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Marika Sherwood

in 1898. His father was a politically active barrister, Peter Awoonor-Renner, and his mother was a member of the Elmina royal family. Despite representing Gold Coast organizations protesting against various rulings by the British colonial government, Peter Awoonor-Renner was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1937 for public services to the Gold Coast. Being from a wealthy family, Bankole was sent to the United States to study at the historically Black Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1922. In 1924 he moved to study journalism at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is noted as becoming the first West African member of the British Institute of Journalists that year.

Besides contributing poems and articles to the African-American magazines Crisis and Opportunity Awoonor Renner was the joint editor of Carnegie s student magazine He also began his long life of political ...

Article

historian, Egyptologist, educator, and Pan-Africanist, known popularly as “Dr. Ben,” was born in Gondar, Ethiopia, the son of Krstan ben Jochannan, a lawyer and diplomat, and Tulia Matta, a native of Puerto Rico, who was a homemaker and midwife. Both parents were Jewish: his father was a member of a Jewish Ethiopian people then called the “Falasha,” or Beta Israel, and his mother was descended from Spanish Sephardic Jews. The couple met in Madrid, Spain, where Matta was attending college and the elder ben Jochannan was a diplomatic attaché. Soon after their marriage, they traveled from Spain to Ethiopia where their son, Yosef, was born.

Ben Jochannan spent his earliest years in Ethiopia but after age five he was raised in the Americas He said in later interviews that in the 1920s the Ethiopian government sent his father to Brazil to help develop the coffee trade of that country ...

Article

Lucilda Hunter

poet, dramatist, musician, artist, was born prematurely on 11 May 1904 in Axim in the Gold Coast (now Ghana). Her father was Joseph Ephraim Casely-Hayford, a journalist, educator, and Pan-African activist of Fante origin, and her mother was his second wife, Adelaide Smith Casely-Hayford, a Sierra Leonean–born feminist, writer, and educator.

Gladys Casely-Hayford spent the first five years of her life between the Gold Coast and England. Her mother first took her there in 1906 to consult a specialist about a congenital hip defect that had made her left leg weak and misaligned, creating mobility problems. A second visit to England was for her mother’s own health and family reasons. Both visits lasted for months and might have contributed to the failure of her parents’ marriage, which ended with a legal separation agreement in 1914 Gladys went to Freetown when her mother returned to Sierra Leone and attended the ...

Article

John Henrik Clarke was a central figure in late-twentieth-century vernacular American black nationalism. As a teacher, writer, and popular public speaker, he emphasized black pride, the African heritage—especially communalism—and black solidarity. From the rural South he rode a freight train to the North, where he actively participated in the literary and political life of Harlem, New York in the 1930s. Arthur Alfonso Schomburg, the black bibliophile, was a major intellectual influence. Largely self-educated, Clarke became professor of Africana and Puerto Rican Studies at New York's Hunter College and president of Sankofa University, an on-line Internet school.

Born to sharecropping parents, Clarke grew up in Columbus, Georgia, and aspired to be a writer. He produced poetry, short stories (notably “The Boy Who Painted Christ Black”), and books on African history (The Lives of Great African Chiefs) and on Africans in the diaspora (Harlem U.S.A An original member ...

Article

Christopher Williams

scholar and activist, was born John Henry Clark in Union Springs, Alabama, the first of five children to John Clark and Willella (Willie) Mays, sharecroppers. Later Clarke changed the spelling of his name, dropping the “y” in Henry and replacing it with “ik” after the Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen. He also added an “e” at the end of Clarke.

Clarke s great grandmother Mary who lived to be 108 inspired him to study history The young Clarke sat on her lap listening to stories and it was through her he later said that he first became aware of the word Africa Clarke grew up in the Baptist church and wanted to satisfy his intellectual curiosity regarding the Bible and its relationship to African people Like a detective he searched the Bible looking for an image of God that looked like him His dissatisfaction with what he found later ...

Article

Rochell Isaac

educator, nationalist, Pan-Africanist, writer, historian, and poet. Born John Henry Clark to Willie Ella Mays and John Clark, a sharecropper, Clarke changed his name, legalizing Henry to Henrik and adding an “e” to Clark, thereby cementing his admiration of the Scandinavian playwright Henrik Ibsen. The Clark family moved from Union Springs, Alabama, to Columbus, Georgia, when Clarke was four years old. Clarke's mother, a laundrywoman, died of pellagra, a diet deficiency, when Clarke was still very young. With his mother's illness and subsequent death, the Clark family began to feel the effects of poverty.

Though he clearly demonstrated academic ability along with a strong desire to learn and excel Clarke s academic goals encountered much resistance As a teenager Clarke held a number of menial jobs he was a part time student and a part time farmer and worker As a result he ...

Article

Christopher Hogarth

French-African poet associated with the Pan-Africanist Négritude literary movement, was born on 9 July 1927 in Bordeaux France His father was Senegalese and his mother Congolese Diop was thus strictly speaking a European of African parentage but his struggle to affirm his African identity in the face of colonial Europe is reflected in his life and poetry As a child Diop and his family traveled often between France and Africa and he attended some primary school years in Senegal Diop s father died when he was eight years old thus leaving his mother Marie Diop to raise his large family he was the third of five children Diop lived his earliest teenage years in German occupied France and suffered greatly from bouts of tuberculosis meaning that many of his childhood years were spent in hospitals It was in sanatoriums that Diop found his passion for literature and he started ...

Article

Íde Corley

actor, journalist, and Pan-African activist, was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to an Egyptian father and a Sudanese mother. In various documents he called his father, who was an army officer, either “Abbas Mohammed Ali” or “Abdul Salem Ali.” Early in his life Duse was separated from his family and forgot any knowledge of Arabic. He claimed to have been brought to England at the age of nine by a French officer with whom his father had studied at a military academy. In 1882 his father was killed by a British naval bombardment in a nationalist uprising at Tel el Kebir and his mother returned to the Sudan bringing Duse s sisters with her He subsequently lost all communication with his family During his early theatrical career in London he adopted the non Arabic name Duse maintaining that it derived from the surname ...

Article

David Killingray

Campaigning Christian evangelist, author, journalist, and Pan‐Africanist born in Dominica but educated in the neighbouring West Indian island of Antigua. An influential friend in Antigua was the Revd Henry Mason Joseph, later president of the African Association in London in 1897. In 1870 Edwards stowed away on a ship and over the next few years he travelled the world as a seaman visiting North and South America and Europe He landed in Sunderland and thereafter lived briefly in Edinburgh and Newcastle and worked with a group of black entertainers At some point he was converted to Christianity and as a Primitive Methodist worked as a temperance evangelist in Lancashire and Cheshire He had ambitions to go to Africa as a missionary but gravitated to east London where he ran a weekly Bible class for men and regularly preached in Victoria Park Some referred to ...

Article

Writer and one of the lesser known Pan‐Africanist leaders born in Nigeria, the son of a Baptist mission preacher. Fadipe was brought up in the church missionary school. He became the personal secretary to the manager of Barclays Bank, Lagos. He travelled to Britain and earned a BA degree at the London School of Economics in 1929. He was subsequently awarded fellowships to study at Woodbrooke College in Birmingham and then for his MA at Columbia University, New York. His dissertation entitled ‘A Yoruba Town: A Sociological Study of Abeokuta’, was the first study of its kind by an African academic on Nigeria. Fadipe subsequently took up a teaching post at Achimota College in the Gold Coast but returned to London after his contract was not renewed.

Once again at the London School of Economics in 1934 Fadipe pursued a Ph D working on the first major sociological ...

Article

Cecily Jones

Co‐founder with Marcus Garvey (whose wife she was) of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and member of the London‐based Pan‐African movement. Ashwood was not only a political activist, but also a journalist, music producer, playwright, lecturer, and businesswoman. In 1914 she met Garvey at a debate in Kingston and helped to organize the inaugural meeting of the UNIA. The same year, aged just 17, she became UNIA's first secretary and a member of its management board, and co‐founded its Ladies' Auxiliary Wing. Ashwood married Garvey in New York in 1919, where the couple established the American headquarters of UNIA. Her role as Garvey's chief aide and general secretary helped to build UNIA into an international Pan‐African organization.

After the collapse of her marriage in 1922, Ashwood travelled worldwide, lecturing on black self‐determination, Pan‐Africanism and women s rights In England she found her intellectual home among the ...

Article

David Killingray

radical Pan-Africanist, journalist, and Baptist minister, was born Felix Eugene Michael Hercules in Venezuela but grew up in Trinidad, where his father was a civil servant. As a student at the Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain, Hercules showed his political awareness in a racially organized British colony by founding the Young Men's Coloured Association.

On leaving school he became a civil servant and then a schoolteacher in the town of Maparima. Hercules married a woman named Millicent Beatrice in Trinidad and had several children including Frank who in the 1940s moved to the United States and became a novelist and nonfiction writer During World War I Hercules moved to Britain and studied for an intermediate BA degree at London University Not untypical of the black migrant experience he soon became disillusioned by his experiences of the color bar in Britain an obstacle that fuelled ...

Article

David Killingray

Pan‐Africanist and journalist born in Trinidad who became a schoolteacher. During the First World War he arrived in Britain and studied at London University. In 1918John Eldred Taylor asked him to become the editor of a new newspaper in London, the African Telegraph. Hercules also became general secretary of the Society of Peoples of African Origin and associate secretary of the African Progress Union. In this capacity he spoke at a protest meeting at Hyde Park Corner condemning the race riots in Liverpool, also writing to the Colonial Secretary demanding that black people should be protected from white violence. In particular he fiercely condemned in the African Telegraph the assault by hundreds of white soldiers on black soldiers who were patients at the Belmont Hospital in Liverpool. When it was announced that black soldiers would not participate in the victory celebrations in London in July 1919 ...

Article

Jolie A. Jackson-Willett

Pan-Africanist, feminist, writer, educator, was born in Victoria, British Columbia, the third of four children of Mariah A. (Alexander) Gibbs, originally of Kentucky, and Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, originally of Pennsylvania. Ida Gibbs's father was the self-educated, wealthy son of free Philadelphia blacks who was himself notable for his many accomplishments: he founded the first African American owned newspaper; made a fortune selling boots and prospecting equipment to miners during the Gold Rush in San Francisco, California; was the first black elected municipal police judge in Little Rock, Arkansas; and served six years as United States Consul in Madagascar under Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt. Ida Gibbs's uncle Jonathan C. Gibbs was at one time secretary of state in Florida during Reconstruction Growing up in an atmosphere of educational and financial success may have influenced the Gibbs children to achieve in higher education and ...

Article

John H. McClendon

AfricanAmerican scholar, educator, Pan-Africanist, political journalist, labor organizer, and Marxist. William Alphaeus Hunton Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to William Alphaeus and Addie Hunton. His grandfather Stanton Hunton had been born a slave in Virginia and had migrated to Chatham, Ontario, in Canada in 1843 after successfully purchasing his freedom. From Chatham, Stanton Hunton closely worked with John Brown in the preparation of Brown's historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859.

Alphaeus Hunton's father, William Alphaeus Hunton Sr. (1863–1916), had a lifelong career working with the YMCA, serving as its first African American secretary. William Hunton moved from Ontario to Norfolk, Virginia, in 1888 and he married Addie Waite in 1893 A native of Norfolk Addie Waite Hunton had graduated from the City College of New York and later received a degree in linguistics from the Sorbonne After her marriage to ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

choir leader, was born in Portage County, Ohio, the son of a farmer whose name is now unknown and whose financial contributions to a nearby college neither overcame the local prejudice nor secured a place for his son among the student body. Educated in Ravenna, Ohio, Loudin went on to train as a printer, only to find his opportunities restricted by white printers who refused to work with him. Even his Methodist church rejected his application to join its choir. For all its positive associations for their kinfolk in the slavery states, mid-nineteenth century Ohio was a hard place for the Loudins, as it had been for Frederick Douglass who was mobbed in Columbus, Ohio, when Frederick Loudin was a boy. He was to recall that the “ostracism was even more complete and unchristian in the free than in the slave States” (Marsh, 106).

After the Civil War Loudin ...

Article

Nazneen Ahmed

Trinidadianwriter and political campaigner active in British politics. McKenzie trained as a teacher in Trinidad and emigrated to Britain in 1927 in the hope of studying journalism. Unable to pursue journalism or teaching, he undertook a series of jobs, including the running of two restaurants, while persevering with writing articles, plays, and poetry. His only available publication is an article in The Keys, the journal of the League of Coloured Peoples. McKenzie was known as an effective public speaker and attended the 1945 Manchester Pan‐African Congress as the representative of the Antigua Trades and Labour Union. After the war he opened the Caribbean Bureau in London, which was a press agency, information bureau, and importer of Caribbean products. After the death of his first wife in Trinidad, he married Elsie Hartz the daughter of Russian Jewish emigrants to Britain He travelled to Trinidad several times in ...

Article

Lily Mabura

Kenyan transnational and Pan-Africanist scholar and writer, has research interests in African and African Diasporic literatures and orature with an emphasis in poetry, drama, and theater; women’s and gender studies; cultural and film studies; and education.

For personal reasons she has lived in the United States since December 1991 and is a full professor of African American Studies at Syracuse University, where she was a recipient of the 2004–2007 Meredith Professorship for Teaching Excellence. Mugo’s previous appointments include a Rockefeller Visiting Writer Fellowship at Cornell University (1992–1993); associate professorship in the Department of Curriculum and Arts Education at the University of Zimbabwe (1984–1991); and associate professorship at the University of Nairobi, which she joined in 1973 as a lecturer and where she later became the first woman dean of the Faculty of Arts (1980–1982).

Mugo and her then young daughters Mumbi Mugo and Njeri Mugo left Kenya as political exiles ...

Article

Valerie Orlando

Martinican artist and Négritude activist, was born in Martinique. She was one of seven daughters in the accomplished Nardal family, prominent members of the bourgeois class of Martinique. Her father, Paul Nardal, was the first black Martinican to receive a scholarship to study in Paris. He later became an engineer and worked as a manager in the Department of Highways and Bridges in Martinique. Her mother, Louise Achille, was an accomplished pianist. Of the seven sisters, Paulette, Jane, and Andrée are best known for their literary contributions and intellectual devotion to arts and letters in Paris during the interwar period (1920–1939).

In the 1920s Jane and her older sister Paulette left home to study in Paris They were the first Martinican women to study at the Sorbonne Both Jane and Paulette contributed to the intellectual activity and discourse cultivated in their salon in Clamart sur Seine just outside Paris The ...

Article

Valerie Orlando

Martinican artist and Négritude organizer, was born on 12 October 1896 in St Pierre Martinique She was one of seven daughters of the accomplished Nardal family prominent members of the bourgeois class of Martinique Her father Paul Nardal was the first black Martinican to receive a scholarship to study in Paris He later became an engineer and worked as manager of the Department of Highways and Bridges in Martinique Her mother Louise Achille was an accomplished pianist In the 1920s Paulette and her sister Jane left home to study in Paris Of the seven sisters Paulette Jane and Andrée are best known for their literary contributions and the founding of a salon dedicated to cultivating sociopolitical and literary discourse in Paris during the interwar period 1920 1939 Paulette and Jane were the first Martinican women to study at the Sorbonne Paulette obtained a degree in English and later worked ...