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Jeremy Rich

medical doctor and playwright in Sierra Leone, was born on 15 January 1913 in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. The Easmon family was prominent among the Freetown elite and was descended from the black American and Canadian settlers who moved from Nova Scotia to Freetown in 1792, only five years after the foundation of this small British colony. His father, H. C. F. Easmon, was one of the most highly regarded African doctors in Sierra Leone, and his paternal grandfather, James Farrell Easmon, was one of the first Africans to work as a Western-trained doctor in Sierra Leone and Ghana. Easmon recalled how hard his father struggled to battle the influenza epidemic that ravaged Freetown in 1918 and 1919 He recalled in the 1980s Father had literally to doctor the whole city Easmon was educated at the Prince of Wales secondary school in Freetown before he moved ...

Article

Elisabeth Bekers

Egyptian feminist, physician, fiction writer, and political activist, was born in the village of Kafr Tahla, near Cairo, Egypt, on 27 October 1931. She was the second of nine children born to al-Sayed El Saadawi (1897–1959), a peasant family’s son who became an inspector in the Ministry of Education, and Zayneb Hanem Shoukry (1913–1958), daughter of an impoverished feudal family descending from Grand Vizier Talaʿat Pacha of Istanbul. Both of her parents were anxious to have their daughters as well as their sons educated. Nawal El Saadawi began her schooling at Muharram Bey Girls’ School in Alexandria, where the family briefly lived until al-Sayed was transferred to the small district town of Menouf in the Nile Delta in punishment for his participation in anti-British and antiroyal demonstrations. From 1938 until 1948 the El Saadawis remained in Menouf where Nawal attended the English primary school Despite his aversion to ...

Article

Michael Maiwald

Rudolph Fisher was born in Washington, D.C., the son of John Wesley Fisher, a clergyman, and Glendora Williamson. Fisher was raised in Providence, Rhode Island, and in 1919 received his B.A. from Brown University, where he studied both English and biology. Fisher's dual interests, literature and science, were reflected in his achievements at Brown, where he won numerous oratorical contests and was granted departmental honors in biology; the following year he received an M.A. in biology. In 1920 Fisher returned to Washington to attend Howard University Medical School. He graduated with highest honors in June 1924 and interned at Washington's Freedmen's Hospital. Later that year Fisher married Jane Ryder, a local teacher, with whom he had one son.

When Fisher moved to New York in 1925 he made rapid advances in both of his careers as a doctor and a writer As a bright ...

Article

Michael Maiwald

author and physician, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of John Wesley Fisher, a clergyman, and Glendora Williamson. Fisher was raised in Providence, Rhode Island, and in 1919 received his BA from Brown University, where he studied both English and biology. Fisher's dual interests, literature and science, were reflected in his achievements at Brown, where he won numerous oratorical contests and was granted departmental honors in biology; the following year he received an MA in Biology. In 1920 Fisher returned to Washington to attend Howard University Medical School. He graduated with highest honors in June 1924 and interned at Washington's Freedman's Hospital. Later that year Fisher married Jane Ryder, a local teacher, with whom he had one son.

When Fisher moved to New York in 1925 he made rapid advances in his careers as a doctor and a writer A bright young physician Fisher ...

Article

John McCluskey

In his short stories and two published novels Rudolph Fisher was concerned with the development of an urban community with few models to guide it. This was a community that, jazzlike, had to improvise against the history of the rural South and creeping disillusionment with the urban North.

Rudolph John Chauncey Fisher was born 9 May 1897 in Washington, D.C., to the Reverend John W. and Glendora Williamson Fisher. Fisher was the youngest of three children, with an older brother, Joseph, and an older sister, Pearl. In 1903 the family moved to New York, but by 1905 they had resettled in Providence, Rhode Island. Rudolph Fisher attended public schools in Providence and graduated from Classical High School with high honors. By the end of senior year, his interest in both literature and science was established. This was evident throughout his undergraduate career at Brown University (1915 ...

Article

A. B. Christa Schwarz

writer and doctor. Moving to Harlem in the mid-1920s, Rudolph John Chauncey Fisher arrived exactly when the Harlem Renaissance, the first African American cultural movement, began to flourish. Born in Washington, D.C., the son of Glendora Williamson Fisher and John W. Fisher, a Baptist minister, he succeeded in combining a medical with a literary career. Fisher's best-known short story, “The City of Refuge,” which he created while studying at Howard University Medical School (1920–1924), was published in the prestigious white journal the Atlantic Monthly in 1925. The same year Fisher followed the call of leading Harlem Renaissance figures to come to Harlem, where he began to work as an X-ray specialist and ventured on a short-lived but prolific writing career, which saw him turn into one of the most popular writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

Desiring to act as a literary interpreter of Harlem Fisher ...

Article

Candace M. Keller

Malian government minister, physician, novelist, poet, and political activist, was born in Koulikoro, Mali. By 1936 Gologo had entered the École Régionale de Bamako in the capital city and, at the age of fourteen, had enrolled at the famous high school École Terrasson de Fougères. In 1941 he moved to Senegal to continue his education at the École Normale William Ponty. Seven years later he was conscripted into the Tirailleurs Sénégalais and received his doctoral degree in medicine from the École de Médecine de Dakar. The following year he was released from military service to practice medicine for the administration in Mali—first in Bamako and later in Kati, Sikasso, Douentza, and Gourma-Rharous.

In 1953 Gologo was employed as a physician for the Office du Niger While there he organized workers to join labor unions under the Union Soudanais US a branch of the pan French West African political organ ...

Article

Justin David Gifford

forensic psychiatrist, novelist, and filmmaker, was born in Washington, D.C., to Devonia Jefferson, a teacher and playwright, and Bernard Jefferson, a judge. At an early age, Jefferson moved with his family to Los Angeles where he attended integrated public schools. Raised in a family that discouraged him from pursing a career as a writer, Jefferson studied anthropology in college, earning his BA from the University of Southern California in 1961. In 1965 Jefferson earned his MD from Howard University and became a practicing physician in Los Angeles. In 1966, he married a teacher named Melanie L. Moore, with whom he would eventually have four children, Roland Jr., Rodney, Shannon, and Royce. Between 1969 and 1971 he served as a captain and psychiatrist at Lockborne Air Force Base in Columbus Ohio It was during this time that he ...

Article

Emily A. Teitsworth

social psychologist, writer, and administrator, was born Florence Cawthorne in Washington, D.C. to William Cawthorne Jr., a clerk for the board of education, and Eleanor Willis Cawthorne a special education teacher Ladd attended the prestigious Dunbar High School in Washington D C While she was a student there her mother took a course in abnormal psychology Helping her mother type papers for the class was Ladd s first exposure to the study of psychology and influenced the direction of her later academic work Ladd went on to study at Howard University a place well known for its superior psychology program She spent her junior year abroad in France and Switzerland studying psychological testing and sharing the classroom with white students for the first time Her experiences abroad began a lifelong fascination with travel and the American expatriate experience Ladd received a BS in Psychology from ...

Article

Ernest Cole

Gambian writer and medical practitioner, was born Lenrie Wilfred Leopold Peters in Bathurst, now Banjul, on 1 September 1932 He was the third child and first son of Lenrie and Kezia Peters His two older siblings are Bijou Peters Bidwell and Florence Peters Mahoney Lenrie was followed by two other children his younger sister Ruby Peters and brother Dennis Alaba Peters The family history of the Peterses goes beyond the borders of the Gambia As descendants of liberated Africans he could trace his family history to Sierra Leone and the Yoruba culture in Nigeria In his unpublished eulogy for Lenrie Peters Tijan M Sallah traces the Peterses ancestry to the Maxwells who were the first African graduates of Oxford University He adds that T he Maxwells were by all tests Afro Victorians and therefore among Africa s early westernized elites The elder Maxwell was a Sierra Leonean of Yoruba ...

Article

Jennifer Jensen Wallach

novelist, short-story writer, and children's book author. Ann Lane grew up in the white, middle-class town of Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The daughter of a pharmacist, she initially followed in her father's footsteps, earning a degree in pharmacy from the Connecticut College of Pharmacy in 1931 and then working in the family drugstore for seven years. In 1938 she married the writer George Petry and moved to Harlem to pursue a writing career.

In Harlem she worked as a reporter for the Amsterdam News and the People's Voice. She also began volunteering at an after-school program for latchkey children. This exposure to poverty and the difficulties faced by urban black women had a profound influence on her writing.

In the 1940s Petry published several short stories in periodicals including Phylon and The Crisis. A grant from Houghton Mifflin allowed her to write her first novel, The Street ...

Article

Cynthia A. Callahan

author and pharmacist, was born Ann Lane in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The youngest daughter of Peter C. Lane, a pharmacist and proprietor of two drugstores, and Bertha James, a licensed podiatrist, Ann Lane grew up in a financially secure and intellectually stimulating family environment. After graduating from Old Saybrook High School, she studied at the Connecticut College of Pharmacy (now the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy) and earned her graduate in pharmacy degree in 1931 For the next seven years Lane worked as a pharmacist in the family business Her family s long history of personal and professional success served as the foundation for her own professional accomplishments She cherished the family s stories of triumph over racism and credited them with having a message that would help a young black child survive help convince a young black child that black is truly beautiful Petry ...

Article

Hazel Arnett Ervin

Ann Petry was born above her father's drugstore on 12 October 1908 in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. She attended Old Saybrook's public schools, starting at the age of four. In 1931, she earned the PhG degree at the University of Connecticut, and, for more than nine years, worked as a pharmacist in the family-owned drugstores in Old Saybrook and Old Lyme. During these years, she also wrote short stories. These stories remain unpublished.

Following her marriage to George D. Petry in 1938, Ann Petry moved to Harlem, abandoned the family profession, and, for the next eight years, actively pursued a career as a writer. From 1938 to 1941, she worked as a reporter for New York's Amsterdam News. From 1941 to 1944, she was a reporter and also the editor of the woman's page for The People's Voice, where from 1942 to 1943 she ...

Article

James Smethurst

Ann Lane Petry was born and raised in the predominantly white, middle-class community of Saybrook, Connecticut. The daughter of a pharmacist, she worked in her father's drugstore as a teenager and went on to major in pharmacology at the University of Connecticut. After graduating, she worked at and managed the family drugstore in Old Saybrook. Her pharmacological endeavors notwithstanding, Petry wrote short stories while working, none of which have been published. After marrying George Petry, a mystery writer, in 1939, she moved to New York City and dropped pharmacy altogether, choosing instead to develop her career as a writer.

Her first job in New York was at a Harlem newspaper, the Amsterdam News, where she worked for four years. Petry moved on to The Peoples Voice where she wrote a column on Harlem society in the women s section of the paper Her first published work ...

Article

Anne M. Heutsche

Ann Lane Petry was the first African American woman to write a best-selling novel, one that eventually sold more than two million copies. The Street, first published in 1946, demonstrates the power of Petry’s vivid characters and realistic portrayal of life in Harlem in the 1940s. Throughout her life, Petry explored the humanity of individuals through her novels, essays, poetry, and children’s stories.

Ann Lane was born in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The Lane family was one of a handful of African American families in this small New England town. Her father, Peter C. Lane was one of the first registered African American pharmacists in Connecticut and the only one in Old Saybrook Lane came from a long line of pharmacists her grandfather was a chemist and an aunt and uncle both pharmacists helped her father run the family owned pharmacy In spite of several racist threats ...

Article

Kim Miller

Cameroonian nurse, politician, and writer of fiction, was born in Lomie, Cameroon, in 1935. She attended the Douala secondary school for girls until 1955. Tsogo then moved to Toulouse, France, where she earned a nursing diploma. In 1960 she returned to Cameroon where she worked as a nurse in several different hospitals. She has three daughters.

Her medical work coincided with a notable political career, and Tsogo was one of the first African women to reach some of the top positions in politics. She rose to power in large part because of her work in women’s associations and her unwavering commitment to working on women’s issues. In 1964, Tsogo was elected as the national president of the Council of Cameroonian Women, a position she held until 1985. She became a member of Parliament in 1965 and held that position until 1972 She was the first ...