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Donna A. Patterson

Senegalese politician, pharmacist, and author, was born in Saint-Louis, Senegal, on 30 September 1922. His father worked as a colonial official, and his mother was a homemaker. In 1935, Diop’s father died; his mother followed two years later, leaving Diop, aged fifteen, and his four siblings orphaned. The death of his parents kindled a desire to excel in his studies, and after completing his secondary education in Saint-Louis and Dakar, Diop was admitted to French West Africa’s School of Medicine and Pharmacy.

The curriculum at the School of Medicine and Pharmacy was abbreviated during the early years, with initial terms of three and fours years of study. Despite the initial brevity, graduates from these programs were extensively trained in local hospitals and clinics. Likewise, in his memoirs (Mémoires de luttes: Textes pour servir à l’histoire du Parti Africain de l’Indépendance, 2007 Diop describes his training ...

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Nate Plageman

Ghanaian musician and pharmacist, also known as the “King of Highlife,” was born Emmanuel Tetteh Mensah in Ussher Town, Accra, Ghana, on 31 May 1919. His father Robert Noi Mensah was a goldsmith and his mother Florence Adukwei Akwei traded cloth. Mensah’s first musical experiences came during his time at the Government Elementary School in James Town, where he played in a drum and fife band formed by one of the school’s teachers, Joe Lamptey. During his time with the Government School Band, Mensah learned how to play the flute, performed marching songs, and became acquainted with “highlife,” an emerging style of dance music that blended orchestral instruments, European chord sequences, and local rhythmic patterns. In 1933 Mensah joined Lamptey s senior band the Accra Orchestra also as a flutist Unlike his prior band the Accra Orchestra was a large dance ensemble comprised of brass string wind and ...

Article

Jennifer Jensen Wallach

novelist, short-story writer, and children's book author. Ann Lane grew up in the white, middle-class town of Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The daughter of a pharmacist, she initially followed in her father's footsteps, earning a degree in pharmacy from the Connecticut College of Pharmacy in 1931 and then working in the family drugstore for seven years. In 1938 she married the writer George Petry and moved to Harlem to pursue a writing career.

In Harlem she worked as a reporter for the Amsterdam News and the People's Voice. She also began volunteering at an after-school program for latchkey children. This exposure to poverty and the difficulties faced by urban black women had a profound influence on her writing.

In the 1940s Petry published several short stories in periodicals including Phylon and The Crisis. A grant from Houghton Mifflin allowed her to write her first novel, The Street ...

Article

Cynthia A. Callahan

author and pharmacist, was born Ann Lane in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The youngest daughter of Peter C. Lane, a pharmacist and proprietor of two drugstores, and Bertha James, a licensed podiatrist, Ann Lane grew up in a financially secure and intellectually stimulating family environment. After graduating from Old Saybrook High School, she studied at the Connecticut College of Pharmacy (now the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy) and earned her graduate in pharmacy degree in 1931 For the next seven years Lane worked as a pharmacist in the family business Her family s long history of personal and professional success served as the foundation for her own professional accomplishments She cherished the family s stories of triumph over racism and credited them with having a message that would help a young black child survive help convince a young black child that black is truly beautiful Petry ...

Article

Hazel Arnett Ervin

Ann Petry was born above her father's drugstore on 12 October 1908 in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. She attended Old Saybrook's public schools, starting at the age of four. In 1931, she earned the PhG degree at the University of Connecticut, and, for more than nine years, worked as a pharmacist in the family-owned drugstores in Old Saybrook and Old Lyme. During these years, she also wrote short stories. These stories remain unpublished.

Following her marriage to George D. Petry in 1938, Ann Petry moved to Harlem, abandoned the family profession, and, for the next eight years, actively pursued a career as a writer. From 1938 to 1941, she worked as a reporter for New York's Amsterdam News. From 1941 to 1944, she was a reporter and also the editor of the woman's page for The People's Voice, where from 1942 to 1943 she ...

Article

James Smethurst

Ann Lane Petry was born and raised in the predominantly white, middle-class community of Saybrook, Connecticut. The daughter of a pharmacist, she worked in her father's drugstore as a teenager and went on to major in pharmacology at the University of Connecticut. After graduating, she worked at and managed the family drugstore in Old Saybrook. Her pharmacological endeavors notwithstanding, Petry wrote short stories while working, none of which have been published. After marrying George Petry, a mystery writer, in 1939, she moved to New York City and dropped pharmacy altogether, choosing instead to develop her career as a writer.

Her first job in New York was at a Harlem newspaper, the Amsterdam News, where she worked for four years. Petry moved on to The Peoples Voice where she wrote a column on Harlem society in the women s section of the paper Her first published work ...

Article

Anne M. Heutsche

Ann Lane Petry was the first African American woman to write a best-selling novel, one that eventually sold more than two million copies. The Street, first published in 1946, demonstrates the power of Petry’s vivid characters and realistic portrayal of life in Harlem in the 1940s. Throughout her life, Petry explored the humanity of individuals through her novels, essays, poetry, and children’s stories.

Ann Lane was born in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The Lane family was one of a handful of African American families in this small New England town. Her father, Peter C. Lane was one of the first registered African American pharmacists in Connecticut and the only one in Old Saybrook Lane came from a long line of pharmacists her grandfather was a chemist and an aunt and uncle both pharmacists helped her father run the family owned pharmacy In spite of several racist threats ...