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Mary Jane Lupton

autobiographer, poet, educator, playwright, essayist, actor, and director, was born Marguerite Annie Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, on 4 April 1928. Her pen name derives from having been called “Maya” (“My”) by her brother Bailey and from having being married for nearly three years to Tosh Angelos, a Greek sailor whom she met while she was a salesgirl in a record store. After the marriage to Angelos ended in divorce, she performed as a calypso dancer at The Purple Onion, a San Francisco night club, where she took the stage name that she still uses.

Maya Angelou s mother Vivian Baxter was a blackjack dealer and a nurse her father Bailey Johnson Sr was a doorman a cook and a dietician for the United States Navy Their marriage ended in divorce When Maya was three and Bailey was four the children with name tags on their wrists were sent ...


Esther Aillón Soria

for the rights of Afro-Bolivians, and cofounder and director of Fundación AFROBO for Afro-Bolivian children. She belongs to the generation of young Afro-Bolivians born in one of the three main Bolivian cities (La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz) who affirmed their identity by turning their gaze toward the rural communities of one or both of their parents. Through this lens of introspection and cultural struggle, Angola Campos sought to educate children regarding their rights and to strengthen the Afro-Bolivian community.

Her father, Germán Angola Maconde (1959– ), was of African descent, born in the Coscoma community of Coripata, North Yungas. He migrated to the city of La Paz in 1998 and worked as a businessman importing auto parts. Her mother, Mercedes Campos Gorriti (1955– ), was of Aymara origins, born in La Paz, an educator dedicated to recovering and practicing Aymara traditional wisdom. Carmen’s siblings were Pedro (d. 2004 ...


Ama Mazama

Molefi Kete Asante (b. 1942–), African American author and scholar, is best known for articulating the Afrocentric theory in the 1980s and 1990s and for creating, during the same period, the first Ph.D. program in African American Studies.

Molefi Asante was born in the small southern town of Valdosta, Georgia, where he spent his first years experiencing the blunt racial segregation and discrimination characteristic of the era. However, he was identified very early in life as possessing out of the ordinary intellectual capacities. As a result, he left Valdosta at age eleven to attend the Nashville Christian Institute, a black boarding school, from which he graduated in 1960. Asante eventually received a Ph.D. in Communication from UCLA in 1968 at age twenty six On obtaining his Ph D Asante launched a brilliant and quite prolific academic career becoming full professor only four years later and ...


Clarence Maxwell

was born on the island of Antigua in 1788. He moved to Bermuda in 1807, settling in the island’s former capital of St. George’s. Whether he arrived in Bermuda as either bond or free, he was certainly free by 1821 when he made one of his earliest appearances in the local records. The St. George’s Vestry noted him among the parish’s “free persons of colour” in 1828.

Between 1807 and 1821 Athill established himself as a shipwright a skill he may have learned living in Antigua There was a market for such in his new home Bermuda had experienced since the late 1600s a maritime and commercial economic revolution dominated by the carrying trade and including ancillary industries such as shipbuilding and boatbuilding As one of the few Bermuda residents classified as Free Coloured the 41 year old Athill purchased a freehold in St George s ...


was born in Buenos Aires on 3 July 1959 in the Floresta neighborhood of Buenos Aires. She was the daughter of Jorge Hugo Balbuena, a prominent musician, and Adelina Isabel Soto. Silvia married Ciro Pizzatti in 1983, and they have one daughter, Cinthia Romina, who was born in 1987.

Silvia graduated as a dental hygienist from the University of Buenos Aires Dental School in 1984, making her the first college graduate in her family. She worked as a dental hygienist for twenty-five years, until the practice where she worked was privatized. She went on to graduate as a professional beautician from the Colegio de Formación Profesional de la ciudad de Buenos Aires (School for Professional Development/Technical Training School of Buenos Aires), in 2002 and then as an event planner from the Instituto de Investigación y Perfeccionamiento de la ciudad de Buenos Aires Institute for Research and ...


Esther Aillón Soria and Sara Busdiecker

was born in La Glorieta in the Nor Yungas Province of the department of La Paz, Bolivia, on 25 March 1977. His parents, Justo Ballivián (1950– ) and Juana Vásquez Larrea (1948–2012), worked in agriculture, cultivating traditional-use coca plants and citrus fruits. His siblings include sisters Angélica (a resident of Spain), Reyna, Mari Cruz, and Saida and a brother, Jorge.

At the age of 10, upon the separation of his parents, he moved with his mother and siblings from La Glorieta to the nearby community of Tocaña. His childhood and adolescence thereafter were spent studying and working odd jobs in Tocaña, La Paz, and Coroico, the provincial capital of Nor Yungas. He graduated from Coroico’s secondary school, Colegio Guerrilleros Lanza (part of the Fe y Alegría International Federation network of schools), in 1999 He fathered a son Amanileo a resident of the United States in ...


was born in the Berbice-Courantyne region of British Guiana on 5 June 1867, the son of Bethune James, a farmer, and Elizabeth Dunn, both of African descent. A basic education at the Congregational School in Hope Town, Bath School, and Rodborough House School in Berbice enabled him to teach younger children, and fitted him for employment as a clerk in the colony’s postal service from around 1892. He studied telegraphy and started a law course by correspondence. At the age of 20 he was a postmaster in Georgetown. As district postmaster at Belfield, he organized self-help projects and was active in the Anglican Church. He married Caroline Louisa Ethelena Spooner (c. 1873–1917) on 1 August 1894; they had eight children, the third named in honor of Governor Walter Sendall, who encouraged black endeavors. From 1896 Barbour James s Victoria Belfield Agricultural Society involved planters peasant ...


Esther Aillón Soria

was born on 3 March 1988 in Palos Blancos, in the municipality of Alto Beni, Sud (South) Yungas, department of La Paz, Bolivia. She was the youngest of six siblings born to Angel Barra Sosa, from the Lasa community of Sud Yungas, and Candelaria Barra Pinedo, from the Mururata community of Nor (North) Yungas, also in the department of La Paz. Both are farmers, mostly dedicated to the cultivation of the coca leaf, and because of the itinerant nature of their work, their children were born in different communities and moved frequently for their schooling.

Lorena as she is best known spent first and second grade at the Santa Rosa de Lima School in the gold mining community of Mapiri in the province of Larecaja La Paz and third and fourth grade at the Fe y Alegría Faith and Joy Catholic school in Yucumo department of Beni before settling with ...


Esther Aillón Soria

was born on 9 August 1982 in Cedro Mayo, municipality of Coroico, Nor (North) Yungas, in the department of La Paz, Bolivia. His birthplace is close to the Afro-Bolivian communities of Tocaña and Chijchipa, which is composed of twenty families, a minority of whom are Afro-Bolivians, while the majority are indigenous Aymara Indians.

Omar was the third of six children born to Angel Barra Sosa, from the Lasa community in Sud (South) Yungas in the department of La Paz, and Candelaria Barra Pinedo, from the Mururata community in Nor Yungas. Both are farmers, mostly dedicated to the cultivation of the coca leaf. Because their work as farmers required them to travel extensively, Omar’s siblings—Juan Carlos (1975), Rudy (1978), Abel (1984), Edwin (1986), and Lorena (1988 were born in different locations and the children s schooling was similarly peripatetic Omar attended ...


Yohan Lee

was born on 15 April 1929 in Trinidad to a Trinidadian mother, Olive Irene Barrow (née Pierre), and Barbadian father, Charles Newton Barrow. Little is known of her early life before she moved to London, but she later told the British Broadcasting Corporation that her own initial experiences with racial discrimination were the driving force behind her passion for social change.

In the 1960s Barrow trained to become a teacher at the University of London. There, she obtained an undergraduate degree in English and also earned a postgraduate degree in education. After teaching and consulting for twenty years in London, she was invited to become a senior lecturer in education at the Furzedown Teachers’ College and seconded to the London Institute of Education, a public research university in 1979 At both she eventually became a trainer of teachers paving the way for the introduction of multicultural education in the ...



Jeremy Rich

author of the first known slave narrative by an African woman in the United States, and successful petitioner for reparations for her enslavement, was born around 1713. Some historians have argued that she was brought to the US from Ghana, because her petition noted that she had lived on the “Ria da Valta River,” which they viewed as a reference to the Volta River. However, she recalled praying in a sacred grove “to the great Orisa who made all things” as a child. Orisa deities are associated with spiritual traditions among Yoruba-speaking communities in southwestern Nigeria and parts of Benin.

Regardless of the exact location of her original home in her narrative she recalled her childhood as a happy one This peaceful world of groves gave way to the hardships of the Middle Passage European raiders came into her village when she was about twelve years of age whose ...


Radica Mahase

was born on the Caribbean island of Nevis on 28 May 1888 to Marian M. Huggins, a colored plantation worker, and Louis E. Briggs, a white plantation overseer-manager from Trinidad. In 1905 he immigrated to Harlem, New York, in the United States. It was here that he agitated for black rights and established himself as a radical publicist and political propagator, actively involved in the promulgation of African American rights and issues.

He attended the Ebenezer Wesleyan School in St. Kitts, and when he graduated in 1904, he was employed as a reporter with the St. Kitts Daily Express and St. Christopher Advertiser. Briggs would later recall that his colonial education had introduced him to the ideas of free thinkers and radicals such as Robert Ingersoll. His journalism career continued when he arrived in the United States and, in 1912 he became a writer covering sports and ...


nurse, affectionately known as “Cherry,” was born Eumeda Powis in the largely rural parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, on 16 January 1939. Her father, Ferdinal Powis, was a farmer. Her mother’s name and occupation are unknown. She attended the Collington and Crooked River Schools in the parish, and later, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, she went on to receive a tertiary education in Great Britain, attending Trafford College and Manchester Polytechnic. Her studies at the tertiary level established her in the field of healthcare, in which she had a distinguished career. She married Arthur S. Byfield and gave birth to two children while residing in Britain for over thirty years. It was here that Byfield did extensive work in nursing. Nursing was not her only passion, however. She was committed to community development in both Britain and her home county of Jamaica.

Byfield took refuge in her work ...


Bonnie A. Lucero

was born to enslaved parents in 1874. He became a prominent political figure and black activist in the early Cuban republic. Little is known about his early years, but Campos Marquetti participated actively in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain. While at least one source claims that his involvement in the Cuban struggle for independence dates back to the Ten Years’ War (1868–1878), his year of birth in 1874 makes this unlikely. The official record of the Cuban army indicates that he enlisted in the summer of 1898, though he worked closely with prominent independence leaders, including José Martí, prior to his official enlistment. He also helped Juan Gualberto Gómez plan the insurrection in 1895 escaping imprisonment on the Isle of Pines numerous times He was finally sent to the Spanish prison at Ceuta off the coast of North Africa where he escaped before ...


Robert J. Cottrol

was born in Catanduva, São Paulo, on 10 July 1953. Cardoso used his career as a journalist to become one of Brazil’s foremost advocates of black consciousness, pan-African unity, and a linkage between the Afro-Brazilian struggle for racial equality and the nation’s socialist movements. His journalistic and activist career would span the era of Brazil’s military rule in the 1970s and the nation’s return to democratic governance in the 1980s.

Cardoso was the son of the musician Onofre Cardoso and his wife Bernardas Cardoso The second of four siblings Cardoso attended the Colégio Caetano in the city of Campinas in São Paulo The Paulista secondary school was a center of student activism in the late 1960s during the beginnings of military rule in the South American nation The young Cardoso began his turn toward racial activism in secondary school and it continued through his university studies in journalism at ...


Rowena I. Alfonso

later known as Kwame Ture, was born on 29 June 1941 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to working-class parents Adolphus Carmichael and Mabel Charles. He was christened Stokely Standiford Churchill Carmichael. At age 7, Carmichael attended Eastern Boys School in Port of Spain. In the 1950s, Trinidad was still a British colony, and talk of independence filled Carmichael’s home. In his autobiography, Carmichael recalls the sounds of a steel pan playing calypso music as one of his earliest childhood memories.

In June 1952 11 year old Carmichael immigrated to the United States with his family where they lived in an apartment in the South Bronx in New York Carmichael enrolled in an elite public school the Bronx High School of Science after passing a difficult entrance exam At Bronx Science he befriended Gene Dennis the son of a jailed Communist Party USA CP leader and attended Young Communist meetings ...


Amilcar Priestley

was born in the predominantly Afro-descendant community of Chincha, Peru. Some sources give her birth year as 1984. She holds a degree in journalism from the National University of San Marcos in Peru, and received her degree in political journalism and cultural analysis from the University of Antonio Ruiz Montoya in Lima. She has also studied international law and human rights at the University of Oxford in England. She came to prominence in the first decade of the twenty-first century as the leader of a new generation of Afro-Peruvian activists and as the founder, in 2001, of the LUNDU Center for Afro-Peruvian Studies and Advancement.

As leader of LUNDU, Carrillo was part of the Peruvian delegation that attended the 2001 World Conference against Racism Racial Discrimination Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban South Africa While at the conference she helped to draft the Youth Declaration Against Racism ...


Sharon Ahcar

was born in Buenaventura, a city located on the Pacific coast of Colombia. Castillo was a dedicated student who earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Santiago de Cali: one in social sciences, and another in law and political science. She received both degrees in the 1970s. Castillo also earned a master’s in adult education (1990) from the University of San Buenaventura Cali. She also learned English and French in addition to Spanish.

Castillo’s careeer has been built around fighting for Afro-Colombian rights. She represented Afro-descendant communities on the Special National Commission for the regulation of Article 55 of the Interim National Constitution, which dictated laws related to Afro-descendant communities in Colombia during 1992 and 1993 She was also a representative for the creation of Law 70 the current constitutional law related to the rights of Colombia s Afro descendant communities Later on she was a ...


Lara Putnam

was born in Panama on 14 July 1914 to parents of British Caribbean ancestry. Their families, like so many others, had been drawn to the isthmus by the economic dynamism surrounding the construction of the Panama Canal (1904–1914). Clark’s mother, Miriam Hanson, was born in Jamaica and reached Panama around 1904 at the age of 6; her mother sold baked goods there, while her father labored on the Canal. Clark’s father, Arthur Bancroft Clark, was born in Costa Rica to Jamaican immigrant parents and moved to Panama as an adult. They married when Miriam was only 16. Kenneth’s birth in 1914 was followed by that of his sister Beulah in 1917.

The difference between the racial formation Clark experienced in Panama and that he would later encounter in Harlem was prominent in his recollections of early childhood In British West Indian Panama blackness was the norm so ...


Chike Jeffers

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Davis (1944), a public intellectual, activist, and iconic figure in the struggle for black liberation, attended high school in New York City and then went to Brandeis University. Here she encountered Herbert Marcuse, the celebrated critical theorist, with whom she began to study philosophy. Upon receiving her BA, she traveled to Germany to study in Frankfurt. Theodor Adorno was going to direct her dissertation research but, by 1967 Davis decided to return to the United States and work with Marcuse at the University of California San Diego The decision was made because of the intense political situation in the United States which Davis felt she could not watch from afar She got involved in an organization that became the Los Angeles chapter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee SNCC After it folded the Marxist inclination she had developed since high school led her ...