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José Antonio Fernández Molina

was born in Cartago, Costa Rica. He amassed the nation’s largest fortune during the first half of the nineteenth century and served in several political posts. Aguilar Cubero was identified as mulatto when he was baptized and was the great-grandchild of a mulatto slave woman. His grandfather and father were involved in businesses such as cacao production in the Caribbean coast and trade with Nicaragua. Immediately after independence in 1821, ethnic categories, which were an integral part of the colonial social hierarchy imposed by Spanish rule, were abolished and legally forbidden in the new Federal Republic of Central America, which encompassed Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua for two decades.

It was within this new framework that Aguilar Cubero became an important coffee producer and trader serving as the intermediary between local coffee producers and foreign markets According to family tradition he learned to write while working ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

politician, business leader, and historian, was born in the late nineteenth century in Burundi. He belonged to the Batare royal family that had controlled Burundi prior to the entrance of German military officers in the 1890s. He originally came from southern Burundi as his father was a chief in the Vyanda region not far from the town of Bururi. He received a primary education at a German school at Gitega. After the Belgian government took over Burundi following World War I, Baranyanka became one of the most fervent supporters of the new administration in the entire colony. He was a firm supporter of Catholic missions and the development of cash-crop production. Baranyanka converted to Catholicism after undertaking instruction for four years. He established an extremely large coffee business that consisted of thirty-five thousand coffee bushes by 1935. A young Belgian tourist in 1949 expressed the views of most ...

Article

Leyla Keough

Benedetto, or as he became known, Saint Benedict the Moor, was born in San Fratello, on the Italian island of Sicily, to Christopher and Diane Manasseri. His parents had been transported as slaves from Africa to Sicily, where they converted to Christianity. Benedetto worked on a farm until he gained his freedom as a teen.

Benedetto continued to work as a laborer. Sharing his wages with the poor and healing the sick, he became known as “the black saint.” He joined a group of hermits who chose Benedetto as their leader. In 1562 he became a lay brother. Stories began to circulate about his saintliness and miraculous deeds; he is said to have resurrected a young boy. Church accounts report that people of all classes in Sicily sought his prayers and his counsel. In 1578 though he was neither a priest nor literate he was chosen to lead a ...

Article

Gillian Whitlock

the Danish writer also known as Isak Dinesen, who lived in British East Africa (present-day Kenya), was born Karen Dinesen at Rungstedlund, Denmark, on 17 April 1885. Her father, Wilhelm Dinesen, was a military officer, landowner, and Member of Parliament; the Dinesens were an ancient Danish family of landed gentry. Her mother, Ingeborg Westenholtz, was the eldest daughter of the wealthy businessman and finance minister Regnar Westenholtz. Following the suicide of Wilhelm Dinesen in 1895, Ingeborg Dinesen raised her three daughters and two sons in a maternal household, where Karen was known as “Tanne.” As a young woman, Karen Blixen attended art school, mastered several European languages, frequented the aristocratic circles of upper-class young people in Denmark, and began to publish short stories in Danish periodicals in 1907 under the pseudonym Osceola None of these early stories attracted particular attention and she felt discouraged as a writer ...

Article

María de Lourdes Ghidoli

a celebrated chef in Buenos Aires during the early decades of the twentieth century, was born in the province of Corrientes in 1875. The details surrounding his family are unknown, except that his great-grandson Horacio Gonzaga also dedicated himself to cooking. Antonio Gonzaga wrote various cookbooks in which he revived rural cooking traditions and as a result became a well-known author.

Records suggest that Gonzaga’s career as a chef began during his naval service in the last decade of the nineteenth century. On the front jacket of his books, Gonzaga offered one small paragraph that outlined his career as a chef. According to it, his endeavors in the field of gastronomy commenced in 1891. Later, he worked as the head of the kitchen on the maiden voyage of the training ship Fragata Sarmiento between January 1899 and September 1900. In 1901 he was part of the ...

Article

Luis Gómez-Acuña

was born in Lima, Peru, on 10 March 1934. Her mother, an immigrant from a southern coastal town called San Luis de Cañete who worked in Lima as a chef, taught Teresa how to cook. However, her mother did not want Teresa to spend her life in a kitchen; instead, she pushed her to obtain a professional degree. Teresa decided to become a midwife but quit after only a few classes.

Teresa Izquierdo dedicated the rest of her life to cooking. During the 1960s, she began to sell food in Lima during cockfight and bullfighting sessions, when attendees would consume what is known as comida criolla, a mix of pre-Columbian and Hispanic ingredients. Some of the criollo dishes that Izquierdo offered had been created in colonial times, such as anticucho, composed of small pieces of grilled skewered meat (beef heart) that is served with boiled potatoes.

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Article

was born Lois Cecilia Carby in Kingston, Jamaica, to Cecil Carby, a civil servant, and Yvette Robin Carby, a housewife. Lake-Sherwood attended St. Andrew High School for Girls in Kingston and in the late 1940s and early 1950s studied French and art in Haiti, and art at the Instituto Allende San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She also participated in several art workshops at the Pastel Society of New York City and Phoenix.

Her business career began in 1953 as co-owner of Grace Furniture Store on Orange Street, Kingston, and in 1966 she opened Mahogany House, the first antique shop in Jamaica, with her husband, Rodwell A. Lake. The couple would have three children— Richard, Michael, and Ann Lake—before they divorced. She subsequently married Kenneth N. Sherwood. In an interview with the Sunday Gleaner Magazine in 1969 she briefly stated why she undertook the Mahogany House venture She said with ...

Article

Nazneen Ahmed

Left‐winger for Plymouth Argyle Football Club and one of the first prominent black footballers in the English League, rumoured to have been recommended to England selectors. Leslie's football career began at his local club, Barking Football Club. He was 20 years old when he was spotted and signed by Plymouth Argyle's manager Robert Jack. In his first season at Argyle between 1921 and 1922 he played in nine games. During the 1924–5 season he became a regular player, missing only two League fixtures and scoring 40 goals. His partnership with Sam Black from 1924 onwards proved a huge success. His last match for Argyle came in 1934 after an Argyle career that spanned 400 League and FA appearances and 134 goals Leslie and Black were famous nationwide for being one of the country s finest left flanking partnerships However only one of the two left wingers was eligible ...

Article

Robert Maxon

Kenyan herbalist, cook, farmer, and the paternal grandfather of US President Barack Obama, was born in Kanyadhiang near Kendu Bay on Lake Victoria in what is now Rachuonyo District in Kenya’s Nyanza Province. Onyango’s grandfather, Opiyo, had moved to the Kendu Bay region from Alego, north of the Nyanza Gulf, earlier in the nineteenth century in search of more and better land than was available to the family in Alego.

From an early age Onyango was characterized by a seriousness of purpose and a wanderlust His wandering off on his own and desire to learn led to study with specialists to become an herbalist Onyango s curiosity and thirst for knowledge also led him to leave his home for the port town of Kisumu Colonial rule was not established in the Kendu Bay area until some five years after the transfer of Nyanza Province from Uganda to the East Africa ...

Article

Carmen De Michele

Nigerian soccer player known as Jay-Jay, was born in Enugu in the Nigerian Delta State Ogwashi on 14 August 1973. He became famous for his mesmerizing dribbling and spectacular goals as well as for his sometimes mercurial temper. Immediately after finishing his secondary school education, the seventeen-year-old Okocha joined the local side Enugu Rangers in 1990 but only stayed with them for seven months He quit the team even before the end of the season and moved to Germany where he had a trial run with Borussia Neunkirchen a third division German soccer club based in Saarland Soon after his arrival the teenage Okocha impressed the German fans with his audacious play Dragoslav Stepanovic the coach of a rival team Eintracht Trier noticed Okocha s talent and took the young player with him when he was appointed coach of Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga Okocha debuted for ...

Article

Vincent Carretta

author, is now best known for the posthumously published two-volume Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, an African (London, 1782), edited by Frances Crewe, one of his younger correspondents. Virtually the only source of information about the first thirty years of Sancho’s life is Joseph Jekyll’s anonymously published biographical preface to the Letters According to Jekyll Sancho was born on a slave ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the Spanish colony of New Granada present day Colombia Jekyll reports that the bishop of Granada baptized him naming him Ignatius Shortly thereafter his mother died of disease and his father committed suicide rather than endure slavery The unnamed owner of the orphan brought him to England when he was two years old and gave him to three unmarried sisters in Greenwich They surnamed him Sancho because they thought that the pudgy toddler resembled the fictional Don Quixote s ...

Article

David Dabydeen

Africanwriter whose letters, published posthumously in 1782, became best‐seller, attracting 1,181 subscribers including the Prime Minister, Lord North.

Sancho was born on board a slave ship en route to the West Indies. His mother died soon after, of a tropical disease, and his father chose to commit suicide rather than endure slavery. Sancho was brought to England by his master, at the age of 2 or 3, and given to three maiden sisters living in Greenwich. The sisters named him Sancho, thinking he resembled Don Quixote's squire. They kept him in ignorance, not teaching him to read or write. He was rescued by the Duke of Montagu who lived nearby in Blackheath The Duke encountering the boy by accident took a liking to his frankness of manner and frequently took him home where the Duchess introduced him to the world of books and of high culture He ...

Article

Leyla Keough

Ignatius Sancho was born on a slave ship en route to the West Indies; both of his parents died during the journey, casualties of the Middle Passage. Never having lived in Africa, Sancho was in many ways a product of Western civilization. His letters, written between 1768 and 1780, and published posthumously in 1782, proved to the English public that an African could not only master the language and literature of England but become a discriminating reader and a discerning critic.

Upon arriving in Britain, Sancho was bought by three sisters in Greenwich who treated him poorly and denied him education. But the sisters' neighbors, the Duke and Duchess of Montague, were impressed by Sancho's curiosity about books and his quick mind and secretly lent him materials to read. In 1749 when the sisters threatened to sell him into American slavery Sancho fled to the ...