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Mariana Dantas

liberto (freed person) gold miner, farmer, and field commander of the pardo (mixed-raced) militia of Sabará, in the Portuguese colonial captaincy of Minas Gerais. Brazi, was born in Passagem de Mariana in the mineral-rich interior of southeastern Brazil. His father, Jacinto Vieira da Costa (?–1760), was a wealthy Portuguese miner from Braga; his mother, Inácia, was a Yoruba-speaking West African slave. Antônio assumed control of the family estate after his father’s death in 1760, becoming himself a wealthy man. An officer in the local militia, Antônio rose to the highest rank of field commander in the early 1780s. Yet while his father had been field commander of the white militia, Antônio served in the pardo militia. An example of socioeconomic mobility among persons of mixed European and African descent in colonial Brazil, his story also illustrates how colonial institutions categorized and interacted with African descendants.

Costa was ...

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Emmanuel Asiedu-Acquah

Ghanaian gold miner and business executive, was born in Kibi, a town in the Eastern Region of the Gold Coast (present-day Ghana), on 19 November 1949. His father, Thomas Jonah, was a veteran of the Second World War who had started his own construction business by the time Sam was born. His mother, Beatrice Sampson, was a housewife who sold homemade goods on the side. One of seven siblings and two cousins in the Jonah household, Jonah grew up in the mining town of Obuasi, where his father had relocated as a subcontractor for the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation (AGC/Ashanti Goldfields) in 1950. Sam Jonah received his secondary school education at the prestigious Adisadel College in Cape Coast between 1962 and 1969. After working for about a year as a laborer at the Ashanti Goldfields in 1969 he went on to study mine engineering at the Camborne ...