmar and sometimes he insisted on being born in Old Jerusalem next to the al Haram al Sharif the Islamic sacred site this version was adopted by official publications and Web sites of Fatah Behind this obscurity probably lay the uneasiness of Arafat as the leader of the Palestinian national movement to acknowledge that he had not been born in Palestine and that his Palestinian parents had emigrated voluntarily out of personal and not national reasons from Palestine seeking a better living His full name is Muhammad ʿAbd al Rahman ʿAbd al Raʾuf Arafat al Qudwa al Husayni During the early 1950s ...

Article

Bambara  

Tal Tamari

The Bambara, now often also known in English as the Bamana, are the single most numerous people of the Republic of Mali. Small populations that identify themselves as Bamana are also found in Senegal, Mauritania, and the Ivory Coast. The Bamana have been widely admired for their art and complex traditional religion. They have also been noted as state-builders and for their oral literature.

The Bamana language has been classified as one of the Manding also known as core Mande languages which also include Dyula spoken in northern Ivory Coast and western Burkina Faso Maninka spoken in southern Mali and northern Guinea and Mandinka spoken in the Gambia Though each may be characterized by considerable dialectal diversity most of these languages are mutually intelligible There is a more distant cultural and linguistic relationship to the other Northern Mande languages such as Soninke and a yet more ancient affinity to Southern ...

Article

Berber  

Marian Aguiar

The origins of the name Berber are uncertain. Some historians claim the word means “outcast,” or “barbarian,” or “those from the land of Ber” (the son of biblical figure Ham). The word refers to several disparate groups who speak related languages and share certain historical experiences. Berbers have lived in North Africa since at least 3000b.c.e.; today the largest populations of the estimated fifteen million people (though some estimates exceed twenty million) of Berber heritage are found in Algeria and Morocco, but significant populations also exist in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Niger. Many Berbers call themselves the Imazinghan, the free people, and indeed in North Africa the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, and French all encountered Berber resistance. Famous Berbers include Goliath, Septimius Severus, and Saint Augustine.

Some of the larger Berber groups include ...

Article

Carolyn Wedin

Since its highly publicized, successful, and controversial opening in 1915, the twelve-reel, feature-length D. W. Griffith film The Birth of a Nation has presented enduring questions of how to deal with a filmic work of art that is so bad because it is so good, so dangerous because it is so convincing. Seemingly able to inform and sway audiences on its historic topic—the South in the Civil War of 1861–1865 and the period of Reconstruction that followed—The Birth of a Nation has reached millions of people with a particular slant on race relations and American history, a bias difficult to access and more difficult still to eradicate.

Article

Alvin O. Thompson

Black slavery in the Caribbean was primarily an economic phenomenon although it had important political and social ramifications A large cheap docile labor force was the ideal the Europeans sought for their sugar coffee cocoa cotton and other tropical plantations The sparsity of the indigenous Caribbean populations in most of the islands at the time of the European arrival and their subsequent decimation by inhuman treatment and epidemic diseases introduced from Europe and Africa led to a critical shortage of labor for the new European plantations The geographical location of Africa and the collaboration of the African ruling classes with the European purveyors of the slave trade ensured continuous supply of slaves from that source Over time the introduction of Africans radically changed the demographic economic social and cultural landscape of the Caribbean Peoples of African descent today constitute the largest population groups in most of the islands and are ...

Article

Amritjit Singh

Black-Jewish relations represent a richly layered chapter in twentieth-century U.S. history and, depending upon the area of activity or the time period involved, convey distinctive lessons not just for Jews or blacks but for all Americans with commitments to fair play, social justice, and human rights at home and abroad. The active engagement of Jewish Americans in civil rights struggles on behalf of blacks—from the establishment of the NAACP in 1909 to the freedom riders and other civil rights events and actions in the 1960s—is an inspiring narrative of interethnic cooperation.

At the same time the participation of blacks and Jews in the labor movement and the Communist Party USA during the 1930s and 1940s has since the 1960s produced multiple ambivalent readings of motive and attitudes on both sides And at least since the 1990s an exasperating level of open conflict and ugliness has emerged between the two groups ...

Article

Alice Ross and Mark H. Zanger

The Caribbean influence on American food has been continual for hundreds of years, initially in coastal areas of similar climate, from Texas to the Carolinas. The early Spanish involvement in the Caribbean brought Caribbean foods to Europe and Africa, from whence they quickly returned to North America. Spanish gold shipments attracted other Europeans to the area and brought about the colonization of eastern North America. Cheap Caribbean sugar, coffee, cocoa, and spices have influenced the palates and tables of all Americans. The peoples of the Caribbean islands have developed multicultural cuisines that have been affecting American cooking at all levels since colonial times.

Influence of the Caribbean on contemporary American food may predate Columbus, because there is some possibility that Caribbean Indians reached Florida and introduced tropical tubers, or chilies. The chain of influence began in 1492 as the varieties of maize beans chilies squash peanuts and cassava collected ...

Article

Class  

Graham Russell Hodges

Class as a factor in the lives of African Americans in the twentieth century created mixed reactions. In a society that in some ways generally regards itself as classless, many Americans regard economic inequality as a social problem that needs fixing—through government programs or, preferably, individual initiative. For African Americans, the massive impact of race and racism seemed to render all blacks victims of white prejudice. W. E. B. Du Bois's dictum that the color line would be the major problem of the twentieth century had the effect of underscoring that African Americans were behind a racial veil apart from white Americans: material conditions made this analysis convincing. Until the late twentieth century, few African Americans could be described as wealthy, and fewer owned the means of production.

By the early twenty first century for the first time there were significant numbers of blacks with money and power In addition ...

Article

Wesley Borucki and Joseph Wilson

[This entry contains two subentries, on the riots of 1943 and 1967.]

Article

Patricia E. Bonner

Formerly, the term “elderly” conventionally distinguished the subgroups of the older population as the “young old” (ages sixty-five to seventy-four); the “old old” (ages seventy-five to eighty-four); and the “oldest of the old” (ages eighty-five and above). However, by the early twenty-first century the older population had clearly changed in character, and the newer terms used to distinguish the elderly reflected that. In the early twenty-first century there were many people in their sixties and seventies who were healthy and active, and they were sometimes known as the “well-derly” group. On the other hand, because people were living longer, they often lived into their eighties and beyond, and many in this group were known as the “ill-derly.” The growth of this older population in America was projected to accelerate after about 2015 Even with the disparities in life expectancy among ethnic groups the numbers of old people in each ...

Article

Harlem  

Marcy S. Sacks

The black presence in New York City dates back to the earliest years of Dutch colonization in the early seventeenth century. Over the generations, as the population of Manhattan increased in size, the once relatively scattered black population gradually became more concentrated within fewer geographic regions of the city. The 1800s witnessed the beginning of an uptown march, as the black population that had been centered in the working-class district of Five Points on the lower tip of the island early in the century faced residential pressures, leading it to shift its hub into modern-day Greenwich Village, then to an area known as the Tenderloin situated approximately between Twentieth and Fortieth streets. Though racial prejudice limited their housing options, black New Yorkers in the nineteenth century nevertheless lived in fairly heterogeneous working-class communities alongside ethnic whites.

The turn of the twentieth century however witnessed a precipitous growth in the black ...

Article

Patrick Corcoran

Ivorian novelist, was born in the Mande region located in the northeast of what is now Ivory Coast. Until the age of seven he lived with his extended family in Togobala (Guinea), but in line with a practice not uncommon in West Africa, his parents placed him with an uncle who supervised his education. Schooling in the north of the country, at Boundiali and Korhogo, was followed by a period at Bingerville, close to the capital, Abidjan, in the south. In 1947 he was admitted to the Ecole technique supérieure at Bamako (Mali), but two years later he was expelled and sent back to Côte d’Ivoire following his arrest for involvement in demonstrations in support of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA; African Democratic Rally), the first African political party, which was founded in 1946 Immediately drafted into the army by the colonial authorities he opted to enter officer school ...

Article

Thomas Jessen Adams

Los Angeles has proved to be one of the most important and unusual cities in African American urban history. Los Angeles was one of the principal geographical destinations in the mid-twentieth century Second Great Migration, and the history of African Americans there has both been shaped by and has helped to shape the distinctive economic, spatial, political, and ethnic history of Southern California.

Article

Maasai  

Robert Fay

The Maasai have a long tradition of Pastoralism, though today some are adopting a settled life. There are a little more than 250,000 Maasai. They speak a language of the Eastern Nilotic Maa grouping, which also includes the languages of the Arusha and Baraguyu (or Kwafi) peoples of Tanzania. Maasai origins are uncertain; however, some scholars believe that their ancestors migrated to the Rift Valley from what is now southern Sudan sometime before 1000c.e.. These migrants practiced an agro-pastoral economy, growing sorghum and millet in addition to keeping cattle and other livestock. Most of them gradually adopted a strictly pastoral economy as they became dependent upon neighboring farming communities in the Rift Valley highlands.

At its height, Maasailand ranged from Lake Turkana in the north to central Tanzania in the south (roughly to the latitude of Dar es Salaam The Maasai were reputed to be ...

Article

Maroons  

Richard Price

The man who was to become the first African-American maroon arrived on the first slave ship to reach the Americas, within a decade of Columbus's landfall; one of the last maroons to escape from slavery was still alive in Cuba in the 1970s. For more than four centuries the communities formed by escaped slaves dotted the fringes of plantation America, from Brazil to the southeastern United States and from Peru to the American Southwest. Known variously as palenques, quilombos, mocambos, cumbes, mambises, or ladeiras these new societies ranged from tiny bands that survived less than a year to powerful states with thousands of members that survived for generations or even centuries Today their descendants still form semi independent enclaves in several parts of the hemisphere for example in Suriname French Guiana Jamaica Colombia and Belize remaining fiercely proud of their maroon origins and in some cases at least ...

Article

Meroe  

Oluwakemi Adesina

One of the major civilizations that developed in Africa in the ancient period was Meroe. Located on the banks of the Nile River between the sixth cataract and the Atbara confluence, that is, in between the area occupied in the modern period by the southern part of Egypt and northern Sudan, the ancient civilization of Meroe developed and flourished for nearly a thousand years. The rise of Meroe to prominence was a progressive event dating effectively from about the sixth century b.c.e. until the fourth century c.e. The area was closely connected with Ancient Egypt and was, in fact, by 1500b.c.e. under Egyptian rule This lasted for about five hundred years during which Meroe passed through a process of copying and adopting Egyptian religion and art However during the period of Egyptian decline the founders of Meroe who had initially been the rulers of the politically independent state ...

Article

Miami  

Daniel Adams

The City of Miami was incorporated on 28 July 1896. In the early twenty-first century Miami was the seat of Miami-Dade County, formerly known as Dade County. Some of the first African Americans who migrated to Miami worked for the Florida East Coast Railway. Others were agricultural workers who moved south to Miami after all crops north of Lake Worth were destroyed by the great winter freeze of 1894–1895. Bahamian immigrants made up a substantial portion of early immigrants to Miami, having fled the Bahamas after the collapse of that nation's economy in the 1880s. By 1896, 40 percent of Miami's black population was Bahamian in origin. Unlike many of their southern U.S. counterparts, Bahamian blacks knew how to grow crops and trees in the rough coral-rock terrain.

Miami s first black neighborhood was Colored Town an area in the city s northwest quadrant officially known as ...