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Article

Stephen Cory

sixth sultan of the Moroccan Marinid dynasty, seized power in 1286 after his father, Abu Yusuf Yaʿqub, had consolidated Marinid authority throughout Morocco. With this seemingly secure base, ʿAbu Yaʿqub spent most of his reign engaging in external battles. The Moroccan sultan was involved in the numerous struggles of southern Spain for several years, seeking to strengthen the Marinid position in that key area. In the final twelve years of his reign, ʿAbu Yaʿqub sought to expand Marinid rule throughout the Maghreb by bringing down the neighboring Zayyanid dynasty, which had often been a thorn in the side of earlier Marinid sultans. Although he initially made some progress on these two fronts, in neither case was ʿAbu Yaʿqub fully able to achieve his aims.

Like his father before him ʿAbu Yaʿqub spent his first two years as sultan putting down revolts within Morocco His main opponents were family members who ...

Article

Ness Creighton

Mamluk bey of Upper Egypt and head of the Hawwara (a Berber people), was the emir and the de facto ruler of Upper Egypt during the mid-eighteenth century who was part of the opposition to ʿAli Bey’s rule of Egypt. Abu Yusuf and the tribe belonged to Nisf Haram, which would become closely associated with the Qasimmi Mamluks. His full name was Humam ibn Yusuf ibn Ahmad al-Hawwari, also sometimes given as Humam Abu Yusuf.

Like previous Hawwara leaders, the power base of Abu Yusuf was in Farshut, in the province of Qena. From here, their influence extended westward, encompassing large sections of the Saʾid. Initially, Hawwara claims under Abu Yusuf came into conflict with both the Bardisi and the Akhmim claims. Humam was successful in eventually eliminating both of these rivals.

Abu Yusuf oversaw a brief period of comparative prosperity and tranquility in the history of Upper Egypt during ...

Article

Stephen Cory

eleventh sultan of the Moroccan Marinid dynasty, claimed the sultanate by rebelling against his father, Abu al-Hasan ʿAli, in 1348 while the latter was fighting a rebellion in Tunisia. Reassembling his forces in Algiers, Abu al-Hasan faced off against a larger army led by Abu ʿInan in 1349. Following a crushing defeat, Abu al-Hasan retreated to the desert town of Sijilmasa, where he was welcomed by the tribal leader Ouenzemmar. But his ally soon abandoned him when Abu ʿInan’s troops descended upon Sijilmasa, so Abu al-Hasan fled to Marrakech. There, he recruited supporters from among Masmouda Berbers and local Arabs. In May 1350 the army of Abu al Hasan battled the forces of Abu ʿInan near the Umm al Rabia River where Abu ʿInan was again victorious After being rescued by one of his soldiers Abu al Hasan was provided refuge among the Hintata peoples of the High ...

Article

Abdulai Abubakari

king of Dagombas and victim of murder at Yendi, the capital of the Dagomba traditional area, was born in August 1945 at Saganarigu, a suburb of Tamale in present-day northern Ghana. His father was Andani Yakubu, also the king of Dagbon, who reigned from 1968 to 1969, and his mother was Zenabu Mahama, who hailed from Savelugu. He was named after his grandfather, Na Yakubu I (1824–1849). He was the first son of his father, who had about thirty children, and the only child of his mother. He attended Yendi Primary and Middle schools and taught as a pupil teacher for several years.

He became the Ya-Na, the title given to the king of the Dagombas, in 1974. The previous incumbent, Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai IV (1969–1974 was said to have been improperly installed as king The matter was contested in court amid great tension ...

Article

Mark A. Sanders

In 1912 Batrell published his memoir Para la historia: Apuntes autobiográficos de la vida de Ricardo Batrell Oviedo, the only account of Cuba’s final war for independence written by an Afro-Cuban. Poor and uneducated, Batrell taught himself to read and write, then composed his memoir to document the participation of Afro-Cubans in the war (approximately 60 percent of the Liberation Army was black; see Ferrer, 1999, p. 2), and to present the war from the perspective of a black soldier.

Born on the Santísima Trinidad de Oviedo sugar plantation near Sabanilla, in the province of Matanzas—Cuba’s largest sugar-producing province—Batrell worked as a field hand until the age of 15. On 2 February 1896 he joined the Liberation Army that had months earlier crossed the Spanish fortified ditch (la trocha at Puerto Píncipe and invaded the western provinces Matanzas La Habana and Pinar del Rio Serving in ...

Article

Bemoim  

Trevor Hall

(covering part of the territory now known as Senegal). His mother was married to the Wolof king Bor Biram, and they had a son, Bira, who later became king himself. She remarried and it was this second husband who fathered Bemoim. After King Bira died, family members tried to place Prince Bemoim on the Wolof throne. Prince Bemoim was renowned for his travel to Portugal, where he converted from Islam to Christianity, in order to receive Portuguese military assistance to overthrow the Wolof king.

In 1487 Bemoim encountered the Portuguese nobleman Gonçalo Coelho who sailed to the River Senegal where he bartered Portuguese horses and textiles for gold ivory hides and African captives Bemoim had lost a successional battle for the Wolof throne and sought military assistance from the Christian trader To further that goal Bemoim captured a hundred young Muslim men from local districts and sent them as ...

Article

Richard A. Bradshaw

military officer, president, and emperor of the Central African Republic/Empire, was born on 22 February 1921 at Bobangui, Lobaye region, then in the French Equatorial African territory of the Middle Congo (now part of the Central African Republic) He was the son of headman Mindogon Mgboundoulou, who was murdered at the regional colonial headquarters in the Lobaye, and Marie Yokowo, who died a week after her husband. Bokassa belonged to the same Mbaka (Ngbaka) ethnic group as Central African Republic (CAR) leaders Barthélemy Boganda and David Dacko. His grandfather MʿBalanga took care of Bokassa until 1921, when he entered the Catholic missionary école Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc at MʿBaiki. Bokassa then attended Bangui’s École de St. Louis (1928–1929), which was run by Father Charles Grüner, and an école missionnaire at Brazzaville (1929–1939). Enlisting in the French army on 19 May 1939, Bokassa became a corporal (1940 ...

Article

Eric Young

A career soldier who had endured a tragic childhood, Jean-Bédel Bokassa ruled the impoverished Central African Republic with brutal repression, used its revenues for his personal enrichment, and crowned himself emperor. He committed barbarities that caused an international outcry and led to his removal from power.

When Bokassa was six years old, his father, a village chief of the Mbaka people, was murdered. Bokassa became an orphan a week later, when his mother committed suicide. Missionaries raised him until age eighteen when, at the outbreak of World War II, Bokassa joined the French Colonial Army. He participated in the 1944 landings in Provence and later served in Indochina and Algeria, attaining the rank of captain and earning the Legion d’Honneur and the Croix de Guerre. In 1960, after Oubangui-Chari became the independent Central African Republic, Bokassa helped create its army and, in 1964 was given the rank of ...

Article

Elizabeth Schmidt

Guinean political activist, was born into a farming family in the Lower Guinea village of Posseya in 1929. She was a political activist in the town of Tondon in the mid-1950s. A member of the Guinean branch of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA), Camara led the local RDA women’s committee. Toward the end of World War II, she married Thierno Camara, a military veteran who was later elected president of the Tondon RDA subsection.

A hotbed of opposition to government- appointed canton (administrative district) chiefs, Tondon attracted the attention of the French colonial authorities on 9 February 1955 when Thierno Camara and other RDA militants were arrested for undermining chiefly authority When villagers tried to thwart their leader s arrest Chief David Sylla attacked the crowd with his saber and gun seriously wounding several demonstrators He then entered the Camaras house and attacked M Balia Camara who was ...

Article

Osire Glacier

the first female pilot in Morocco and the Maghreb, was born into a bourgeois family in Fez on 14 December 1936. Her father, Abdelwahed Chaoui, was an avant-garde journalist and an actor who wanted his daughter to have an exemplary education, including training in Arabic and French and in Moroccan and Western cultures (Morocco was at the time a French protectorate). From her childhood, she distinguished herself by her exceptional intelligence, impressing her teachers as well as the director of her school.

In addition to her success in school Chaoui demonstrated strong leadership skills When she was seven years old she organized a strike in her school to protest against the violence of the colonial authorities She made her young peers promise that they would not return to their classrooms until the French authorities liberated the students who had been arrested in a public demonstration in favor of Morocco ...

Article

Luise White

barrister and politician, was born Herbert Wiltshire Tfumaindini Chitepo in Inyanga District in the eastern highlands of Southern Rhodesia. His father died when he was three; he was brought up and educated at mission schools before training as a primary school teacher at Adams College in Natal, South Africa. He went on to Fort Hare University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1949. He had hoped to go to London to study law, but he was awarded a research assistantship in Shona at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. There he wrote an epic poem, Soko risina musoro (Tale Without a Head), which was published in 1958. After a few years he was able to study at King’s College, London, and at the Inns of Court, and he became a barrister in 1954, when he returned to Southern Rhodesia.

Before he could practice ...

Article

David Dabydeen

West Indiancarpenter murdered in Notting Hill by white youths. Britain was particularly racially tense in the late 1950s, when the white working classes felt culturally and economically threatened by the presence of Blacks. Two active political groups in the Notting Hill area were the White Defence League and the National Labour Party, one claiming to be a Nazi group, the other a racial nationalist one. The culmination of the situation were the ‘race’ riots in 1958 in Notting Hill. One of the tragic results of these events was the murder of Cochrane, an Antiguan who was on his way back from the hospital after having had his broken thumb bandaged. He was stabbed with a knife in May 1958 by six white youths who were never caught. Following Cochrane's murder, the black activist Claudia Jones campaigned for the black community and helped to organize strategies for approaching the ...

Article

was born on 13 March 1969 in Kingston, Jamaica, allegedly to Lester Coke, the leader of the violent drug gang known as the “Shower Posse,” and his wife, Patricia Halliburton. Some journalists believe that Christopher Michael Coke was an adopted child, though Patricia Halliburton denied this shortly before her death. He was referred to as “Michael” in school, but the fact that Christopher Michael had a brother with the same first name may also speak to the idea that the parent who christened him may not have been either Lester Coke or Patricia Halliburton. According to court transcripts, Christopher Michael Coke also had another sister, Pamela, who lived in Tivoli Gardens and stored drugs in her apartment for him. She is otherwise unacknowledged as a member of the family in any published form, and her parentage thus remains uncertain, too.

Michael Coke began his life in the Tivoli Gardens neighborhood ...

Article

has not had his birth details published. He grew up on Milk Lane in Denham Town, a poor part of West Kingston in Jamaica. To residents, he was known as “Ba-Bye,” a friendly youth who held apprenticeships at various times as a welder, a cabinetmaker and a locksmith. Sometime around the age of 20, he married Patricia Halliburton, with whom he would have at least five children.

In Lester Coke s teens the homes in the nearby slum of Back O Wall were torn down to make way for a concrete housing project called Tivoli Gardens providing a vast material improvement in the circumstances of the residents in the area The project was led by Edward Seaga the Jamaican government s minister of development and welfare and the member of Parliament for West Kingston Seaga represented the Jamaican Labour Party JLP and his government stocked the rebuilt neighborhood with JLP ...

Article

Kris Lane

was born around 1600. According to various witnesses, Diego Martín was of mixed African-Spanish heritage and a native of Havana, Cuba. It is unclear if he was enslaved or free, or what occupation he pursued prior to his career in piracy.

Names such as Francis Drake Piet Heyn and Henry Morgan still dominate histories of early modern piracy in the Americas but it is often forgotten that all three corsair captains regularly relied on men and women of African descent for inside knowledge of Spanish ports forts and shipping schedules Enslaved and free Africans and their descendants filled the Atlantic world from its inception in the fifteenth century and well before the time of Francis Drake there was virtually no Spanish or Portuguese ship or coastal town without some African presence In the Americas autonomous Africans could also be found Drake was famously aided by the so called Bayano ...

Article

Anene Ejikeme

was born Amadou M’barick Fall, but was also known as Louis Fall. Best known as “Battling Siki,” he took the world light heavyweight boxing title in September 1922, becoming the first African ever to win a world boxing championship title. Just three years and three months later, Siki, aged twenty-eight, was found dead, lying facedown in a New York City street, with two gunshot wounds in the back.

Siki was born in Saint Louis one of Senegal s four communes Little is known of Siki s early life but what is certain is that Siki left Senegal for Europe in his youth although it is not known at what age There he took the name Louis although that may already have been one of his names as European names were not uncommon among Africans born in Senegal s communes Louis M barick and Amadou may each or all have ...

Article

Norman Weinstein

Prince Far I was born Michael Williams in Spanish Town and grew up in the Waterhouse area of Kingston, Jamaica. His musical career began in 1970 when he convinced the Reggae producer Coxsone Dodd (who employed him as a security guard at Studio One, Jamaica's most famous recording studio) to let him record when a scheduled musician failed to appear for a session. Dodd was so taken by Prince Far I's talent as a DJ (someone chanting or talking-singing spontaneously over prerecorded rhythm tracks) that he released several Prince Far I recordings under the name he created for the performer, King Cry-Cry As he gained confidence and sought other producers for his recordings Williams changed his name to Prince Far I Distinguishing features of his recordings under the name King Cry Cry or Prince Far I include a thunderously deep bass delivery of intensively personal lyrics laced ...

Article

Efraim Barak

, Egyptian writer, journalist, politician, and intellectual, was born on 20 August 1945, to a middle-class family. The eldest of five children, Fuda spent his childhood in the village of Zarqa, which is located in the district of Dumyat, on the coast of the Mediterranean. His father, ʿAli, who was a devout Muslim and very involved in community life, studied mechanical engineering at the University of Alexandria; he then went on to a career overseeing maintenance at the iron and steel firm in Hilwan. Fuda’s mother died when he was fourteen.

Fuda finished high school in 1962 and began studying agriculture at university, at the decree of the governmental coordination office, which determined higher education placement. In 1967 he graduated with honors from ʿAin Shams University in Cairo and took a position teaching there A year later he was involved in student demonstrations and was detained for two ...

Article

Efraim Barak

Egyptian army officer who commanded the assassination of the Egyptian president Anwar al-Sadat, was born on 14 November 1957 at Malawi, a village in the El Minya region. His father, Ahmad Shawqi, was a lawyer and head of the legal department of the Najʿ Hamadi sugar refinery. Islambuli began his elementary school studies at the Notre Dame missionary school of Malawi, later spent three years in a school run by the sugar company in Najʿ Hamadi, and completed his high school studies at the Al-ʿAruba school of Asyut. He applied to the Police Academy and to the Air Academy but was rejected by both. Finally, he was accepted by the Military College, from which he graduated with honors as an officer in 1978. He was assigned to the Artillery Corps as a commander of an artillery unit and stationed at Unit 333’s base, near Cairo.

Islambuli s thinking was ...

Article

Juan Fandos-Rius

a gendarme police officer in the Central African Republic (CAR), born in about 1934 to Kaba Sara parents from the region of Paoua in the Ouham-Pendé region of what was then northern Ubangi-Shari, just south of its border with Chad. Soon after Ubangi-Shari became the Central Africa Republic (CAR) in the late 1950s, Izamo joined the nation's new national police force, the Gendarmerie Nationale, in which he was promoted to sergeant in 1960, captain on 1 January 1962, and chef d’escadron (major) on 1 December 1964. Izamo was appointed head of the Gendarmerie by President David Dacko on 6 March 1964, before he was promoted to major, and by 1965 he had became one of Dacko s closest advisers The Gendarmerie s mission included maintaining internal security and this made it more important for the president than the nation s army since the CAR s ...