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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

Caryn E. Neumann

a black teenager whose death at the hands of a white police officer sparked weeks of rioting in the St Louis Missouri suburb of Ferguson The son of Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr Brown came from a poor background He sold candy in middle school to make money Brown attended the predominantly black Normandy High School in Wellston St Louis County in the large and poverty stricken Normandy School District In his freshman year he joined Junior ROTC In his sophomore year Brown played football along with some of his friends For his junior year Brown attended McCluer High School in the neighboring Ferguson Florissant district before returning to Normandy By the time that he finished high school Brown stood 6 feet 4 inches and weighed 292 pounds Described by teachers as a gentle giant Brown had no reputation for causing trouble A quiet boy with a sharp sense ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Caryn E. Neumann

a street merchant who died at the hands of police during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes, was born in New York City to Gwen Carr and her husband. He grew up in the Gowanus Houses, public housing projects in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. Described by friends as a genial, generous, neighborhood peacemaker, Garner completed his education at Ohio Diesel Tech Institute in 1988. Garner met his wife, Esaw “Pinky” Garner, in the 1980s on a telephone party line, an early version of a chat room. The couple raised six children and had two grandchildren.

Garner had a history of arrests for marijuana possession and selling untaxed single cigarettes He typically worked from the corner of Bay Street and Victory Boulevard in Staten Island where he sold bootleg cigarettes at $7 a pack and 75 cents for single cigarettes or loosies New York City places a tax ...

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Cecily Jones

On 22 April 1993, 18‐year‐old Stephen Lawrence was murdered at a bus stop in Eltham south east London Though police investigations failed to secure the convictions of his killers Stephen s murder was the catalyst to some of the most important changes to the operation of the criminal ...

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Caryn E. Neumann

a teenager shot and killed by a neighborhood watch patroller, in a case that attracted massive publicity, was born in Miami, Florida, the second son of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. His older brother, Jahvaris Fulton, was a college student at the time of the incident. Sybrina Fulton, a native of Miami, graduated from Florida Memorial University with a bachelor's degree in English and worked at the Miami-Dade County Housing Development Agency. Tracy Martin worked as a truck driver. Both parents lived in Miami Gardens. They divorced in 1999, but both stayed active in raising their son. Trayvon Martin, a high school junior, had expressed a hope to secure a career in aviation like his maternal uncle.

On the evening of Sunday, 26 February 2012 Martin returned from a visit to a 7 Eleven convenience store to the Retreat at Twin Lakes a gated community in Sanford near ...

Article

Todd Steven Burroughs

a leader of the Black Power movement and a scholar. As one of the cofounders of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP), Newton became an internationally recognized leader of America's left-wing political forces and a symbol of black radicalism. While he was in jail, the BPP grew into an organization of local chapters and branches across the United States.

Huey Percy Newton was born in Monroe, Louisiana. He attended college part-time in Oakland, California, between 1959 and 1965, studying psychology and philosophy. He was inspired by Malcolm X, whom he had heard speak at a local high school in the early 1960s, and as a result became a student activist.

The BPP, which Newton came to symbolize, formed after the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965. Asking permission to use the black panther symbol from the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, Newton and his friend Bobby Seale ...

Article

Marian Aguiar

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Huey Newton grew up in Oakland, California, a place that would become the West Coast center of the American Black Nationalist movement. While attending Merritt College in Oakland, he met Bobby Seale, and the two began to work together on a project to diversify the school's curriculum. Inspired by nationalist struggles in the Third World and revolutionaries such as Fidel Castro and Mao Zedong, Newton became critical of the racist oppression of blacks in the United States and the capitalist system he saw as underpinning that exploitation.

As a response to the condition of black America, Newton and Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense later simply called the Black Panther Party We want land bread housing education clothing justice and peace concluded the organization s ten point program which Newton coauthored Patrolling black neighborhoods with shotguns which were ...

Article

Robert Farrell

hip-hop artist and performer. Born Christopher George Latore Wallace, the Notorious B.I.G. released only two full-length albums during his lifetime. His work under the names “Biggie Smalls” and “Notorious B.I.G.,” guided by the producer Sean Combs, had a lasting stylistic influence on late-twentieth- and early-twenty-first-century rap music. With the aid of Combs's shrewd executive productions and canny sense for hit making, Wallace's recordings blended street-level gangsta raps with a pop sensibility, a formula similar to that of the West Coast rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg.

The son of a Jamaican immigrant, Volleta Wallace, and a Jamaican father, George Letore Wallace was born and raised in Brooklyn New York His parents soon separated leaving Wallace to be raised by his mother in the Clinton Hill Bedford Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn Wallace was doted on by his mother who after attaining her GED went on to ...

Article

Notorious B.I.G. was born Christopher Wallace in New York City. His debut album, Ready to Die, appeared on Sean “P. Diddy” Combs's Bad Boy Entertainment music label in 1995. The record was a critical and commercial success, exhibiting the rapper's lyrical talents through a series of taut, first-person narratives chronicling life as a hustler on the streets of New York's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. The grim humor of B.I.G.'s lyrics emphasized the claustrophobia of his ghetto universe. On “Warning,” he raps, “There's gonna be a lot of slow singing / and flower bringing / If my burglar alarm starts ringing.” Songs like “Suicidal Thoughts” and “Things Done Changed” helped create one of “gangsta rap's” most sophisticated personas, a strange brew of subdued self-loathing and energetic violence. In B.I.G.'s world, the sexual boasting typical of Rap and Hip-Hop became an occasion for self parody as on Me Interlude ...

Article

Shane Graham

South African short story writer, novelist, literary critic, track-and-field athlete, and educator, was born 1 March 1931 in Cape Town to Nancy Ward Rive. His paternity is uncertain, as his father died soon after his birth and was seldom discussed in his home, though Rive speculated in his autobiography that his father may have been an African American. Rive was raised in the mixed-race inner-city area of Cape Town known as District Six, which his writing helped to transform into an emblem of apartheid oppression and dispossession. The district was condemned as a slum in 1966 and was declared “whites only” under the Group Areas Act; subsequently the entire neighborhood was razed and left undeveloped for decades. Rive said in a 1988 interview I always feel when I am here in District 6 that I am standing over a vast cemetery of people who have been moved away against ...

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Akil Houston

rapper, actor, poet, and activist. Born Lesane Parish Crooks in East Harlem, New York, Tupac Amaru Shakur was the son of Afeni Shakur (born Alice Faye Williams), a Black Panther acquitted of a hundred counts of conspiracy against the government a month before Tupac's birth, and William Garland. His mother initially gave him his name Crooks to obscure his connection to her, but she changed it to Tupac Amaru Shakur a few months later, after her marriage to Mutulu Shakur. Tupac's godparents were the well-known Black Panthers Assata Shakur and Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt. With his family so active in the Black Panther Party, Tupac was surrounded by a political atmosphere in which he developed a sense of awareness and self-expression. In 1984 his family moved to Baltimore where Shakur enrolled at the Baltimore School for the Arts there he studied drama ballet and dance and ...

Article

Alonford James Robinson

Tupac Shakur was one of the most influential and controversial voices to emerge from Hip-Hop's much maligned club of so-called gangster rappers. Criticized for their violent lyrics and misogynistic claims, gangster rappers became symbols of the best and worst of American musical creativity. Over a six-year period in the early 1990s Shakur became the voice for a generation of young, often frustrated, African Americans.

Through his music and his life Shakur embodied many of the harsh realities of ghetto life His raps addressed the difficulties of being young black and poor in the United States and as a promising actor he captured those realities on the screen True to the thuggish lifestyle that he rapped about Shakur was arrested and served time in jail on more than one occasion and often foreshadowed his own death in his songs and videos Shakur s predictions of his violent death came true ...

Article

Cecily Jones

The murder of the schoolboy Damilola Taylor led to one of the most public police investigations in the United Kingdom since the murder in 1993 of Stephen Lawrence, and much national soul‐searching about inner‐city poverty, gang culture, and youth crime.

Born in Nigeria to Gloria and Richard Taylor, Damilola moved with his family to England in August 2000. They settled in Peckham, south London. On 27 November 2000, on his way home from a computer class, Damilola was brutally attacked by a gang of youths. He was later found, just yards from his home, in the stairwell of a run‐down housing estate, bleeding from a stab wound inflicted by a broken bottle, and died on the way to hospital.

Already under pressure after their failure to secure a conviction in the Stephen Lawrence murder case police immediately launched a massive investigation Despite encountering what they ...

Article

Mary H. Moran

the twentieth and last president of Liberia’s First Republic, was born in Bensonville, outside of Monrovia in Montserrado County, on 13 May 1913. He came from a prominent family, descended from American settlers originally from South Carolina, and received his early education in local schools before graduating from the University of Liberia in 1934. The second of three brothers, he entered the family “business” of politics (his father was a member of the House of Representatives) and after a series of lower-level government positions he was elected to the House or Representatives as well in 1943.

In 1952 he was tapped to replace President William Tubman s first vice president C L Simpson when Tubman faced opposition within his own party the True Whig Party TWP and began to doubt the loyalty of his former running mate Tolbert kept a low profile and managed to remain ...

Article

When William Richard Tolbert, Jr. took office as Liberia’s twentieth president in 1971, he seemed poised to continue the dominance of the True Whig Party (TWP), which had ruled Liberian politics for more than a century. Instead, Tolbert’s administration was plagued by indecision and confusion, and his 1980 assassination marked the beginning of two decades of political, economic, and social chaos.

A member of the Americo-Liberian elite, William Tolbert attended a private Episcopal high school and the University of Liberia, from which he graduated in 1934. He worked in various government jobs before his 1943 election to the House of Representatives. In 1951 Tolbert became William V. S. Tubman’s vice president, a position he maintained through five elections until Tubman’s death in 1971, when he became president.

Long under Tubman s shadow Tolbert took immediate steps to distinguish himself from his predecessor Wearing casual dress to his ...

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Norman Weinstein

Born Peter McIntosh, Tosh's entrance into music began during his teenage years in the Trenchtown ghetto of Kingston, where he and his friends Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer imitated the vocal harmonies of Curtis Mayfield. Tosh's early recordings as part of a Ska/Reggae trio with Marley and Wailer (who became known as “The Wailers”) made clear that his singing and songwriting talents were strongly flavored by rage against hypocritical individuals and institutions. Songs like “400 Years” and “Downpressor” are prime examples of his mastery of political protest songwriting. His first recordings as a solo artist in the early 1960s include a wry commentary on sexual mores (“Shame and Scandal”) and a boastful declaration of Rastafarian identity (“Rasta Shook Them Up”).

After quitting The Wailers in 1972 Tosh pursued a performing and recording career as a solo artist marked by the cultivation of a persona ...

Article

Jace Clayton

Born Osbourne Ruddock in Kingston, Jamaica, King Tubby gained prominence in 1968 for playing his instrumental mixes accompanied by the crowd-pleasing “talk-over” deejaying of U-Roy (Ewart Beckford). The duo was known as Tubby's Hi-Fi and became highly popular in the impoverished Watertown section of Kingston where Tubby lived. U-Roy's verbal wordplay provided a perfect compliment to Tubby's increasingly experimental song versions. Using homemade and modified studio equipment, Tubby started dropping in vocal snippets, adding ghostly layers of echo and reverberation, soloing various instruments, inserting sudden silences, and employing unusual equalization and other studio effects. Crowds loved the soulful roots Reggae mutated by technical wizardry and avant-garde mixing approaches. Following Tubby's lead, many musicians and engineers began dubbing.

By 1972Dub fever had arrived. Fierce competition between sound systems kept creative pressures high, although King Tubby remained on top. In 1976 police attempted to shut down a ...