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Graham Russell Hodges

The son of unknown parents, Titus Corlies was born on the farm of John Corlies, a Quaker farmer and slave owner in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. John Corlies resisted the determination of Quakers to free members' slaves. When elders of the Shrewsbury Meeting visited Corlies at his farm in 1775, he angrily refused to manumit his slaves. Titus Corlies, then about twenty years old, was listening carefully.

After Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, made his famous proclamation offering freedom to enslaved blacks who joined the British forces, Titus fled. John Corlies described the self-emancipated fugitive as “not very black near 6 feet high, had on a grey homespun coat, brown breeches, blue and white stockings”; he also noted that Titus took along a quantity of clothes. The fugitive slave perhaps joined Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment when it arrived at Staten Island, New York, in December 1776 Little ...

Article

Scot Ngozi-Brown

Fagen, David (1875–01 December 1901?), captain in the Filipino nationalist army, was born in Tampa, Florida. Little is known about either his parents or his early life. In the summer of 1899, just after the United States ended the war with Spain, Fagen was a corporal in the Twenty-fourth Infantry of Company I. He was among the black soldiers of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth infantries and the Ninth and Tenth cavalries dispatched to the Philippines in the U.S. effort to enforce territorial concessions granted by Spain in a peace treaty signed in February 1899. Emilio Aguinaldo, an ardent Filipino nationalist, led a guerrilla war resisting what he considered the United States replacing Spain as colonizer.

Letters written by African American soldiers to newspapers and family members indicate that some of them sympathized with the Filipino cause and a few even joined its ranks Fagen s actions in ...

Article

Scot Ngozi-Brown

captain in the Filipino nationalist army, was born in Tampa, Florida. Nothing is known about his parents, including their names, or his early life. In the summer of 1899, just after the United States ended the war with Spain, Fagen was a corporal in the Twenty-fourth Infantry of Company I. He was among the black soldiers of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth infantries and the Ninth and Tenth cavalries dispatched to the Philippines in the U.S. effort to enforce territorial concessions granted by Spain in a peace treaty signed in February 1899. Emilio Aguinaldo, an ardent Filipino nationalist, led a guerrilla war resisting what he considered the United States' replacement of Spain as colonizer.

Letters written by African American soldiers to newspapers and family members indicate that some of them sympathized with the Filipino cause and a few even joined its ranks Fagen s actions in the fall ...

Article

Guerrero was born in Tixtla, now a part of Guerrero, the state in Mexico named for him after his death. He was of mixed race, probably descended from Africans, Spaniards, and Native Americans. His dark complexion earned him the nickname El Negro. For most of his early life he lived in the region where he was born and worked as a wage laborer and a teamster.

In 1810 Mexico's war of independence erupted. Guerrero sympathized with rebel demands, including an end to the restrictive caste system. In December 1810, when José María Morelos y Pavón called for troops in south central New Spain (present-day Mexico) to join him in the revolt, Guerrero enlisted in the rebel forces. He soon was leading troops in the field and by 1812 had become a lieutenant colonel. During 1812 he attacked port towns on the Pacific coast and helped capture ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

political leader and president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC; former Zaire), was born in the town of Likasi, located in the northern section of the southern Katanga region of the then Belgian Congo, on 27 November 1939. His father, Désiré Kabila Taratibu Obashikilwe, born in 1900, was a post office clerk from the town of Ankoro in northern Katanga and a member of a Luba-speaking clan. His mother, Jeannine Mafik Mwad Kanambui a Mubol, belonged to a Lunda community from southern Katanga. Taritibu was a remarkable figure in his own right, as he demanded his children speak French at his house and strongly supported his children’s education along Western lines. The family’s trading enterprises allowed the young Kabila to grow up in prosperous surroundings. Kabila’s father became a state-appointed chief in 1952 As Kabila attended primary and secondary school he followed his father s passion ...

Article

Elizabeth Heath

In 1997 Laurent-Désiré Kabila received international attention when he led a seven-month rebellion in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) that toppled longtime dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. Kabila’s rapid rise to power followed nearly three decades of opposition to the regime of Mobutu. Laurent Kabila was born into the Luba ethnic group in the mineral-rich province of Katanga in 1939. Little is known about his childhood. He attended university in France, where he studied political philosophy and became a Marxist, and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he befriended Yoweri Museveni, the future president of Uganda. He returned to the Belgian Congo shortly before it achieved independence (as the Congo) in 1960. Upon his return, Kabila became a member of the North Katanga Assembly and a staunch supporter of Congo’s first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba. After Lumumba’s murder in 1961 ...

Article

Linda Melvern

Rwandan military leader and president, was born on 23 October 1957, in rural Tambwe, in the prefecture of Gitarama, Rwanda. His parents belonged to Rwanda’s Tutsi minority. His father, Deogratias Rutagambwa, was a farmer, while his mother, Asteria, was a cousin of Rwanda’s Queen Rosalie Gicanda, the wife of King Mutara III Rudahigwa. This connection to royalty afforded the family some protection from periodic violent political campaigns waged by Rwanda’s Hutu majority against the minority Tutsi elite. In November 1959, four months after the death of King Mutara, and at the beginning of the Hutu-led Rwandan revolution, Kagame’s father took the family into exile. Kagame, his four sisters, and his brother were among more than 100,000 Rwandans, most of them Tutsi, forced to flee.

Kagame grew up in destitution in a refugee camp in the Ankole district of Uganda the family later moved north to Toro He attended ...

Article

Leyla Keough

In July 1994Paul Kagame led the guerrilla Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to power in Rwanda, overthrowing a government whose members had participated in a genocide that killed an estimated one million people. Kagame quickly became the foremost figure in Rwandan politics and in 2000 was elected president of the nation. Kagame was born in southern Rwanda, but in 1959 a Hutu revolution in the Belgian colony of Rwanda forced into exile thousands of Tutsi, including two-year-old Kagame and his family. Kagame grew up in a refugee camp in western Uganda, where he attended school. As a young man he joined the rebel army of Yoweri Museveni to fight against the dictatorship of Milton Obote in Uganda. Museveni took power in 1986 and Kagame was awarded the post of chief of military intelligence A year later Kagame and about 8 000 other Uganda based Tutsi founded ...

Article

Wunyabari Maloba

legendary and enigmatic Mau Mau rebel leader in Kenya, was born around 1919 in Mahiga Nyeri District He enlisted in the British army during World War II and like so many other African enlisted men he fought in Burma After the war he joined many radical political and social movements in the country especially in Nairobi He was one of the founding members of the Anake 40 the Forty Group that was based in Nairobi but had representation in all the districts in Central Province This group overwhelmingly Kikuyu in composition included war veterans petty traders thieves and criminals It was however associated with defiance of colonial rules and regulations Loosely organized it carried out armed robberies as both a source of income and a means of raising funds for the purchase of weapons needed by the Mau Mau Many members of the Forty Group were also informally linked ...

Article

a founder of the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (Renamo, Mozambique National Resistance), a guerrilla movement opposed to the FRELIMO-led government of Mozambique, was born in Chirara, a village in the central Manica region of Mozambique. His ancestors were part of the mfecane (or Nguni push into the north from present-day South Africa) who settled in eastern Zimbabwe. His father Ngharife Matsangaíce was a farmer born in Zimbabwe who migrated to the Chimoio region of Manica in the late nineteenth century. His mother was Chinene Chinandaua, a Mozambican born in Chirara. André Matsangaíce is not believed to have left any children as he had never married.

Matsangaíce studied at a Catholic mission school in Jécua and then at a school in Musapa District in what was then Southern Rhodesia Upon completing school Matsangaíce worked as a heavy machine operator for a road construction company in Mozambique As FRELIMO expanded its independence war ...

Article

Sean Jacobs

South African parliamentarian and guerrilla fighter for the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC), was born on 6 July 1963 in a Coloured section of a government hospital in Durban, a port city on South Africa’s northeast coast. McBride has two sisters. His parents, Derrick and Doris McBride, were both schoolteachers. Doris’s father, Colin Campbell van Niekerk, was an Afrikaner, and her mother Grace the daughter of a Zulu-speaking mother and a Coloured father. Robert McBride grew up in Wentworth, a Coloured township in Durban next to an industrial area and a toxic oil refinery. At his trial in 1987 it also emerged that McBride was related to Major John MacBride, an Irish Republican major who had fought on the side of Afrikaners against the British in the Anglo-Boer War.

McBride was politicized at an early age by his father who introduced him to the history of Coloured ...

Article

Aaron Myers

Motivated by both economic and strategic military interests, the United States in 1916 initiated an eight-year occupation of the Dominican Republic. From 1916 to 1920 the United States introduced a number of reforms and programs meant to change the Dominican political, economic, and social structure. While some members of Dominican society cooperated with the United States, others resisted. In the eastern part of the country, opposition to the U.S. presence led to a five-year war between hundreds of guerrilla soldiers and U.S. Marines. General Ramón Natera emerged as the most important leader of the guerrilla troops, which consisted primarily of peasants and Sugar workers who had been displaced from their homes or jobs as a result of the U.S. occupation.

Little is known about Natera's life before the U.S occupation. He was briefly captured by U.S. Marine forces in 1918 while attempting to seize the town of Hato ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Chadian politician and military leader, was born in the northern Chadian town of Zouar. He is also known as Goukoumi Oueddei. His father was Oueddei Kichidemi, the most important spiritual and political leader of the Toubou, or Teda, people who live in northwestern Chad. As the chief (terde), Goukouni’s father judged disputes between various Toubou clans. He collaborated with the French government, which allowed Goukouni to live a relatively affluent lifestyle in comparison to other Toubou people. Goukouni was the youngest of four brothers. He attended Qurʾanic schools and then found work in the northern Chadian provincial capital of Faya-Largeau.

At independence in 1960, the French government continued to administer the northern region of Chad, where Goukouni lived. In 1965 the French government handed over direct control of northern Chad to the Parti Progressiste Tchadienne PPT Chadian Progressive Party of southern Chadian president François Tombalbaye Goukouni ...

Article

Born into the Touré clan in the Beyla region of present-day Guinea, Samory Touré became a soldier in the local conflicts that ravaged the area around the middle of the nineteenth century, and soon began to exploit the situation to his own ends. By 1870 he had forged a large private army, with which he eventually conquered an area reaching from the Fouta Djallon in the west to the Asante country of present-day Ghana in the east. Establishing his capital at Bissandougou in what is now Côte d’Ivoire, he tried at first to hold off the encroaching French by diplomacy and negotiations but later waged a brilliant, although ultimately unsuccessful, guerrilla war against them. Captured by the French in 1898, Samory Touré died two years later in exile in Gabon. He was the great-grandfather of Sékou Touré, the first president of modern Guinea.

Article

Patrick G. Williams

Jack Sisson was also known as Tack Sisson, Guy Watson, or Prince. He was one of those African American patriots whose lives were allowed by their contemporaries to become shrouded in obscurity. Little record exists of his whereabouts, activities, or circumstances before or after the exploit for which he is noted—the July 1777 abduction of Brigadier General Richard Prescott, commander of the redcoat garrison at Newport, Rhode Island. Sisson was among the forty volunteers Lieutenant Colonel William Barton raised from his regiment with the intention of seizing a British officer of sufficient rank that he might be exchanged for the captured American general Charles Lee. Some accounts suggest Sisson was Barton s servant Sisson steered one of the whaleboats that made their way with muffled oars from Tiverton Rhode Island toward Prescott s lodgings at the Overing House near Newport Escaping the attention of ...

Article

Patrick G. Williams

Revolutionary War soldier, was also known as Tack Sisson, Guy Watson, or Prince. His place of birth and the names of his parents are unknown. In fact, little record exists of his whereabouts, activities, or circumstances before or after the exploit for which he is noted—the July 1777 abduction of Brigadier General Richard Prescott, commander of the British garrison at Newport, Rhode Island. Sisson was among the forty volunteers Lieutenant Colonel William Barton raised from his regiment with the intention of seizing a British officer of sufficient rank that he might be exchanged for the captured American general Charles Lee Some accounts suggest that Sisson was Barton s servant Sisson steered one of the whaleboats that made their way with muffled oars from Tiverton Rhode Island toward Prescott s lodgings at the Overing House near Newport Escaping the attention of British ships the force ...

Article

Glenn Allen Knoblock

Loyalist guerrilla leader during the American Revolution, originally known as Titus, was the slave of John Corlis in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Titus was cruelly treated by his master and was often whipped for the most trivial offenses. Though John Corlis was a Quaker, as a slaveholder he practiced few of the faith's pacifist beliefs. Even among Quakers that did hold slaves, Corlis proved abusive. Not only did he frequently whip Titus, he refused to teach him to read and write, he likely offered no religious instruction, and he refused to free him at age twenty-one, practices normally followed by slave-owning Quakers.

Given Titus's lowly status, it is therefore not surprising that he would have escaped from his master at the first opportunity. In November 1775, perhaps around the time of his twenty-first birthday, Titus ran away. Corlis placed an ad for his runaway slave on 8 ...

Article

Mayda Grano de Oro

Beginning in 1906, the United States administrated and controlled the Dominican Republic's customs department and undertook the adjustment of the Dominican government's foreign debt. Increasing debts, internal disorder, and international pressures prompted President Woodrow Wilson of the United States to order the deployment and intervention of the U.S. Navy in the Dominican Republic. The troops arrived on November 29, 1916, and remained in control of the country until 1924.

The U.S. Marines invaded the Dominican Republic, easily occupying the town of San Pedro de Macorís to the passive acceptance of its inhabitants. However, Gregorio Urbano decided to confront the marines on his own with only the support of his .32-caliber revolver. In self-defense, he killed U.S. Marine Corps Colonel C. H. Button and then fled to join the nationalist guerrillas and their anti imperialist struggle After being tracked down and captured by the Dominican Army ...

Article

Mohammed Hassen Ali

Oromo educator and resistance leader in Ethiopia, was born in the region of Bale, around the famous Madda Walaabuu, the sacred place in traditional Oromo religion. At a young age Waaqoo Guutuu became the pride of people, for his physical strength, courage, intelligence, gift of leadership, and determined resistance against land confiscation by Abyssinian settlers in Bale.

Between 1942, when Emperor Haile Selassie consolidated his authority, and 1970, when Waaqoo Guutuu made a peace settlement with the emperor, no fewer than 1,448,558 hectares of land were confiscated from Oromo farmers in the highlands of Bale, which is nearly 30 percent of all lands confiscated in southern Ethiopia at the time, clearly indicating that the Oromo farmers in the province of Bale were singled out for confiscation of their land. From 1958 to 1960 Waaqoo Guutuu tried by peaceful means to lessen the tax burden on his people ...

Article

Tim Stapleton

Born in what is now southern Namibia around 1825, Hendrik Witbooi was a member of the chiefly family of the Nama people. The Nama had originated from the Khoikhoi and other African groups, but also from some Malaya slaves and European fugitives who generations earlier had fled north away from colonial rule in the Cape. They developed as a decentralized trans-frontier society of horse-mounted raiders who had adopted aspects of Western culture and Christianity. Educated as a Christian by German Lutheran missionaries, Witbooi became literate and thus was one of the few nineteenth-century hereditary African leaders to leave behind a significant collection of personal documents. An eager writer of letters, his correspondence from the 1880s and 1890s reveals a leader determined to dominate his African neighbors and preserve his independence from German colonialism In his letters Witbooi insisted on his equality with the German Kaiser and emphasized ...