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Paul K. Sutton

was born on 23 September 1949 in Pointe-a-Pierre, Trinidad, the second of six children. Her father, Roy, was an estate security officer and jazz musician who emigrated to England when she was 8. Floella followed two years later to join the family in London where her father had found work as a garage mechanic. In later years she spoke of the difficulties she had in adjusting to life in London, including racism, which were chronicled in her autobiographical children’s book Coming to England (1995). This was adapted for a BBC television program, which won a Royal Television Society award in 2004.

Benjamin left school at the age of 16 to work as a clerk in Barclays Bank. In 1973 she won a part in Hair, a successful musical, and so began a theatrical career. Appearances in the London West End musicals Jesus Christ Superstar and The ...

Article

Roanne Edwards

Best known for his weekly Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television show Tony Brown's Journal, Tony Brown has become a controversial figure in the landscape of American race relations. Although once active in the Civil Rights Movement, he has criticized present-day black activists for prioritizing civil rights at the expense of black business initiatives and education programs in computer technologies. He advocates black economic self-sufficiency and has consistently opposed welfare as well as Affirmative Action policies that he believes mainly benefit middle-class blacks. “If America were capitalist,” said Brown in an interview with Matthew Robinson of Business Daily, “it could not be racist. Racism is flourishing because we are awash in socialistic controls.”

Born in Charleston, West Virginia, Brown was reared by two domestic workers, Elizabeth Sanford and Mabel Holmes who informally adopted him at the age of two months after his father deserted the family ...

Article

Patit Paban Mishra

academician, businessperson, author, talk-show host, and journalist. The fifth son of Royal Brown and Katherine Davis Brown, William Anthony Brown was born in Charleston, West Virginia. The marriage of his parents broke down in the racist environment of Charleston. His father was a light-skinned person, whereas his mother was of dark color. For several years he was raised by a foster family, Elizabeth Sanford and Mabel Holmes, before he was reunited with his mother and three siblings. Brown had a turbulent childhood, but by sheer determination, perseverance, and hard work along with the support of his foster parents and several school teachers, he rose in life—primarily through education. After high school he attended Wayne State University in Detroit, where he earned a BA in sociology (1959) and an MSW in psychiatric social work (1961).

After graduation Brown obtained a ...

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David Michel

educator and school administrator, was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, to James Edward and Mazy (Brooks) Mallory. Arenia and her older brother, Edward, were the only two children of this couple, although James Mallory had another daughter from a previous marriage. Mallory was raised in Jacksonville and attended local high school and Newton Baton College. The Mallorys were musical entertainers and their daughter learned how to play the piano and prepared to be a concert pianist at the Whipple Academy of Music (1918–1922) in Jacksonville. Mallory was saved at age sixteen while attending a local revival sponsored by the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), also called the Sanctified Church, in 1920 Her decision to join the Sanctified Church mostly composed of poor and uneducated people vexed her mother who told her to choose between her and the COGIC Mallory chose to leave home and told ...

Article

Ismael Silva was born in Niterói, a city across Guanabara Bay from Rio De Janeiro. An early sambista (samba musician), Silva was instrumental in the founding of Deixa Falar, one of the first Samba Schools in Brazil. Together with other samba artists—Bide, Nilton Bastos, and Armando Marcal—he helped plant the seed for Brazil's fledgling Escola de Samba (samba school) system. These four legendary musicians are often referred to as the Turma do Estácio (the Estácio Gang), Estácio being a neighborhhood in Rio de Janeiro. Originally, their “school” was more of a music-making club than place of instruction. In fact, it was called a school only because it happened to be situated across the street from a neighborhood grammar school.

In 1929, Ismael Silva and the other members of Deixa Falar were among the first blacks to formally participate in Carnival Previously ...