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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

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

Kate Tuttle

As a representative of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Medgar Wylie Evers worked for the most established and in some ways most conservative African American membership organization. He was, by all accounts, a hardworking, thoughtful, and somewhat quiet man. Yet the work Evers did was groundbreaking, even radical, in that he risked (and eventually lost) his life bringing news of Mississippi's violent white supremacy to nationwide attention. When Evers was assassinated in his front yard by Byron De La Beckwith, a white racist, he became a symbol of the brutality with which the old South resisted the Civil Rights Movement.

Raised in the small central Mississippi town of Decatur Evers absorbed his parents work ethic and strong religious values early Friends including his brother Charles remember him as a serious child with an air of maturity about him At seventeen he left school ...

Article

Gregory W. Fowler

civil rights leader and state field secretary of the Mississippi chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Medgar Wylie Evers was born in Decatur, Mississippi, to James Evers, a sawmill laborer, and Jessie Wright Evers, a domestic worker. He lacked a formal education because the closest school was twelve miles away. During World War II he served a year in the army, and like many black soldiers he returned home to the United States ready to fight for equal rights. In 1946 he and his brother Charles Evers tried to assert their right to vote in Decatur, Mississippi, resulting in many death threats.

Evers married Myrlie Beasley in 1951. In 1952 he graduated from Alcorn A M College in Lorman Mississippi and became the first field officer in the state for the NAACP His active commitment quickly garnered him national attention ...

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

Norman O. Richmond

Black Panther spokesman assassinated in a police raid. Fred Hampton came from a stable black working-class family, but he said that he identified with the “wretched of the earth.” At age thirteen, he joined the youth chapter of the Maywood, Illinois, NAACP and was elected president. The chapter went from seventeen to seven hundred members under Hampton's leadership. By the age of twenty he had become a prominent member of one of the most militant political organizations in the history of the United States, the Black Panther Party (BPP), and was scheduled to become the Panthers’ chief of staff.

Hampton's leadership role in the BPP made him a target of government harassment and surveillance. The 4 December 1969 raid in which Hampton was assassinated occurred after a police informer named William O'Neal cooked dinner for the Panthers at Hampton s apartment and slipped a large dose of secobarbital into ...

Article

Brenda E. Stevenson

slain teenager whose murder at the hands of a Korean shopkeeper was a significant spark for the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and directly linked to the burning of that city's Koreatown, was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, the eldest daughter of Crystal Harlins, a waitress and part-time real estate agent. Latasha Harlins moved with her mother, two siblings, and stepfather, Vester Acoff, to South Central Los Angeles in 1982, joining her maternal grandmother, Ruth Harlins, and other relatives. The family's latest move was, for them, a continuation of the then century-old great black migration from the South to places north and west in the quest to escape the racialized violence of the South and in search for better jobs, education, and political opportunities. Ruth Harlins was born in Alabama, but migrated with her mother to East St. Louis in 1949 Life was somewhat better there but ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

one of the first women of African descent to pass the Kentucky bar exam and be admitted to practice law, and the first woman prosecutor in Kentucky, was born in Louisville, the daughter of Odell Jones and Sarah (Sadie) Frances Crawford Jones. Both of her parents had been born in Georgia; her father worked at a table factory. She had an older brother, Andrew, a younger brother, James, and a younger sister, Flora.

Jones attended public schools in Louisville, which were segregated by race at that time, graduating from Louisville Central High School, one of two schools established in 1870 by the local Board of Education for children of the African race to be financed by taxes collected from citizens of African descent In contrast to many such schools the curriculum featured classes in rhetoric trigonometry botany and philosophy The school also won several basketball tournaments including the national ...

Article

Timothy B. Tyson

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son and namesake of a prominent Baptist minister, King entered Atlanta's Morehouse College at age fifteen. After graduation he enrolled at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he encountered Walter Rauschenbusch's Social Gospel theology, Reinhold Niebuhr's justifications for the use of coercion to combat evil, and Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolent direct action. Enrolling at Boston University, he earned a Ph.D. in systematic theology (1955). He married Coretta Scott in 1953; they had four children.

In 1954, King was appointed pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. On 1 December 1955, the arrest of Rosa Parks for violating the city s racial segregation ordinances sparked a bus boycott and local organizers selected the twenty six year old King to lead it It happened so fast King remembered that I did not even have time to think ...

Article

Clayborne Carson

King gained national prominence as a black civil rights leader and, during his final years, as a critic of American military involvement in Vietnam. In his memoir, Stride Toward Freedom (1958), King recalled that when initially exposed to pacifism, he concluded that war “could serve as a negative good in the sense of preventing the spread and growth of an evil force.” Only after becoming familiar with Gandhian notions of nonviolent resistance was he convinced that “the love ethic of Jesus” could be “a potent instrument for social and collective transformation.” As the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), King became a nationally known advocate of civil disobedience. He led protest movements in Montgomery (1955–56), Birmingham (1963), and Selma (1965), Alabama, that demonstrated the effectiveness of nonviolent tactics in spurring passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 ...

Article

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, the eldest son of Martin Luther King, Sr., a Baptist minister, and Alberta Williams King. His father served as pastor of a large Atlanta church, Ebenezer Baptist, which was founded by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s maternal grandfather. King, Jr., was ordained as a Baptist minister at age eighteen.

Article

Manfred Berg

Baptist minister and civil rights leader. Martin Luther King Jr. is arguably the most famous and revered African American of the twentieth century. All over the world, his life and legacy epitomize the black struggle for freedom and equality. The years from King's emergence as a civil rights leader during the 1955–1956 Montgomery, bus boycott until his violent death on 4 April 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, are widely considered as the crucial period of the civil rights movement, when the Jim Crow system was dismantled by nonviolent direct action and mass protest. In public memory, his martyrdom has made King into a larger-than-life figure. However, his elevation to the status of a worldly saint has often inhibited a clear understanding of his contribution to the black struggle. Despite four decades of research on virtually every aspect of his life, the debate over King's historical significance continues.

Article

Larvester Gaither

Muslim minister and black nationalist leader. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, as Malcolm Little and later also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm X arose from a childhood marred by racial violence and poverty to become of one of the most admired African American political leaders of the twentieth century. He articulated radical ideas on racial solidarity, self-defense, and Pan-Africanism during the same period in which Martin Luther King Jr. and other mainstream civil rights leaders emphasized integration and nonviolence.

Malcolm s father Earl Little a Baptist minister born in Reynolds Georgia was a devoted follower of Marcus Garvey the early twentieth century black nationalist leader and cofounder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association UNIA based in Harlem New York City While Little served as president of the local Omaha Nebraska branch of UNIA Malcolm s mother Louise Little a Grenadian born immigrant of racially mixed ancestry served as a ...

Article

Abdul Karim Bangura

Malcolm Little was born on 19 May 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the seventh child to his parents; his father, J. Early (Earl) Little, was from Georgia, and his mother, Louise (Louisa), was from Grenada. According to Earl’s family tradition, the seventh child, particularly if he was male, was destined to do great things.

Malcolm Little’s parents were both supporters of Marcus Garvey, who was an advocate of the reaffirmation of Africans and their descendants and a denouncer of white supremacy. Malcolm’s father preached these ideas and visited African American churches in different cities. He was also president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which was founded by Marcus Garvey. Louise Little was also involved in community affairs, as she wrote articles for Negro World Malcolm was witness to his parents religious and political activism This undeniably influenced both his perceptions of the way blacks were being ...

Article

Robin D. Kelley

As a thinker, activist, and especially an icon, Malcolm X was perhaps the most important black nationalist figure in post-World War II America. Born in Omaha, the son of Louisa and Earl Little—a Baptist preacher active in the Garvey movement—Malcolm and his siblings experienced poverty and racial injustice in childhood. Hooded Klansmen burned their home in Lansing, Michigan; Earl Little was killed under mysterious circumstances; welfare agencies split up the children and eventually committed Louisa Little to a state mental institution. By the eighth grade he left school, moved to Boston to live with his half-sister Ella, and turned to petty crime to earn money. In 1946 he was arrested for burglary and began a ten-year prison sentence.

In prison, he began studying the teachings of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam (NOI), the Muslim group founded by Wallace Fard and led by Elijah Muhammad Elijah Poole ...

Article

James Graham

Adopted name of Malcolm Little, also known by his Muslim name, el‐Hajj Malik el‐Shabazz (1925–1965), influential black nationalist. Raised in a Baptist family but bereaved of both parents at an early age, Malcolm's troubled childhood and adolescence is vividly retold in the posthumous best‐selling Autobiography (1965). It was during his imprisonment for burglary (1946–52) that Malcolm discovered the Islamic faith which was to become the driving force in his life. For the next eleven years he dedicated himself to the cause of race pride and black nationalism, spreading the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the influence of his organization, the Black Muslim sect (later to become the Nation of Islam). In 1964 Malcolm left the organization and formed his own group the Organization of Afro American Unity It was in the following years of antipathy between Malcolm and his former leader and followers ...

Article

Robin D. Kelley

Malcolm X (Malcolm Little; later El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) has been characterized in many ways: Pan-Africanist, father of Black Power, religious fanatic, closet conservative, incipient socialist, and a menace to society. The meaning of his public life—his politics and ideology—is contested in part because his entire body of work consists of a few dozen speeches and a collaborative autobiography whose veracity is often challenged. Gunned down three months before his fortieth birthday, Malcolm X's life was cut short just when his thinking had reached a critical juncture.

Malcolm's life is a Horatio Alger story with a twist. His is not a “rags to riches” tale but a powerful narrative of self-transformation from petty hustler to internationally known political leader. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Louise and Earl Little, the latter a Baptist preacher and activist in Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association ...