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Article

Mónica A. Jiménez

was born in the Tenerías barrio of Ponce, Puerto Rico, on 12 September 1891 to Alejandro Albizu Romero, the son of a Basque sugar planter who worked as a US customs officer, and Juliana Campos, the daughter of a former slave who worked as a domestic in the residence of Albizu Romero.

A brilliant student, he graduated from Ponce High School in 1912 and attended the University of Vermont on a scholarship. In 1913 he transferred to Harvard University, where he studied literature and chemistry. Upon graduation, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, but took a leave in 1917 to join the US armed forces during World War I. He was assigned to the all-black 375th Regiment and stationed in Ponce, where he trained noncommissioned officers. He achieved the rank of first lieutenant before being honorably discharged in 1919 and returning to Harvard to complete his legal studies He ...

Article

Reynolds L. Richter

pioneering Kenyan lawyer and nationalist politician, was born in Gem, Siaya District, in present-day Nyanza Province of Kenya. The son of early mission converts, “Clem” was sent to a mission school at the age of seven and received his Cambridge School Certificate from St. Mary’s College in Entebbe, Uganda, in 1936. The following year he enrolled at Makerere College in Kampala. After graduating with a teaching degree in 1940, Argwings-Kodhek spent the next seven years teaching in Nyanza and Rift Valley provinces. Future Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi numbered among his pupils.

In 1947 Argwings-Kodhek won a government fellowship to study social sciences at the University of South Wales and Monmouthshire. Shortly after undertaking his studies, he applied to the authorities for permission to pursue a law degree instead but was denied; however, aided by friends, Argwings-Kodhek surreptitiously obtained a law degree in 1949 and became a ...

Article

Mohammed Hassen Ali

pharmacist, lawyer, and Oromo nationalist and political activist in Ethiopia, was mainly responsible for the formation of the Oromo Liberation Front, which in turn transformed Oromo cultural nationalism to political nationalism. He was born in the region of Wallaga. He lost both his parents while very young, and it was his elder brother, the Reverend Gudina Tumsa, who brought him up and provided him with the best education.

While at Haile Selassie I University, Baro Tumsa immersed himself in student politics as well as risky underground Oromo political activities. From 1964 to 1966 he served as secretary and president of the union of the university students in Addis Ababa It was under his leadership that university students were radicalized and energized More than many of his contemporaries Baro Tumsa realized that the Oromo and other conquered people of southern Ethiopia were landless subjects without rights who were exploited economically ...

Article

Hassoum Ceesay

pioneer Gambian lawyer and nationalist politician, was born 3 May 1941 in Bathurst, Gambia, to Henry Richmond Carrol, an Aku merchant and proprietor of Bathurst's first newspaper, and Anne Maria Forster, daughter of another Bathurst Aku notable, Samuel Forster. The Aku were the descendants of slaves and captives liberated after the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 who were repatriated back to Africa by the British and American governments. They are also called Krio or Creole, and today are found in Gambia and Sierra Leone.

Following primary education in Bathurst and Freetown, Davidson entered Oxford University in 1920 and graduated with a law degree in 1924; he was called to the English Bar in 1925. In 1924 he was elected the first president of the newly formed West African Students Union WASU the umbrella students body of English speaking students in the United ...

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Richard J. A. R. Rathbone

Ghanaian lawyer, was born on 21 December 1895 at Bepong in Kwawu, central Ghana. His father, Yaw Boakye, a nephew of the Omanhene of Dwaben, had been prominent in the court of King Amoako Atta I, the ruler or Okyenhene of Akyem Abuakwa. To the horror of traditionalists, Yaw Boakye was an early convert to Presbyterian Christianity and eventually came to serve as a minister of the Basle Mission. Danquah’s mother was Yaw Boakye’s second wife, Lydia Okom Korantemaa, a member of the royal family of Adadientam. Danquah attended Basle Mission schools, but when he was seventeen he became a clerk in the chambers of the distinguished African barrister, Vidal Buckle, in Accra. The legal training he received there enabled him to pass the Gold Coast civil service examinations, and by 1914 he was appointed as a clerk of the Supreme Court His older half brother had however been ...

Article

Akwasi Osei

Joseph Boakye Danquah (1895–1965)—also known as Kwame Kyeretwie—was an author/philosopher, lawyer, and politician/activist, and a key part of the anticolonial struggle that eventually transformed the then-British-colonized Gold Coast to politically independent Ghana in 1957. Popularly known as J. B. Danquah, he enjoyed a visible career as a chronicler of his people’s culture, a philosopher, a well-known lawyer, and a frontline politician. For almost forty years, from 1927 until his death in 1965, he was at the forefront of the nationalist agitation, spending the last ten years as both an ally and a rival of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

J. B. Danquah was born of the Ofori Panin royal house of Akyem Abuakwa a connection which early on fueled his love of indigenous traditions and philosophy He had his early primary education in Basel Presbyterian mission schools in the Gold Coast and this exposed him to ...

Article

J. B. Danquah was one of the founders of the modern state of Ghana. He cofounded the country’s first nationalist party in 1947. Danquah led the opposition to Kwame Nkrumah after Nkrumah became the country’s leading nationalist figure. To silence Danquah, Nkrumah had him confined to prison, where Danquah died under miserable conditions.

By birth, Danquah belonged to the royal family of Akyem Abuakwa, a province of Asante. He attended Basel Mission Schools in Akyem Abuakwa. Subsequently, he studied in London, England, where he received a law degree and a Ph.D. in ethics in 1927. Danquah returned to the then British colony of the Gold Coast (now Ghana), where he practiced law privately. In 1931 he founded the Times of West Africa, which became a leading newspaper.

Danquah s editorial writing led him into politics in opposition to British colonial repression and exploitation During the ...

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

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 ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, youth leader, and nationalist politician, was born to a Delta family from the village of Kafr al-Batikh near Damietta. He was born on 8 March 1911 in Cairo, where his father, Mahmud Husayn, was a civil servant in the Ministry of Finance. He attended the Khedivial Secondary School and Cairo University’s Faculty of Law, graduating in 1933.

Husayn’s initial political involvement was as a youthful supporter of the Liberal Constitutionalist Party. Active in journalism and in politics when in law school, Husayn first came to national attention in 1931–1932 as one of the key figures behind the Piastre Plan, a youth-organized collection drive for the collection of funds to be used for the promotion of native Egyptian manufactured goods in place of imports. Building off the prominence attained through the Piastre Plan, in October 1933 Husayn and fellow law school graduate Fathi Radwan founded the Young ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Maxwell Akansina Aziabah

Ghanaian lawyer and political activist, was born on 26 April 1902 in the small village of Obetsebi near Accra, Ghana. He was the fourth of eight children of Jacob Mills-Lamptey, an Accra businessman, and Victoria Ayeley Tetteh. Obetsebi-Lamptey started his elementary education in 1911 at the Accra Wesley School. Whilst there, he was baptized. He transferred to Kumasi Boys School and later to the Accra Royal School. After leaving school, he got a job as a shorthand typist for an Accra-based businessman in 1921. He sat for the Gold Coast Civil Service Entrance Examination and, having passed successfully, got placement in the Customs and Excise Department in 1923. He worked in Accra for seven years before being transferred to Takoradi. Having worked in the Takoradi office for four years, he left for the United Kingdom in 1934 to study law When he arrived in the United Kingdom ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, cabinet minister, and prime minister, was born in Cairo in 1863. He belonged to the Topuzzadeh family and was thus a member of the Turko-Circassian (Ottoman-Egyptian) elite that dominated Egypt through the nineteenth century. Educated in Egypt, Geneva, and Paris, he held a French law degree. Rushdi began his public career as a lawyer in the Finance Ministry and later served as an inspector of education and as a judge in both the Mixed Courts and the National Court of Appeal. His first wife was the French feminist writer Eugenie Le Brun; after her death in 1908 he married a sister-in-law of Sharif Husayn of the Hijaz.

Rushdi was a fixture in Egyptian ministries before and during World War I. He served as minister of justice from 1908 to 1910, as foreign minister from 1910 to 1912, and again as minister of justice from 1912 ...

Article

The illegitimate son of a Portuguese priest and a mulatto woman, José da Natividade Saldanha was born in Santo Amaro de Jaboatão, Pernambuco, Brazil. He went to Portugal, the colonial power, to study law at Coimbra University. While in law school Saldanha wrote and published his first collection of poems, Poemas dedicadas aos amigos e amantes do Brasil (Poems Dedicated to the Friends and Lovers of Brazil, 1822).

As a poet marked by Arcadianism, the influential neoclassical movement prevailing in some circles in Portugal and Brazil, Saldanha emphasized national and liberal ideologies that included the idea of a Brazilian republic and the abolition of slavery. Upon returning to Brazil the poet joined the secessionist movements brewing in Pernambuco and became a member of the junta that declared the independence of the Republic of Ecuador from Portugal in 1824 Condemned to death after the failure of this ...

Article

Haggai Erlich

Egyptian writer, was born in January 1872 to a landowning family in Lower Egypt. He attended a local traditional Islamic school (kuttab) and chose to go to the khedivial secondary school rather than to al-Azhar. Having read translated scholarly works, notably Darwin’s Origin of Species, he was admitted in 1889 to the Khedivial Law School, the alma mater of many of Egypt’s modern politicians and leaders. As a young student, he founded Egypt’s first law review, Majallat al-Tashriʿ (Legislative Review). He graduated in 1894, entered government service, and in 1897 began collaborating with the nationalist leader Mustafa Kamil, who had the support of Khedive ʿAbbas II. They advised him to go to Switzerland and acquire Swiss citizenship so that he would enjoy immunity as a journalist and would be able to criticize the British occupiers freely. However, in Geneva in 1897 he came under ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, nationalist leader, and prime minister, was born in the village of Ibyana, Gharbiyya Province, where his father was village ʿumda or leader. Zaghlul’s initial education was traditional: study at the village kuttab followed by four years at al-Azhar. Both his family and educational backgrounds were important components of his political persona; from a moderately well-off peasant family, raised in a village in the Delta, and educated in the indigenous educational system, Zaghlul was a leader with the popular touch, a man with whom the indigenous Egyptian majority, long dominated by foreigners, could and did identify.

Zaghlul had a long public career before he became the dominant figure in Egyptian politics after World War I. Associated with the failed ʿUrabi movement of the later 1870s and early 1880s, when he edited the official gazette al-Waqiʿi al-Misriyya he was arrested but cleared on the charge of ...