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Emad Abdul-Latif

Egyptian poet, critic, broadcaster, painter, and physician, was born in the al-Hanafy district in Cairo. His father, Muhammad Abu Shadi, was the head of the Egyptian Bar Association and his mother, Amina Naguib, was a poetess. He completed his primary and secondary education in Cairo and was involved in antioccupation activities during his adolescence. He joined the faculty of medicine (named Qasr al-Aini) and then traveled to London in 1912 to complete his studies in medicine at the University of London where he obtained a certificate of honor from Saint George Hospital in 1915. He married a British woman and lived with her in Egypt until her death in 1945. Following his return to Egypt in 1922, he served in many governmental posts in such places as the Ministry of Health and the Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University. In 1946 he immigrated to the United States ...

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Robert D. Young

Arab-born Egyptian poet and calligrapher of the Ayyubid period, was born 27/28 February 1186 in Mecca. He is also known as al-Bahaʾ Zuhayr. He moved to Qus, in upper Egypt, at a young age. Zuhayr’s later diwans (a Persian term meaning “collection of poems”) indicate some recollection of his time in Mecca; he likely moved to Qus when he became old enough to attend school. Qus was then a center of Islamic learning and culture. Zuhayr studied the Qurʾan and Islamic literature but was most enthused by poetry. Zuhayr made friends with another poet and quoted substantially from the “ancient” poets such as Imru al-Qays (c. 501–544), some of whom were pre-Islamic.

Despite a fascination with poetry Zuhayr also cultivated his position among the political elite He dedicated his first praise poem to the governor of Qus Zuhayr did not stop with the locals traveling to places such as Damascus ...

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Jennifer Carolina Gómez Menjívar

was born in Bluefields, Nicaragua, to a working-class family. The youngest of eleven children, she was a self-taught painter who began her career painting free portraits before becoming one of Nicaragua’s most renowned artists. Her paintings depicted the landscapes and people of that country’s Atlantic Coast, a historically marginalized region.

Beer is the only painter from Bluefields to have received national and international attention for her artwork. The city was a major port during the colonial period, when it was the capital of the British Protectorate of the Mosquito Coast. It was incorporated into Nicaragua in 1894, though it remained largely forgotten and ignored until the late twentieth century. Thus its primarily Afro-descendant and Afro-indigenous population remained economically and politically disenfranchised throughout its history. It was in this context that Beer raised four children as a single mother.

Beer began painting during a two year stay in the United ...

Article

Theresa Leininger-Miller

writer and artist, was born in Giddings, Texas, the daughter of Joshua Robin Bennett and Mayme F. Abernathy, teachers on an Indian reservation. In 1906 the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Gwendolyn's father studied law and her mother worked as a manicurist and hairdresser. When her parents divorced, her mother won custody, but her father kidnapped the seven-year-old Gwendolyn. The two, with Gwendolyn's stepmother, lived in hiding in various towns along the East Coast and in Pennsylvania before finally settling in New York.

At Brooklyn's Girls' High (1918–1921) Bennett participated in the drama and literary societies—the first African American to do so—and won first place in an art contest. She attended fine arts classes at Columbia University (1921) and the Pratt Institute, from which she graduated in 1924 While she was still an undergraduate her poems Nocturne and Heritage were published in ...

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Sandra Y. Govan

Although she never collected her published poetry into a volume nor produced a collection of short stories, Gwendolyn Bennett was recognized as a versatile artist and significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

Torn between her ambition to work as a graphic artist and her desire to become a proficient writer using the medium of either poetry or prose, Bennett maintained the profile of an arts activist in New York City's African American arts community for over twenty years. However, the five-year period spanning 1923 to 1928 proved to be the most productive for her as a creative writer. It was within this brief span that James Weldon Johnson recognized Bennett as a lyric poet of some power.

Born in Giddings, Texas, Bennett led a nomadic childhood before her father, Joshua Robbin Bennett finally settled his family into comfortable surroundings in Brooklyn New York Bennett completed her secondary education at ...

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Theresa Leininger-Miller

Bennett, Gwendolyn (08 July 1902–30 May 1981), writer and artist, was born in Giddings, Texas, the daughter of Joshua Robin Bennett and Mayme F. Abernathy, teachers on a Native American reservation. In 1906 the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Bennett’s father studied law and her mother worked as a manicurist and hairdresser. Her parents divorced and her mother won custody, but her father kidnapped the seven-year-old Gwendolyn. The two, with her stepmother, lived in hiding in various towns along the East Coast and in Pennsylvania before finally settling in New York.

At Brooklyn s Girls High 1918 1921 Bennett participated in the drama and literary societies the first African American to do so and won first place in an art contest She next attended fine arts classes at Columbia University 1921 and the Pratt Institute from which she graduated in 1924 While she was still an ...

Article

Maud C. Mundava

poet, artist, illustrator, teacher, and journalist. (Some of her works appear under Gwendolyn Bennett Jackson and Gwendolyn Bennett Crosscup.) Bennett was the daughter of Joshua R. Bennett and Mayme F. Abernathy, teachers on a Nevada Native American reservation. She was born in Giddings, Texas, and later lived in Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York. When Bennett's parents divorced, she moved to New York with her stepmother and father. She was married to Alfred Jackson, a physician (1928) and then to Richard Crosscup, a teacher (1941). She had no children.

As an African American poet, artist, illustrator, teacher, and journalist, Bennett contributed significantly to the Harlem Renaissance (an African American artistic movement) and to U.S. history and culture. She attended fine arts classes at Columbia University (1921), at Pratt Institute (1924 and in France ...

Article

Christopher Campbell

London‐born poet, printer, visionary, and ‘prophet against empire’. Over the course of his lifetime Blake confronted the horrors of slavery through his literary and pictorial art. He was able both to counter pro‐slavery propaganda and to complicate typical abolitionist verse and sentiment with a profound and unique exploration of the effects of enslavement and the varied processes of empire.

Blake's poem ‘The Little Black Boy’ from Songs of Innocence (1789 examines the mind forg d manacles of racial constructions in the minds of individuals both in the poem itself in the form of the black child and his white counterpart and also in the minds of those involved in the political dispute over abolition Seeming to explain a desire for racial acceptance and spiritual purity through assimilation into white British society and seeming also to be endorsing conventional assumptions of white racial superiority the poem ...

Article

Kennedy A. Walibora Waliaula

South African painter, writer, poet, and antiapartheid activist, was born in Bonnievale in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The third-born child in a family of five (four sons, and one daughter), Breytenbach was a twin, although his twin died at infancy. The Breytenbachs descended from the lineage of one Coenrad Breytenbach, a military officer of lower rank who arrived in South Africa from Europe in 1656 It is unclear whether Coenrad Breytenbach was Dutch or whether he had other European origins On the maternal side Breyten Breytenbach descended from the Cloetes of France However he would often downplay his European origins stressing instead his ties to Africa Two of his brothers were prominent figures in South Africa and had strong associations with the apartheid system Jan was a senior military officer while Cloete was a famous photojournalist Breytenbach s opposition to apartheid and Afrikanerdom made him something of a ...

Article

Richard A. Long

Margaret Burroughs was born in St. Rose, Louisiana, near New Orleans, but was brought at the age of five by her parents, Alexander and Octavia Pierre Taylor, to Chicago where she grew up, was educated, and where her distinctive career has unfolded. She attended the public schools of Chicago, including the Chicago Teacher's College. In 1946, she received a BA in education and in 1948, an MA in education from the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1940 to 1968 she was a teacher in the Chicago public schools and subsequently a professor of humanities at Kennedy-King College in Chicago (1969–1979).

Burroughs has a national reputation as a visual artist and as an arts organizer. Her long exhibition record as a painter and printmaker began in 1949 and included exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad A retrospective of her work was held in Chicago ...

Article

LaNesha NeGale DeBardelaben

artist, educator, and museum founder, was born Margaret Victoria Taylor in St. Rose, Louisiana, the youngest of three daughters of Christopher Alexander Taylor, a farmer, and Octavia Pierre Taylor, a domestic worker and schoolteacher. As a small child Margaret Taylor learned that her great-grandmother had been enslaved. Taylor and her two sisters were enamored by the stories told to them about their Creole, white, and African heritage by their French-speaking Creole grandmother. When the five-year-old Taylor moved to Chicago with her family and many other North-migrating African Americans, she took with her an appreciation for the enriched oral tradition common to her beloved St. Rose community.

In Chicago the young Taylor adjusted to life in a northern city While in the South Taylor s mother had taught in a one room schoolhouse with little or no classroom supplies in Chicago Taylor attended a school that had many classrooms ...

Article

Pauline de Souza

was born on 26 December 1936 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to Georges Castera, a doctor, and Irene Aubry. At a young age, he started to write, and his work began to appear in the Port-au-Prince newspapers, including a September 1956 piece in the Haitian Herald. While still in Haiti, he met and was influenced by other writers, including Rene Belena, Jacques Stéphen Alexis, Félix Morisseau-Leroy, Paul Laraque, Anthony Lespes, Frederic Marcelin, and his brother. Castera also had an interest in illustration and painting, and was influenced by artists living in Haiti, such as Bernard Wah, Herve Telemaque, Jacques Gabriel, Dieudonne, Roland Dorcely, and Max Pinchinat. As Castera’s career progressed, he continued to maintain his interests in both writing and illustration. He has produced work in French, Spanish English, and Haitian Creole, the language of the common people.

In 1956 Castera left Haiti for Spain where he started to study ...

Article

Joëlle Vitiello

Georges Castera became interested in literature first in Haiti, then in high school in Montpellier, France, where he discovered the surrealists and the Négritude poets. It was during his stay in France that he also began to draw. Upon returning to Haiti, encouraged by Paul Laraque, he began to write in Creole. Castera has spent more than twenty years outside Haiti, mostly in Spain and the United States. He has always remained firmly connected to a popular imagination, both Haitian and international.

One of the best known Haitian poets Castera does not see himself as part of the artistic establishment despite his strong influence on the younger generation of poets Poetry is for him a fundamentally revolutionary act Writing in Creole implies an engagement in social and political issues as well as a reflection on the creative process Some of his poems parody the speeches of military leaders ...

Article

Ginette Curry

sculptor, poet, novelist, and painter, was born Barbara Chase in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the only daughter of Charles Edward Chase, a contractor, and Vivian May West, a medical technician. Chase grew up in a nurturing middle-class environment and took dance lessons at the age of five, piano lessons at six, and art lessons at seven. In 1946 she enrolled at the Fletcher Memorial Art School in Philadelphia, where she received her first art prize for creating a small Greek vase. She flourished intellectually and was admitted to the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, where she studied dance with Marion Cuyjet, a master ballet teacher. She also attended Philadelphia's Academy of Music. At eleven years old, she began writing poetry and enrolled at the Philadelphia High School for Girls. In 1954 she won the National Scholastic Art Contest For the first time she exhibited her prints at the ACA ...

Article

Australia Tarver

As a visual artist and writer Barbara Dewayne Chase-Riboud (D'ashnash Tosi) blends African worlds with European, Asian, and Muslim worlds. Embracing differences is central to her idea of coupling or combining opposites. Chase-Riboud was born in Philadelphia to parents who encouraged her talents in the arts. With their support, her interest in the visual arts grew. She received a BFA from Temple University (1957). In the same year she was awarded a John Hay Whitney Fellowship to study art in Rome. Returning to the United States, Chase-Riboud completed an MFA at Yale (1960). From 1957 to 1977 Chase-Riboud exhibited widely in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States. Although she is not an expatriate, Chase-Riboud lives with her second husband, Sergio Tosi, in Paris and Rome.

Her world travels with her first husband photojournalist Marc Riboud during the 1960s inspired Chase Riboud s ...

Article

Jennifer Jensen Wallach

sculptor, poet, and novelist. Barbara Chase-Riboud was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and received a BFA from Temple University in 1957 and an MFA from Yale University in 1960. In 1957 she received a John Hay Whitney Foundation fellowship, which allowed her to study in Rome and Egypt. In 1961 she married the French photojournalist Marc Riboud and moved to Paris permanently.

Chase-Riboud's sculpture is characterized by bronze shapes combined with silk and wool fabrics, and it exhibits African and Asian influences. Her sculpture is housed among the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Chase-Riboud is a poet and a novelist as well as a sculptor. In 1974 she published her first volume of poetry, From Memphis to Peking, which was edited by Toni Morrison ...

Article

Lisa Clayton Robinson

The daughter of Vivian and Charles Chase, Barbara Chase-Riboud was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She won her first art prize at age eight. At age fifteen she won a Seventeen magazine award, and her prizewinning print was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1957 and spent the next year in Italy and Egypt on a John Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1960.

In 1961 Chase Riboud married a French photojournalist and she traveled with him throughout Europe Asia and Africa Her drawings and sculpture began to include significant African and Asian influences She was also influenced by struggles for civil rights and freedom in the United States and Africa By the late 1960s ...

Article

Robyn McGee

of Cuban descent, was born in the Bronx, New York, to parents whose names are unknown. Cruz's work encompassed a variety of influences, including Latin American, African, Egyptian, and Native American art. Cruz's dream‐like images in an array of dazzling colors, shapes, and movement, reflect his absorption of the Abstract Expressionist painters of American modernism. His canvases fused bold primary colors to create figurations, both animal and human, sometimes depicting distortions of violent and destructive behaviors. Through pen and brush, Cruz created a legacy of art with unique designs, historical significance and cultural awareness.

As a young man, Cruz studied art at the Art Students League and the New School for Social Research in New York, the Seong Moy in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the University of Louisville in Kentucky, and the New School for Social Research, New York. The year 1957 was a pivotal one in Cruz s life and ...

Article

Elizabeth Kuebler-Wolf

typesetter, potter, and poet, was born and lived his entire life in and around Edgefield, South Carolina, an important center for pottery production in the nineteenth century. Dave's parents were slaves belonging to Samuel Landrum, a Scottish immigrant who had moved his family and slaves to Edgefield, South Carolina, in 1773. The outlines of Dave's life story can be traced through the business activities and legal papers of his various owners, oral history from Edgefield, and Dave's own pottery upon which he inscribed sayings, verses, and dates.

After moving to Edgefield the Landrum family became involved in the making of pottery and other entrepreneurial enterprises. Amos and Abner Landrum, sons of Samuel, became partners with a third man, Harvey Drake, in a pottery concern. Dave first appears in the legal record in a 13 June 1818 mortgage agreement between Harvey Drake and Eldrid Simkins both ...

Article

Rodney Saint-Eloi

was born Villard Denis in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 2 December 1940. His father, Aristhène Denis, a maître d’hôtel, and his mother, Jeanne Féquière, married in 1933. He was the youngest of four children: William, Raymonde, Daniel, and Villard. Denis experienced a childhood marked by poverty and prejudice relating to his skin color. The poem “Pétion-ville en noir et blanc” recalls the painful memories of his childhood.

At a young age, Denis learned to speak French fluently from a Guadeloupean woman who boarded at his parents’ home from 1939 to 1945, and who was affectionately referred to as Grandma Alice. As a youth, he was introduced to drawing, and he discovered a French literature textbook in which he passionately read the classics, learning to recite François Villon and Joachim du Bellay by heart. Denis pursued secondary school and attended the Centre de Céramique de l’Éducation Nationale. In 1954 ...