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Alonford James Robinson

George Gordon was born in Jamaica to a black slave and her wealthy white master. His father, Joseph, devoted more time to running his estate and furthering his political career than he did to his colored son. Like most wealthy whites in Jamaica during the 1820s, Joseph Gordon was both a member of Jamaica's exclusive House of Assembly and a custos in Saint Andrew's Parish—the highest administrative official in the local province.

As the illegitimate son of the slave master, George Gordon learned the importance of self-reliance at an early age, even teaching himself how to read and write. Much to his father's surprise, he showed signs of proficiency in accounting at an early age. By age ten he was a skilled bookkeeper, and around this time Joseph Gordon decided to free his son, sending him to live with his godfather, businessman James Daley, in Black River, Jamaica.

With ...

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Theresa A. Hammond

founder of the largest African American-owned certified public accounting firm, was born in Jamaica, West Indies, to Joseph Benjamin, a farmer with a third-grade education, and Edith Maud McCourty, a dressmaker. Mitchell grew up in a rural area in the town of Porus, the oldest of seven children and was the first person in his family to go to high school. He attended Kingston Technical High School and then moved to the United States in 1958 with his family settling in the Bronx Mitchell found a job in an ink factory and soon through a black employment agency he found a bookkeeping position for the Teamsters union downtown near city hall He wanted to further his education so he planned to attend the City College of New York CCNY and take engineering courses at night while working His employer however did not want him to leave ...

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Theresa A. Hammond

cofounder and first president of the National Association of Black Accountants, was born in St. Kitts, West Indies, the youngest of four sons of Reginald Ross, a plantation overseer, and Ruby Swanston, a nurse. When he was nine months old, his father died after a short illness. He and his three brothers moved to Yonkers, New York, in 1950 to live with their aunt and uncle, Annette Swanston, a seamstress, and Henry Phipps, a retired carpenter.

Ross s eighth grade guidance counselor tried to steer him into a trade or commercial high school as she did with other black students including his three brothers but Ross was determined to attend the academic high school with his friends who were mostly white Despite his good school record the white counselor refused to approve the academic high school until in desperation Ross told her that the real reason ...

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Theresa A. Hammond

founder of business schools at Texas Southern and Howard Universities, was born in Paducah, Kentucky, to Jess Wilson, a Pullman porter, and Rhea (Day) Wilson, a teacher. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Paducah.

After high school Wilson attended the University of Illinois where he majored in mathematics His maternal grandparents lived there and in order to pay in state tuition he registered under their address His father had been laid off by the railroad during the Depression and Wilson needed to cut his costs Early in one of his calculus classes the professor asked to speak with him She told him that although he was one of the top three students in the class he would never have the opportunity to work for the large corporations that would recruit his white classmates She suggested that he switch his major to commerce where perhaps his opportunities would ...