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philosopher, pioneer of Islamic reformist thought, pan-Islamic nationalist as well as a staunch opponent of British penetration in the East, also known as al-Asadaabadi and al-Husayni, Afghani, was born in October/November 1839 in the Iranian village of Asadaabad. However, he endeavored to hide his origins so as to conceal his Shiite identity. It was with this in mind that he assumed the surname al-Afghani (of Afghan origin).

His father, Sayyid Safdar, is said to have been a modest farmer, but a learned Muslim. From the age of five to ten, Afghani was apparently educated at home, focusing on Arabic and the Qurʾan. Thereafter, he was sent to school in Qazvin and later Tehran, where he received the standard Shiite education.

After several years of study in the holy city of Najaf, Afghani moved to India in approximately 1855 where he first encountered British colonialism By the time he reached ...

Article

Rosemary Elizabeth Galli

nationalist, journalist and indigenous rights advocate, was born in Magul, Mozambique, on 2 November 1876. His father, Francisco Albasini, married the granddaughter of the head of Maxacuene clan in the Portuguese colony’s capital; her name is not recorded. João dos Santos was also known by his Ronga nickname, Wadzinguele. His grandfather João Albasini, a Portuguese trader, later established himself and a second family in the republic of the Transvaal where he became the vice-consul of Portugal. João dos Santos Albasini received a limited education at the Catholic Mission of Saint José Lhenguene; secondary education was not available in Mozambique. However, he was a keen reader especially of political tracts and gained great facility in writing both Portuguese and Ronga. Sometime around 1897 Albasini married Bertha Carolina Heitor Mwatilo but the marriage was unhappy and they divorced in 1917. They had two children.

As Albasini reached adulthood Portugal defeated ...

Article

Like many early nationalist leaders in Africa, Rudolph Douala Manga Bell was from a chiefly lineage and initially collaborated with the colonial authorities before ultimately turning against them. Born in the commercial port town of Douala, Bell was the eldest son of Duala king Manga Ndumbe, who had signed an annexation treaty ceding large tracts of land to the Germans. At the age of twelve he traveled to Germany to attend the gymnasium at Ulm and university in Bonn. In 1896 Bell returned to then-German Kamerun to work as a civil servant. When his father died in 1908 Bell became the paramount chief of the Duala. He soon disagreed with the colonial authorities about what he considered their contravention of an 1884 treaty that his father had signed concerning Duala rights on the Jos Plateau The Germans had effectively attempted to break the Duala trade monopoly for good Because ...

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Amar Wahab

Pan‐Africanistleader in Britain in the early 1900s. Born in Sierra Leone, in 1869 he was sent to Cheshire to be educated and started working for the family firm, Broadhurst and Sons, in Manchester in 1905. By 1936 he is known to have been a cocoa merchant in the Gold Coast. He was heavily involved in the realm of Pan‐Africanist politics in Britain, becoming a founder member of the African Progress Union between 1911 and 1925. He became secretary of the Union in his sixties and continued as a member of the executive committee until its end. He worked with other leading supporters such as Duse Mohamed Ali, Edmund Fitzgerald Fredericks, and ‘the Black doctor of Paddington’ John Alcindor The Union organized around issues related to the welfare of Africans and Afro Peoples worldwide and vociferously advocated self determination This involved for example protests about ...

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Bonnie A. Lucero

was born on 25 May 1855 in the town of El Cobre in the Oriente region of Cuba to Librada Sánchez and Francisco Cebreco. He emerged as a prominent figure in the struggle for Cuban independence. Before reaching fifteen years of age, he joined Cuban forces during the Ten Years’ War (1868–1878), alongside at least two of his brothers, Juan Pablo (Pedro) and Juan Bautista. He served under prominent insurgent chiefs, including José Maceo, Antonio Maceo, and Calixto García Iñíguez, ascending to the rank of commandant by 1876. In 1878, like many of his black compatriots, he signed on to the Protest of Baraguá, a demonstration of discontent with the Pact of Zanjón, in which insurgents agreed to lay down weapons without achieving independence or the abolition of slavery.

Cebreco then a lieutenant colonel along with other prominent black officers in the East including the Maceo ...

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Robert Rotberg

colonial Malawi’s first leader of an anticolonial rebel movement, was born in the late 1860s or early 1870s to a Yao father and a Cewa (or possibly Mang’anja) mother. His rising in 1915 was more symbolic than effective, but it frightened whites and British colonial rulers in a manner that was equaled only much later by the Mau Mau movement in Kenya.

A few years after his birth, the family moved from Sanganu, in the Chiradzulu district of southern Malawi, to Blantyre, the only city in what was then the emerging British Protectorate of Nyasaland. Scottish Presbyterian missionaries had arrived in the vicinity of Blantyre in 1876 white farmers had followed and colonial rule quickly became implanted By moving to Blantyre for employment or other reasons Chilembwe was able to become an early student of the Blantyre Mission of the Church of Scotland He was able as ...

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Ari Nave

Nkologo (John) Chilembwe was born in Sangano, Chiradzulu district, in what is now Malawi. He received primary schooling at a Presbyterian mission school in Blantyre, then in 1892 went to work as a house servant for the British Baptist missionary Joseph Booth, an advocate for African self-rule. In 1897 Chilembwe traveled with Booth to the United States and attended the Virginia Theological College, a black Baptist seminary, where he became familiar with aspects of the African American experience, such as segregation and racism, and was influenced by such writers as W. E. B. Du Bois.

In 1900 Chilembwe returned to his homeland By then an ordained Baptist minister he purchased some forty hectares ninety nine acres of land with the help of African American backers and built the Providence Industrial Mission PIM with the goal of educating and encouraging self confidence among his people A number of African ...

Article

Bonnie A. Lucero

was born to a mulatto mother, María del Rosario, and a white father, Francisco Javier, on 17 September 1851 in the town of El Cobre, just outside the island’s then easternmost province, Santiago de Cuba. Although his birth name was Francisco Adolfo Crombet y Tejer, he was better known to his compatriots as Flor Crombet. He grew up in a family of Haitian coffee planters and former slave owners who fled to eastern Cuba during the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804).

Little is known of his younger days, but Crombet demonstrated a strong commitment to Cuban independence, participating in all three anticolonial wars (1868–1878, 1879–1880, 1895–1898). His brother Emiliano and he, then just 17 years old, first joined the insurrection in November 1868, one month after Carlos Manuel de Céspedes pronounced the Grito de Yara Cry of Yara which initiated the Ten Years War ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, judge, and nationalist leader, was born in the delta village of Kafr al-Musayliha in Minufiyya Province on 23 December 1870. Son of a prominent landowning family, Fahmi was educated at first in the traditional educational system of his village primary school (kuttab), the Ahmadi Mosque in Tanta, and al-Azhar, but later entered the secular school system, attending the Khedival Secondary School in Cairo, and graduating from the School of Administration in 1890.

After working in the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Administration of Waqfs through the 1890s, in 1903 Fahmi opened a private law practice. He was elected to the new Legislative Assembly in 1913. One of Egypt’s most distinguished lawyers, in 1914 Fahmi became president of the Egyptian Bar Association for the first time he would hold this position twice more in later years He also served as president of the ...

Article

Haggai Erlich

Egyptian politician and historian, succeeded Mustafa Kamil in 1908 as the leader of al-Hizb al-Watani, the Nationalist Party, Egypt’s more activist anti-British movement in the pre–World War I period. Though the party, established in late 1907, was quickly losing momentum, and though he remained overshadowed by the memory of Kamil’s charisma, Farid went down in history as a keeper of Kamil’s ideological legacy and as a leader in his own right.

Muhammad Farid was born on 20 January 1868 to a wealthy family of Ottoman-Turkish origin, which had settled in Egypt when it was annexed to the empire in the early sixteenth century. His father was an administrator in Muhammad ʿAli’s educational system and then, during the years of Khedive Ismaʿil, a director in the Khedival Railway Department. In 1877 following European intervention in Egypt s economy he was fired a humiliating experience young Farid never forgot Moreover ...

Article

Douglas Wheeler

Angolan writer, journalist, lawyer, civil servant, and nationalist, a mestico, was born in Luanda, Angola, in 1823, the offspring of a marriage between a Portuguese father and an African mother. Like many generations of the assimilated Afro-Portuguese elite in the Portuguese colony’s capital, he was raised and educated a Catholic; self-taught in the law, he acquired a license to practice law and served as a government law clerk. His principal legacies came in decades of combative, reformist journalism and in his advocacy of Angolan nationalism.

His generation witnessed an increased pace of economic and social change, political upheaval, and new international pressures on Portugal’s sometimes tenuous rule over Angola. By 1866, when Fontes Pereira was forty-three, he had witnessed the long-delayed process of the abolition of Angola’s slave trade (1842–1850 efforts to replace the slave trade with legitimate trade agriculture and manufacturing the struggle including a ...

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Glenn Allen Knoblock

a leading black Communist leader in the 1920s, was born in Texas. He attended the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and also claimed to have been kicked out of the City College of New York for radicalism. In the late teens he was active in organized left-wing politics, including the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the Harlem Socialist Party (SP). While the IWW fought for the rights of all workers, including racial and national minorities, the SP was color-blind and refused to champion the rights of blacks specifically, and instead argued that blacks were subject to class, but not-race, oppression. A core of Harlem Socialists, however—including Richard Benjamin Moore, Otto Huiswoud, Cyril Valentine Briggs, A. Philip Randolph, Chandler Owen, and Grace Campbell were active in the New Negro movement of black radicalism and attempted to combine the struggles for socialism and black freedom ...

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Bárbara Danzie León

was born on 2 July 1854 near the Vellocino sugar refinery in Sabanilla Encomendador Today this community is known as the municipality of Juan Gualberto Gómez in Matanzas province His father Fermín Gómez and mother Serafina Ferrer were both slaves who managed to buy their freedom before Juan Gualberto s birth As free blacks Juan Gualberto Gómez Ferrer s parents emphasized literacy in the home so that he might capture as many opportunities for socioeconomic advancement as possible and spurred him on to learn to read and write Their support made a deep impression on him that he carried throughout his life In spite of the monetary sacrifice his parents had to make they sent him to study at Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados Our Lady of the Forsaken a school in Havana run by Antonio Medina y Céspedes a black headmaster whose work as a teacher was inspired ...

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Said M. Mohamed

Somali author and nationalist leader, was born in Sacmadeeqo, Somalia, sometime between 1856 and 1864 His name in Somali is given as Sayid Maxamad Cabdulle Xasan His father originally from the Ogaden region that is currently part of Ethiopia was a religious teacher in the Nogal area and Hasan received his early Islamic education from him Hasan later attended different Islamic seminaries in the Horn of Africa and during the early 1890s traveled to Mecca to perform the Hajj obligation with other Somali religious leaders There he met Shaykh Muhammad Salah the founder of the reformist Salihiya Islamic Tariqah of which the sayyid became a follower Upon his return from the pilgrimage Hasan landed at Berbera the main administrative seat of British Somaliland When he reportedly encountered Somali children being Christianized by missionaries he started preaching against British colonization and Christianization However he met with opposition not only from ...

Article

James Giblin

or Mohammed bin Juma Mafazili, was the ruler of the port town of Saadani on the Indian Ocean coast of present-day Tanzania, from the 1860s until 1890. He is best known as one of the two principal leaders of resistance against German colonialists during a war on the Swahili coast from 1888 to 1890. This conflict is known as the Abushiri War because the Germans attributed its outbreak to Bwana Heri’s fellow resistance leader, Abushiri bin Salim. Abushiri was a prominent owner of a slave plantation located near another important Swahili port, Pangani. At Saadani, Bwana Heri forged an anti-German coalition of free and enslaved townspeople, the town’s transient population of caravan porters, and chiefs of Uzigua, the region immediately inland from Saadani. Bwana Heri harassed German forces and evaded capture even after the execution of Abushiri bin Salim in December 1889 His decision to surrender ...

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Chris Saunders

Boer general, Afrikaner nationalist, and South African prime minister, was born near Wellington in Cape Province in 1866 He studied law at Victoria College Stellenbosch and then at the University of Amsterdam After practicing as a lawyer in Pretoria he was appointed a judge in the Orange Free State OFS then became legal adviser to the OFS forces during the Anglo Boer War before becoming a general and leading a guerrilla commando on daring raids against the British After the war he became active in politics founding the Orangia Unie Party When the Orange River Colony ORC became self governing Hertzog joined its cabinet as attorney general and director of education in which capacity he demanded equal status for English and Afrikaans in schools He represented the ORC in the negotiations for a Union of South Africa and the first prime minster of the Union Louis Botha asked him ...

Article

Brandon R. Byrd

was born to James Overton and Jane Holly on 3 October 1829 in Washington, D.C. His father introduced him to the shoemaking trade at an early age, while his mother made sure that Holly and his siblings attended Catholic services. Holly also received an education at a school run by a prominent black Washingtonian, and he continued his studies under the private guidance of Catholic priests. Despite these opportunities, Holly felt the sting of racial prejudice. His family moved on several occasions, each time venturing farther north to escape the disfranchisement, job discrimination, and racial violence that increasingly affected free blacks. As slavery expanded and defenses of the institution became more resolute, Holly came to agree with those African Americans in the United States who saw no prospects for freedom in their homeland.

In 1851 after working with the white abolitionist Lewis Tappan Holly married Charlotte Ann Gordon and ...

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Eric Young

Samuel Maharero, born Uereani Maharero, was the first son of Chief Maharero, who between 1860 and 1889 led the Herero in a series of wars with the Nama. Vehemently opposed to settlement by Europeans, particularly Afrikaners and Germans, in what is today Namibia, the elder Maharero repeatedly and unsuccessfully requested British “protection” during his reign. He finally gave in to German occupation in 1885.

Samuel and his brothers were educated at the Rhenish mission school in Otjimbingwe in the early 1860s. Samuel’s brother, Wilhelm, the chief’s second son and intended heir, was killed in battle with the Nama. Thus when his father died in 1890, Samuel Maherero assumed the chieftainship—a succession that divided the Herero, as some believed one of his cousins should have become chief.

For the next two years Maharero continued in his father s footsteps leading his people in wars against the Nama To gain ...

Article

Efraim Barak

writer, poet, journalist, and a pioneer of Egyptian nationalism, was born in Alexandria to a lower-class family. His father, Mis.bah. ʾIbrahim, was a carpenter. He began his formal education in a traditional kuttab, and proceeded, at the age of nine, to study religion at the ʾIbrahim Pasha mosque. Nadim terminated his studies after five years due to his lack of interest. He subsisted by taking various jobs: as a telegraph operator in Banha; as a shopkeeper in Cairo; as a clerk and a teacher at a pasha’s house in the Daqahliyya district, and as an itinerant entertainer and professional satirist. His occupation of entertainer earned him the epithet of Al-nadim (instead of Nadim), which means “the entertainer.”

In Cairo, Nadim joined the circle of Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani, who lived in Egypt from 1871 to 1879 Afghani a pioneer of modern Islamic thought had encircled himself with the intelligentsia ...

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James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, judge, nationalist leader, and prime minister, was born in Samanud in Gharbiyya Province on 15 June 1879. Of modest family background (his father was a timber merchant), Nahhas is a prime example of the trajectory of upward mobility experienced by the effendiyya, Egypt’s new middle class created by processes of modernization in the nineteenth century. Educated at the Nasiriyya Elementary School and later the Khedivial Secondary School, he was first in his class at the Khedivial Law School when he graduated in 1900. In 1904 he was appointed a judge in the National Court in Tanta, and served as a judge until dismissed from the courts in 1919 due to his political involvement.

In the pre–World War I period, Nahhas’s initial political sympathies were with the Watani Party of Mustafa Kamil and Muhammad Farid. When Saʿd Zaghlul organized the new Wafd Party to demand ...