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Jonathan Morley

An imprint of Heinemann International Division publishing African literature, running from 1957 to 2003. In 1957Van Milne at Heinemann received a manuscript of Chinua Achebe'sThings Fall Apart, the seminal English‐language African novel. He commissioned the work, together with its sequel, No Longer At Ease, Cyprian Ekwensi'sBurning Grass, and a history book by Kenneth Kaunda, soon to be the democratic President of Zambia. The four books were published together in 1962, Achebe taking the editorship of the new series. Things Fall Apart would sell 8 million copies, translated into 32 languages.

Independent Africa's three Nobel Laureates for Literature—Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt), and Nadine Gordimer (South Africa)—were included, as were politicians such as Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) and Nelson Mandela, whose collection of letters, speeches, articles, and trial transcripts, No Easy Walk to Freedom, was published in 1986 several years ...

Article

Joel Gordon

Egyptian journalist and newspaper magnate in collaboration with his twin brother, Mustafa Amin, was born in Cairo on 21 February 1914. Their father was Amine Youssef Bey, a prominent lawyer and politician, and their mother was a niece of nationalist leader Saʿd Zaghlul. The boys grew up in Zaghlul’s Cairo villa, a political nerve center, eventually known as Bayt al Umma (the “House of the Nation”). In 1919 Zaghlul headed the national delegation that sought British permission to attend the Paris Peace Conference. Their arrest and exile sparked the 1919 “revolution” that inaugurated the constitutional monarchy (1923–1953). In 1922, the Amin twins embarked upon their first journalistic ventures, a series of handwritten magazines.

Ali attended the Royal Awqaf School from 1926 to 1928 but was expelled for participating in demonstrations against one of numerous minority governments He attended several preparatory schools one associated with the ...

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Rami Ginat

Egyptian journalist, novelist, scriptwriter, publisher, and politician, was born in Cairo on 21 February 1914. He said, “When I hold my pen I feel that I hug the most beautiful woman in the world; I have therefore lived a long love-story. I cannot imagine myself live a single day without my pen … When I pass away I ask to lay my pen next to me in my tomb since I may need it when I write a journalistic research story about the resurrection day” (Mustafa, p. 6). Mustafa Amin, or al-Ustadh the teacher as he was often referred to by his colleagues and followers was one of Egypt s most eminent journalists of the twentieth century Many in the Arab world have regarded him as the father of Arab journalism His pen Mustafa Amin kept reminding his readers was mightier than the dictator s sword a reference ...

Article

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is the world's oldest learned society dedicated to the promotion, research, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of information about the life, history, and culture of Africans, African Americans, and the African diaspora. Founded in Chicago on 8 September 1915 as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History by Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950) and four other people, the association was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on 3 October 1915. Its stated purposes were to collect sociological and historical data, to publish books on Negro life and history, to promote the study of the Negro through clubs and schools, and to bring about harmony between the races by interpreting the one to the other.

In the beginning the association had very little moral or financial support and its longevity must be ...

Article

Bim  

The word bim originally referred to a native of Barbados, often of mixed blood; the journal Bim encouraged writers to overcome the legacies of colonialism by affirming the mixed or hybrid nature of culture in the Caribbean. The journal, founded in 1942 by Frank Collimore and Theorold Branes ...

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Aparajita Nanda

The Bay Area in California which includes San Francisco the North Bay the East Bay the Peninsula and the South Bay is an extensive and geographically varied metropolitan region It is home to more than 7 million people and boasts a free spirited lifestyle cultural diversity and hopes and dreams that find expression in liberal politics and entrepreneurship A multidimensional writing community that blurs the lines of ethnic demarcation has arisen from the concentration of writers of all colors in the Bay Area Forming an integral part of this community are African American novelists who write not only of the black experience but also of the marginalization of other writers of color Despite hardships the omnipresence of existential threat the works of these writers celebrate human strength and a spiritual aesthetic that acknowledges the beauty of life and a faith in humanity This article provides an overview of a representative ...

Article

Kate Tuttle

More than just a periodical, the literary magazine Black Orpheus was a powerful catalyst for artistic awakening throughout West Africa. While the journal Présence Africaine had provided a forum for Francophone Africans since 1947, before Black Orpheus there was almost no acknowledgment of, or market for, literature and the arts in English-speaking West Africa. Founded in 1957 by a German expatriate, Ulli Beier, Black Orpheus introduced and helped launch the careers of many artists and writers, including Wole Soyinka, John Pepper Clark, Gabriel Okara, Dennis Brutus, Ama Ata Aidoo, Alex La Guma, and Kofi Awoonor. In addition, Black Orpheus published in English translation several Francophone African writers, such as Aimé Césaire and Léopold Senghor, and the works of visual artists including Valente Malagatana and Ibraham Salahi.

Beier had studied and taught English literature in London before accepting a teaching position in Nigeria ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

real estate developer, publisher, insurance broker, architect, and philanthropist, was born in Stock Township, Harrison County, Ohio, the son of William Blue and Adeline L. Blue, who married in Ohio in 1863. His father, a farm laborer, was born in Virginia in 1843 and may have been at one time enslaved to Thomas Blue in Hampshire County. He may also have been related to Thomas Fountain Blue, an acclaimed librarian in Louisville, Kentucky. Blue's mother was born in Ohio in 1845, to parents also born in Virginia. He had an older brother, William Benjamin, born in 1864, and a younger brother, Richard J., born in 1871. During the 1870s the family moved to New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where William Blue worked as a teamster.

Welcome T. Blue found work in Canton Ohio around 1889 where he lived ...

Article

Joy Elizondo

Poet Gabriela Mistral, the 1945 Chilean Nobel Laureate, praised Virginia Brindis de Salas's poetry in a letter, claiming that as far away as Los Angeles, her poems were establishing important pan-American links among black people. Despite Mistral's assessment, as literary critic Carroll Young states, there is but one other indication that her work was available outside of Uruguay: a 1954 German translation of her poem “Tango número tres.” Little is known about her life. She was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and claimed to have been the niece of Claudio Brindis de Salas, the famous Cuban violinist who had then settled in Buenos Aires. Active in the small but thriving black Uruguayan community, she published a number of poems in Nuestra Raza (the important black Uruguayan journal), before her first book appeared in 1946, Pregón de Marimorena The Call of Mary Morena Her second volume ...

Article

Michael J. Ristich

journalist, musician, and politician, was born James Henri Burch in New Haven, Connecticut, to Charles Burch, a wealthy black minister, and his wife. Burch was the sole black student at Oswego Academy in New York, where he was trained in journalism and music. He lived in Buffalo, New York, before the Civil War, where he became involved in the antislavery movement and taught music. Burch became an active member in the Garnet League, which championed the rights of former slaves. Upon moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Burch quickly worked his way in the political circles of Louisiana, serving in the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Louisiana Senate.

At age thirty two with his father s encouragement Burch left the North for Louisiana to aid and educate free blacks during Reconstruction Soon thereafter Burch began directing the local school for blacks and began his rise through the Louisiana state ...

Article

Connie Park Rice

newspaper editor and civil rights lawyer, was born in Williamsport, Virginia (later West Virginia), the youngest of three sons born to Isaac Clifford, a farmer, and Mary Satilpa Kent, free blacks living in Hardy County. John Robert joined the Union army on 3 March 1865, rising to the rank of corporal in the 13th U.S. Heavy Artillery. After serving in Kentucky, Tennessee, and eastern Virginia under General Ulysses S. Grant, Clifford volunteered for service at Chicago, Illinois.

After the Civil War, Clifford remained in Chicago, staying from 1865 to 1868 with the Honorable John J. Healy, an acquaintance of his father, and graduating from Chicago High School. Clifford worked as a barber before going to live with an uncle in Zeno, Muskingum County, Ohio, where he attended a school taught by Miss Effie McKnight and received a diploma from a writing school conducted by a Professor ...

Article

Rayford W. Logan

Julia Ringwood Coston was born on Ringwood Farm, in Warrenton, Virginia, and this is apparently the origin of her maiden name. At an early age she was brought to Washington, D.C., where she attended public school. Though she almost completed school, she had to withdraw when her mother's health failed. She became the governess in the family of a Union general and continued her studies. In the spring of 1886 she married William Hilary Coston, then a student at Yale University. He had published A Freeman and Yet a Slave (1884), a pamphlet of eighty-four pages, and may have broadened her formal education. A longer version of the same book was published in 1888 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, which may suggest that they lived there at the time.

The Costons settled in Cleveland Ohio where William Coston became the pastor of Saint Andrew s Church and ...

Article

Christopher Hogarth

Senegalese intellectual, was born on 10 January 1910 in Saint-Louis, Senegal. Best known as the founder (in 1947) of the literary review and later press Présence Africaine (1949), Diop was a key figure in the movement for the emancipation and recognition of Africa and its cultures.

In his childhood Diop was sent to a qurʾanic school to learn Arabic and the tenets of Islam but was also introduced to Christianity by his maternal aunts As an adult he would be baptized as a Christian in France and given the name Jean After qurʾanic school Diop went to primary school in Dagana and then received his high school education at the Lycée Faidherbe in Saint Louis from which he graduated with a baccalaureate in classics Greek and Latin Since Saint Louis was then among the colonized Senegalese towns considered part of France Diop became a French citizen and ...

Article

David Killingray

Monthly newspaper, costing 1d., founded in 1893 by the Quaker activist Catherine Impey as a successor to an earlier journal, Anti‐Caste. Published in Street, Somerset, it ran until July 1896. The journal was the monthly organ of the Society for the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man, which had been founded by Impey in the mid‐1880s. Fraternity's masthead showed clasped black and white hands. From an initial subscription of 3,000, by October 1893 it claimed 7,000 readers. The first editor was S. J. Celestine Edwards. The newspaper campaigned to raise public awareness of the number of lynchings of African‐Americans in the United States. Impey was a close friend of Frederick Douglass, and she actively supported Ida B. Wells (1862–1931) in her campaign to raise international condemnation of lynching in the United States during two speaking tours of Britain in 1893 ...

Article

Debra Jackson

abolitionist, political activist, and journalist, was born in New York City, the son of Hannah (1793–1864, maiden name unknown) and William Hamilton. William Hamilton, a freeborn black, was a carpenter by trade who set a stellar example for the New York black community as a strong leader in the fight for political and civil equality. William Hamilton was a staunch supporter of William Lloyd Garrison and the Liberator but stopped short of adopting Garrison's doctrine of pacifism. This aspect of William Hamilton's abolitionist ideology made a deep impression on his son Robert—one that lasted a lifetime. During the riotous summer of 1834 in New York when the mob spirit was in the city Robert recalled that his father took him to a hardware store purchased a pistol and instructed him to use it if attacked by the rampaging mob Boys as we were ...

Article

Debra Jackson

journalist and abolitionist, was born in New York City, the youngest son of the abolitionist and political activist William Hamilton and Hannah (1793–1864, maiden name unknown). William Hamilton, a freeborn black, worked as a carpenter and was a respected, influential member of the New York City black community. His son Thomas followed this example and became a prominent member of the community in his own right.

As a young boy Thomas Hamilton learned the newspaper business by working in the neighborhood of “Printing House Square,” the lower Manhattan area where many newspaper offices were located. Hamilton first worked as a carrier and in many other capacities for a variety of newspapers, including the Colored American. The journalist Philip A. Bell offered posthumous praise when he recalled that Hamilton went from the offices of the Colored American and worked “as mailing clerk on the Evangelist and ...

Primary Source

The rhythmic prose of Opal Moore b 1953 has focused in large part on African American women struggling for happiness meaning identity and honest communication in an environment restricted by racism sexism and economic hardship A Happy Story one of her most popular works discusses these themes while at the same time demonstrating Moore s skills as a poet here her prose begins simply but by the end the reader is overwhelmed with vivid descriptions of tactile sensations and thwarted dreams The setting appears simple a married couple debates the meaning of happiness in light of the narrator s propensity for producing cynical realist fiction But what begins as a typical discussion soon becomes an exploration into the nature of human longing for peace of mind and a respite from grief Along the way the protagonist digs up moments from her life that evoke intense feelings ranging from inconsolable regret ...

Article

Elsie A. Okobi

Nigerian journalist, newspaper founder, and nationalist politician, was born in Twon-Brass to Obidiah Joshua Ikoli from Ogbia and Rhoda Bogofanyo Egebesi from Twon-Brass, in present-day Bayelsa State. Ernest Sisei Ikoli’s elementary education was at Bonny Government School in Bonny, Rivers State, Nigeria, and his secondary education was at the capital, Lagos, where he was a member of the first group of students admitted to Kings College in 1910. An excellent student, Ikoli’s outstanding performance in his Cambridge Senior Local examination in 1912 led to his appointment as the first African teacher of mathematics and science at Kings College, a position he held from 1913 to 1919. During that period he taught Sylvanus Epiphanio Olympio, who later became the president of the Republic of Togo.

In 1919 Ikoli left his teaching position for journalism It was in this capacity that he was most successful earning the accolade of ...

Primary Source

The fiction of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906) was heavily influenced by the oral tradition passed down by his parents, Joshua and Matilda, two former slaves. Joshua escaped from Kentucky and joined the 55th Regiment during the Civil War, eventually settling his family in Ohio. Still, Paul’s formative years were marked by struggle; he was the only African American in his school and, despite his achievements as a student and a poet, was relegated to operating an elevator in a Dayton hotel due to racial discrimination. Even after he achieved some success with the release of his poetry collection Oak and Ivy 1893 Dunbar still felt restricted by the expectations of a black writer in the publishing world It is not surprising then that his stories so often feature a determined underdog who quietly works to subvert a condescending oppressive power structure One can imagine that the story retold below ...

Article

Michael Niblett

Journal first published in London in July 1938. The successor to Africa and the World and the African Sentinel, it served as the media organ for the International African Service Bureau (IASB). When Wallace‐Johnson, editor of the previous two IASB journals, returned to Sierra Leone, the Trinidadian historian, theorist, and activist C. L. R. James assumed control of the new, monthly publication. Fellow IASB founder member Ras Makonnen was equally influential, securing publishing offices and managing to have printing costs defrayed.

Under James the journal sought to be more radical than previous black writing from London It called on black intellectuals to identify with the struggle of the masses around the world and no longer to rely on the supposed charity of the imperialist powers With its motto Educate Cooperate Emancipate Neutral in nothing affecting the African people the journal was aimed at activists and was ...