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Jeremy Rich

Nigerian educator, civil servant, and women’s rights activist, was born in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, on 17 May 1925. Her family was extremely affluent, as she was the daughter of Sir Adesiji Aderemi (1889–1890), the traditional king of the city of Ile-Ife, one of the most important sacred sites in the spiritual traditions of the Yoruba people. One of her sisters, Awujoola Adesomi Olagbaju, went on to become a schoolteacher and headmaster in her own right.

Alakija received her early education in Nigeria. She attended the Aiyetoro Primary and the Aiyetoro Central Schools in Ile-Ife from 1933 to 1937. She also studied at the Kudeti Primary boarding school in Ibadan for a time. Eventually Alakija moved to England in 1946, where she enrolled in Westfield College at the University of London. She acquired her undergraduate degree in 1950 in history and then proceeded to continue her ...

Article

E. J. Alagoa

Nigerian student leader, teacher, policeman, and revolutionary, was born in the Niger Delta Region community of in Oloibiri, on 10 September 1938. He was the son of Jasper Pepple Boro, a schoolmaster at Kaiama in the Kolokuma-Opokuma district of Bayelsa State in present-day Nigeria. He took the name Adaka, meaning “lion,” when he began his revolutionary campaign to create an independent Niger Delta Republic and secede from Nigeria in 1966. The movement was crushed by the Nigerian armed forces in only twelve days.

Born in Oloibiri, the community near which oil was first discovered and exploited in the Niger Delta, Boro became more and more agitated by the neglect that his Ijaw people (also known as Izon or Ijo) suffered from the federal government of Nigeria after the country gained independence from Britain in 1960 The Izon were possibly the most vociferous group expressing fear of ...

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Cary D. Wintz

law enforcement officer, mayor, cabinet secretary, and professor. Lee Brown is best known as a high-profile law enforcement officer who held the position of chief of police or its equivalent in four major U.S. cities, served in President Bill Clinton's cabinet as drug czar, and was the first black mayor of Houston, Texas.

Lee Patrick Brown was born in Wewoka, Oklahoma, on 4 October 1937 to Andrew and Zelma Brown, who worked as farm laborers. When Brown was five the family moved to Fowler, California, about ten miles south of Fresno. As a child Brown often joined his parents in the fields, picking crops. But he also stayed in school, and he attended Fresno State University on a football scholarship, studying sociology and criminology.

In 1960 one semester before graduation Brown left college and took a job as a patrolman with the San Jose ...

Article

Carroll L. Miller

Ambrose Caliver was born in Saltsville, Virginia, on February 25, 1894, the son of Ambrose and Cora (Saunders) Caliver. His education in the public schools of Virginia and of Knoxville, Tennessee, was followed by collegiate work at Knoxville College, from which he received a B.A. degree in 1915. Five years later, the University of Wisconsin awarded him an M.A. degree, and in 1930 he received a Ph.D. degree from Columbia University.

His professional experience began in 1916, when he became a high school principal in Rockwood, Tennessee, and an assistant principal of Douglass High School in El Paso, Texas. His first appointment in higher education came in 1917 at Fisk University At Fisk Caliver was asked to develop a program of training in manual arts an area in which he had a special interest In his opinion the complete education of the individual involved ...

Article

Lee Jr. Williams

educator, college administrator, and civil servant, was born in Saltville, Virginia, the youngest child of Ambrose Caliver Sr. Little is known about his parents, but very early in his life he and his two siblings moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where they were raised by an aunt, Louisa Bolden. Bolden, a widowed cook who took in boarders to make ends meet, allowed Caliver to accept a job at a very young age. According to one account, the young Caliver was working in a coal mine by the time of his eighth birthday. Early employment, however, did not prevent him from attending school regularly. After receiving an education from Knoxville's public school system, he enrolled at Knoxville College, where he obtained his BA in 1915. He eventually earned an MA from the University of Wisconsin (1920) and a PhD from Columbia University (1930).

After graduating from ...

Article

Britta Behrendt

was born on 4 January 1946 and raised in Curaçao. His father Manuel Caetano do Rego had emigrated in 1938 from the Azores to Curaçao to work for the oil refinery there; he later ran his own business. Do Regos’s mother Johanita Bernadina Laker was a housewife. She had been born out of wedlock to a Curaçaoan mother of African descent and white father who was a landowner. Growing up in a typically Curaçaoan middle-class family with Portuguese influences and receiving a secondary education on the island, do Rego obtained a scholarship to study in the Netherlands, graduating from the University of Nijmegen in 1971 with a degree in human geography. He later received a master’s of business administration at Erasmus University of Rotterdam in 1991. From 1972 to 1992 do Rego worked at the Teachers Training College in Curaçao and became a member of its board of ...

Article

Katya Leney-Hall

Egyptian Nobel Laureate, diplomat, international civil servant, and scholar who served as the director general (DG) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) between 1997 and 2009, was born in Cairo. His father was Mostafa ElBaradei, a lawyer and president of the Egyptian Bar Association, who campaigned for a free press and an independent legal system. ElBaradei studied law at the University of Cairo (1962), and completed his PhD in international law at the New York University School of Law (1974).

ElBaradei joined the Egyptian Diplomatic Service in 1964; his postings included the Egyptian Permanent Missions to the United Nations (UN) in New York and Geneva. Between 1974 and 1978 he served as a special assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister Working under another Egyptian diplomat who would later leave his mark on the UN Boutros Boutros Ghali he attended the Camp David ...

Article

Bahru Zewde

, Ethiopian intellectual, civil servant, political activist, and coup leader, was born in Addis Ababa and educated first at the Teferi Mekonnen School and subsequently at the Haile Selassie I Secondary School (Kotebe), the first secondary school in Ethiopia. He was one of the young Ethiopians sponsored by Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, to pursue higher education in the United States. Thus he acquired his BA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his MA from Columbia University, writing a thesis on “The Impact of White Settlement Policy in Kenya.” His sojourn in New York was to prove important not only in academic terms, but also in imbuing him with a spirit of Pan-Africanism and a lasting concern for social justice.

On his return to Ethiopia Germame joined the civil service as secretary to the Minister of Interior But fired up by the need for reform he started to organize like ...

Article

David H. Anthony

North Carolinapolitical activist, journalist, civil servant, and publicist, was born into slavery in Raleigh, North Carolina, around 1851, the son of enslaved artisan Osborne Hunter and Mary Hunter, also enslaved. From about age four, Charles Hunter was trained to be a house servant in the home of their slave master, William D. Haywood. Somewhat later Hunter became a servant for Richard H. Battle. However, his intimate relationship with the Haywood family remained a feature of his life well after slavery.

When freedom came, Hunter and many fellow former North Carolina slaves faced profound changes. By 1867, young Hunter allied himself with prominent black Union League politicians George W. Brodie and James H. Harris and like them was gradually able to gain clout through affiliation with the Republican Party He worked as a temperance advocate in the late 1860s and ...

Article

Robert Jr. Johnson

astrophysicist, was born in Ore City, Texas. His father, Luther McAfee, was a Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) minister and graduate of Texas College. His mother, Susie (Johnson) McAfee, taught at the Wiley College Normal School, which Walter would attend years later. The family of nine children stayed in the rural community of Upshure County for about three months after Walter's birth before moving to Marshall, Texas.

Walter McAfee graduated with honors from high school and counted his chemistry and physics teacher Freeman Prince Hodge among his earliest influences. In 1930 he received a scholarship to Wiley College, where Charles Anthony McCain (who later taught at Howard University) would be his professor for general physics and sophomore mechanics. It was McCain whom McAfee credited with advising him to choose physics rather than engineering. In 1934, the nineteen-year-old Walter McAfee graduated magna cum laude from Wiley College.

Unable ...

Article

Grant Lilford

Zambian novelist, civil servant, and economist, was born in 1933, in Feira, Mkando, in Zambia, and grew up in the Roman Catholic Church. He attended Katondwe Mission School and Canisius College, Chalimbana, before qualifying as a teacher at Chalimbana Teacher’s College. He then studied economics, history, and English at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

From 1965 Mulaisho served as permanent secretary in the office of the president of Zambia, and then occupied other government posts, including permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education. He moved into the parastatal sector, serving as chairman of the mining industry and general manager of the National Agricultural Marketing Board. From 1971 he was chairman of the Mining Development Corporation (Mindeco), the recently nationalized portion of Zambia’s copper mining industry. He later served as economics advisor to Zambia’s President Kenneth Kaunda. Mulaisho served as governor of the Bank of Zambia from 1992 ...

Article

intellectual and civil servant, was born in 1902 in the Gabonese port of Port-Gentil (then known as Cape Lopez), the second of ten children of Joseph Iquaqua and Adèle Egoni. Both his parents belonged to the small coastal Orungu ethnic community. Ogoula lost his father in 1914. Prosperous Orungu families often sent their children to be educated in the colonial capital of Libreville, where the oldest mission schools were located as well as the first public school in Gabon, the Ecole Urbaine. It would be at the Ecole Urbaine that Ogoula began his education in 1915, at the age of thirteen. He later praised one his teachers, Henri Caillarec, for his willingness to mentor him as a student. Ogoula graduated in 1920 and had hoped to study medicine in Senegal but his mother and his numerous siblings also required help Ultimately the needs of his family ...

Article

David William Cohen

Kenyan politician, was born on 31 March 1931 in Nyahera, Kisumu District, western Kenya. The eldest child of Susan and Erastus Seda, Ouko was educated in local primary schools and became a qualified primary school teacher after attending teacher training college. Through the 1950s, he continued his studies privately and via correspondence schools, and then gained entry to Haile Selassie University, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1958. In 1962, Ouko graduated with a degree in economics, political science, and public administration, and then undertook further studies in diplomacy at Makerere University in Uganda.

In 1963 on the eve of Kenyan independence Ouko joined the colonial civil service as an assistant secretary in the office of the British governor With independence Ouko became one of Prime Minister and President Jomo Kenyatta s first appointees to a senior civil service position that of permanent secretary He played a significant ...

Article

Maxim Zabolotskikh

Ethiopian intellectual, politician, civil servant, diplomat, and writer, was born in June 1884 in Seyya Debr (Shewa, Ethiopia) to a family of Christianized Oromos.

Tekle grew up in his mother’s care until he was five. At the age of six he began to study in a church school. When his elder brother Gebre Sadiq moved to Harar to become a secretary of Ras Mekonnen, Tekle (nine at this time) went with him and continued his education there. He stayed in the household of Ras Mekonnen, where he was raised with other children, among whom was also Teferi (future Emperor Haile Selassie).

When the Italians invaded Ethiopia in 1895, both Tekle and Gebre Sadiq accompanied Ras Mekonnen to the front. Gebre Sadiq was killed, and Ras Mekonnen decided to do something special for his younger brother entrusting him to a member of the Russian Red Cross mission Count ...

Article

Maxim Zabolotskikh

Ethiopian historian and civil servant, was born on 11 September 1913 in the province of Ankober to a family of clergymen. His father, uncles, and grandfather were all regents at the church of Tekle Haymanot in Guala and Tekle Tsadek was thus raised according to Christian tradition. When he was six his father took him to Addis Ababa and let Sebhat, a mentor at the church Gulalie Rufael, teach him. There Tekle Tsadek mastered the first stages of Ethiopian traditional education: he learned Geez, the ancient language of Ethiopian church, and the main aspects of divine service.

The next step for Tekle Tsadek would normally be to go to a school to learn chants and by finishing it gain the right to become a regent himself as many of his relatives were However he was more interested in the new culture brought by Europeans and started to learn French His ...

Article

John Gilmore

Linguisticsscholar and polemicist born in Trinidad, the son of former slaves. Little is known of his early life, but he did well as a pupil at the Woodbrook Normal School (which would now be called a teacher training college), which was then on the outskirts of Port of Spain. In 1860 he was placed in charge of a remote rural school. He moved to another school on an increased salary in 1865, but in 1867 success in a recently introduced system of competitive examinations secured him a place in the local Civil Service. He rose through a succession of posts until he was forced by ill health to retire in 1879.

As a rural schoolmaster, Thomas came into close contact with and made a special study of the French Creole which was then the vernacular of most Trinidadians while at the same time studying French and ...

Article

Phillip A Cantrell

Rwandan author and sociologist, was born on 19 May 1959 in Byumba, Rwanda to Hutu parents. Umutesi’s father died in 1986. She attended primary school in Miyove and secondary school at the Groupe Scolaire de Byumba. Following secondary school, Umutesi studied economics at the Lycée Notre Dame de Cîteaux in Kigali and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Université Nationale du Rwanda. After working as a civil servant at the National Population Office, she earned a degree in sociology from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Upon the completion of her education, Umutesi worked for several agencies in Rwanda, including the Ministry of the Interior, the African Continental Bank of Rwanda, and as the director of the Service Center for Cooperatives. When the 1994 genocide began, she was developing programs for women’s associations in Byumba.

Growing up in Rwanda Umutesi witnessed periodic episodes of violence between Hutus and Tutsis ...

Article

Maxim Zabolotskikh

Ethiopian physician, writer, and civil servant, also known as Dr. or Hakim Charles Martin, was born on 21 October 1864 in Gonder. Workneh lost his parents during the siege of Maqdala by English troops in 1868. He was passed into the custody of a Colonel Chamberlain, who took him to India, where the expeditionary force sent against Emperor Tewodros II was originally located. The colonel died when the boy was only seven, and Workneh was raised by Christian missionaries. A certain Colonel Martin agreed to become his benefactor and paid the costs of his keep. Hence, Workneh adopted the names of two Englishmen, who helped him, and became Charles Martin.

Workneh graduated from Lahore Medical College in 1882 and went to Scotland, where he was certified in medicine and surgery in 1891 After eight years in Burma as a medical officer he had a chance to revisit Ethiopia ...