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Baqi<ayn>e Bedawi Muhammad

Sudanese educator and human rights activist for women’s rights and an advocate for freedom and democracy, was born on 30 May 1935 in Omdurman one of three cities that constitute the capital of Sudan Khartoum Khartoum North and Omdurman Her parents were originally from the Nubian region in northern Sudan Ahmed was the only female among her three siblings She grew up in an environment that helped shape her future life as a liberal and progressive individual Her father Ibrahim Ahmed was an engineer who worked as a teacher in Gordon Memorial College Sudan He played an active role in Sudan s independence movement and served as the first Sudanese Deputy to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Khartoum the first chairman of the University of Khartoum Senate a member of the Executive Council the first Sudanese Parliament and founder and president of Mutamar a l Khiregeen Graduates ...

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Baqi<ayn>e Bedawi Muhammad

Sudanese intellectual, educator, political leader, and women’s advocate, was born on 1 January 1932 in the city of El Obeid, Province of Kordofan, and raised by an Islamic family. Her grandfather, al-Shaykh Mohammed al-Badawi, was a prominent Islamic scholar, and his house in Omdurman was a gathering place for well-known Islamic scholars from North Africa, such as al-Shaykh Mohammed Abdu of Egypt. Al-Badawi’s father, al-Fatih Mohammed al-Badawi, was a district commissioner who replaced the position of the British officer after Sudan independence in 1956. Although girls’ formal education was boycotted by the masses for being based on Western values, he was an open-minded and progressive individual with liberal ideas regarding girls’ education. In this atmosphere al-Badawi and her two sisters were raised.

As a district commissioner al Badawi s father s moved and worked in different regions of Sudan This situation compelled al Badawi to receive her elementary intermediate ...

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Barbara Bair

writer, educator, and feminist, was born Adelaide Smith on 27 June 1868 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Of mixed Hausa, Fanti, West Indian, and British heritage, she was born into the social world of the Creole professional elite, the daughter of court registrar William Smith and his second wife, Anne. Adelaide Smith moved with her family to England at the age of four (in 1872), and grew to adulthood in Britain. She was educated at the Jersey Ladies’ College, which her father had helped to found. The leaders of the school served as role models for the young Adelaide, who carried the message of female ability she learned at the college into her own adult life. The experience also influenced her lifelong dedication to education as a medium of social change for African women and girls.

Adelaide studied music in Germany for two years before her family s financial circumstances ...

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Elizabeth Ammons

Anna Julia Haywood Cooper was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the daughter of a slave, Hannah Stanley Haywood, and her white master, George Washington Haywood, with whom neither she nor her mother maintained any ties. At age nine she received a scholarship to attend the St. Augustine's Normal School and Collegiate Institute for newly freed slaves, and in 1877 she married an instructor at the school, a Bahamian-born Greek teacher named George Cooper. Left a widow in 1879, she never remarried. She enrolled in 1881 at Oberlin College, where educator and activist Mary Church (later Terrell) also studied, and elected to take the “Gentleman's Course,” rather than the program designed for women. She received her bachelor's degree in 1884 and after teaching for a year at Wilberforce University and then returning briefly to teach at St Augustine s she went back to Oberlin to ...

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Benjamin R. Justesen

teacher, farmer, public official, and three-term state legislator, was born a slave in Granville County, North Carolina, near the county seat of Oxford, to unnamed unknown parents. Little is known of his childhood, except that he received a limited education before the Civil War, probably because of his preferred status as the property, and possibly the son, of a prosperous white planter named Benjamin Crews. One account of Crews's early life says he was taken from his slave mother “at the age of two years and reared by a white family whose name he bore” (Edmonds, 102). He is also said to have attended both private and public schools in Oxford, where he grew up.

By 1870 Crews's education had enabled him to begin work as a schoolteacher in Oxford, even as he also ran his own farm and worked as a carpenter. Beginning in 1874 Crews embarked ...

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Debra A. Varnado

educator, was born in Jacksonville, Texas, the fifth of seven children of George W. Crouch, a Methodist minister, and Mary Ragsdale Crouch. Known by the nickname “Red,” Crouch graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in Jacksonville in 1923, but his family would relocate twenty-six miles to the north in Tyler, Texas, which he considered his hometown.

In Tyler, the Crouches lived in a home with a view of Texas College, a historically black school run by the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (later known as the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church). In 1927 Crouch earned a BA in Biology from Texas College His father an elder in the church wanted him to teach at the school after graduation Instead Crouch left for Dallas for a brief but lucrative stint selling insurance Crouch would later forgo insurance sales for a future in science and education applying to graduate school ...

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Elvita Dominique

physician, professor, mental health activist, and Harlem community leader, was born Elizabeth Bishop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the eldest of the three children of Shelton Hale Bishop and Eloise Carey. Her mother's father, Archibald James Carey Sr., was an influential African Methodist Episcopal (AME) clergyman in Chicago. Her father's father, Hutchens C. Bishop, was the first black graduate of General Theological Seminary in New York City, the oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church. He was also the fourth rector of the important and influential Saint Philip's Episcopal Church in Harlem. Bishop's parents continued their families' tradition of public service. Her father, who received a BA and a doctorate of divinity from Columbia University, succeeded his own father as the fifth rector of Saint Philip's. Her mother was a teacher.

Elizabeth Bishop s interest in psychiatry can be traced to the work of her father He was an ...

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Dior Konaté

Senegalese philosopher and university professor, was born on 24 May 1959 in Saint-Louis in Senegal and attended a local school, the Lycée Amet Fall. After passing with honors her baccalaureate in 1977 at the age of nineteen, Aminata Diaw left Senegal to pursue her studies in France. In 1978 she enrolled at the Lycée Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence, a preparatory school, earning a diplôme d’études universitaires générales (DEUG 1) in philosophy. A year later, she left for another preparatory school, the Lycée Masséna in Nice to complete a DEUG 2 and a bachelor of arts degree both in philosophy before going to Nice, where she obtained a master’s degree in 1981 from the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis. Then Diaw completed her philosophical studies culminating in a postgraduate diploma (DEA) and a dissertation on the theory of conflicts in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s political thinking. In 1985 she was awarded a doctorate ...

Article

politician, feminist activist, and educator, was born in March 1909 in Calabar a port city in eastern Nigeria even though her parents were members of the Yoruba ethnic community who mainly live in southwestern Nigeria Her father Thomas Adeogun Ojo belonged to the powerful Yoruba Ojo Badan family of the city of Ibadan Her mother Madam Ajitie Ojo earned the Yoruba nickname Iya Gbogbo the mother of all for her wealth and generosity as she ran a large trade business in kola nuts and alligator pepper Her father served in the British military and then worked as forestry officer for the colonial administration After he retired from civil service he became a chief in Ibadan Although her parents never received a Western education they recognized its importance Esan s siblings included an architect a lawyer and a teacher Her family was committed to educating its girls as well as ...

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LaRay Denzer

Ivoirian educator and activist, and Ivory Coast’s first minister of women’s affairs, was born Jeanne Sieffer on 6 June 1922 in Grand Bassam. She was educated at the École Normale de Jeunes Filles in Rufisque, and then trained as a teacher in Saint-Cloud, outside of Paris. After she returned to Ivory Coast, she was employed as an inspector of primary schools and a school principal. She became interested in the radical nationalism of the Parti Démocratique de la Côte d’Ivoire–Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (PDCI-RDA; Democratic Party of Ivory Coast–African Democratic Rally) and mobilized women to campaign for the independence movement.

In 1963 Gervais joined forces with first lady Marie Thérèse Houphouët Boigny and other progressive women many of them wives of politicians to establish the Association des Femmes Ivoiriennes AFI Association of Ivoirian Women Many of them were ethnically Akan and already participated in the women s wing of the ...

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Diane Todd Bucci

journalist, author, editor, and professor, grew up in Yonkers, New York. Her parents were Curtis G. Giddings and Virginia Stokes Giddings, and both were college educated. Her father was a teacher and guidance counselor, and her mother was employed as a guidance counselor as well. The family's neighborhood was integrated, and Giddings was the first African American to attend her private elementary school, where she was the victim of racial attacks. Even now, Giddings regrets that she allowed herself to be silenced by these attacks. This, no doubt, is what compelled her to develop her voice as a writer. Giddings graduated from Howard University with a BA in English in 1969, and she worked as an editor for several years. Her first job was as an editorial assistant at Random House from 1969 to 1970 and then she became a copy editor at Random ...

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Helene Strauss

South African feminist activist, educator, and politician, was born in Durban, South Africa, on 15 February 1960. The second child of teacher Kamalam and playwright Sathieseelan Gurulingam (Ronnie), her full name, Pregaluxmi, is a combination of the male name Prega (“the one who overcomes all obstacles”) and the female Luxmi (“love”). Her early political consciousness was formed both by the culture of critical thinking fostered at home by her father and by the realities of apartheid-era schooling and segregated living, which she experienced as an Indian child. Govender entered Spearman Road Primary School in 1965, when she was only four years old, but moved to Essedene Primary and then to Springfield Model Primary School after she and her family were evicted from their Spearman Road home as a result of the Group Areas Act, which forced people to live in racially zoned areas. In 1969 Govender enrolled ...

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Julie Gallagher

civil rights and women's rights activist and government administrator, was born Anna Arnold in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Marie Ellen Parker and William James Arnold II. The granddaughter of slaves, Arnold grew up in Anoka, Minnesota. Her parents, particularly her father, stressed the importance of education, religion, and discipline. She attended Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, from 1918 to 1922. She majored in English and pursued her studies with a passion that marked the way she lived her life. In 1919 she attended a lecture given by W. E. B. Du Bois, who had just returned from the Pan-African Conference held in Paris. This was her initial exposure to the African freedom struggles.

In the spring of 1922 Arnold became Hamline University s first black graduate Shortly afterward she boarded a train for Holly Springs Mississippi and began her teaching career at Rust College On ...

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Mary Krane Derr

labor union organizer and officer, businessperson, educator, and activist, was born Aileen Clarke in Brooklyn, New York, to Jamaican immigrants Ethel Louise Hall Clarke, a theatrical costume maker and seamstress, and Charles Henry Clarke Sr., an art supply business worker. Their lessons of bravery, persistence, and nondiscrimination served Hernandez and her brothers well as they grew up in Bay Ridge, a majority-white Brooklyn neighborhood. Hernandez was valedictorian of her public grammar school class. In 1943 she graduated from Bay Ridge High School as salutatorian and won a scholarship to Howard University. Outraged by the more blatant segregation in the nation's capital, she picketed Jim Crow facilities with the campus NAACP chapter. Hernandez edited the college newspaper and penned a college issues column for the Washington Tribune. After graduating from Howard magna cum laude in Sociology and Political Science in 1947 she was ...

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Amy Grant

The intrepid bell hooks has been one of America’s premier social critics, although often incorrectly categorized as merely a black feminist. It would be more accurate to characterize her as a public intellectual engaged in the arts of literary, film, and popular cultural criticism and committed to the struggle against racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. Many of her writings, interviews, and public speeches identified these dominant discourses as serious impediments designed to inhibit people from realizing a fuller understanding of themselves and their fellow human beings. Hooks sought to dismantle these dominant political discourses by exposing their use in art, literature, and film. Meanwhile, hooks encouraged those most damaged by these ideas, such as black women, to join this struggle, believing strongly that the elevation of black womanhood will result in the liberation of blacks and American society itself.

Bell hooks was born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky ...

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Baqi<ayn>e Bedawi Muhammad

Sudanese educator and women’s rights activist, was born on 1 January 1928 in al-Rank City in southern Sudan, at a time when girls’ formal education, which was based on the Western educational system, was perceived by the masses as a taboo. Ismaʿil’s family was among the few who encouraged their daughters toward formal education as opposed to traditional education, which was rooted in Sudanese Muslim culture. This form of teaching carries and maintains strict and specific values taught in the Qurʾan, the violation of which was not tolerated. Formal education for girls was first established by Christian missionaries to serve their communities, yet Muslim girls were allowed to attend. In 1907 taking a courageous step Sudanese educator Sheik Babikr Badri founded a private girls school in Rufaʾa central Sudan which was against the will of his family and the British colonial authority Although this school provided an alternative for ...

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Linda Rochell Lane

Hazel W. Johnson broke through convention, custom, and racial and gender barriers in 1979 when she became the first black woman general in the American military. This accomplishment has guaranteed her a place in African American history, women’s history, and military history.

Hazel Johnson was born in 1927 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Interested in travel and changing her outlook, she entered the army in 1955, five years after completing basic nurses’ training at New York’s Harlem Hospital. She received a direct commission as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nursing Corps in May 1960. Taking advantage of the educational opportunities provided by the military, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Villanova University, a master’s degree in Nursing Education from Columbia University, and a PhD in Education Administration through Catholic University.

Johnson was chief of the Army Nurse Corps from 1979 to 1983 the ...

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Felix Macharia Kiruthu

Kenyan educator, politician, and diplomat, is the daughter of Kenya’s founding president, Jomo Kenyatta, and his first wife Wahu. Margaret Wambui Kenyatta graduated from the Alliance high school during the colonial period, which was the top school for the African elite. She was one of the few literate African women at the time, but opted to teach in an African independent school with few facilities although she could have acquired a job in schools run by Christian missionaries, which had better facilities.

Wambui taught at the Githunguri Teachers College during the 1950s an independent school that was started by Jomo Kenyatta and Mbiyu Koinange to spearhead nationalism in Central Kenya In this way she made an important contribution to the struggle for liberation in Kenya At the time Kenya s nationalist movement was in high gear especially in central Kenya where the Mau Mau nationalist activity was beginning to worry ...

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Lisa Clayton Robinson

The Norton Anthology of African American Literature calls Paule Marshall's Brown Girl, Brownstones “the novel that most black feminist critics consider to be the beginning of contemporary African American women's writings.” Marshall grew up a voracious reader but was primarily exposed to white male authors. When she finally read African American authors Paul Laurence Dunbar and Richard Wright, she felt that black women's voices were missing. In her own novels and short stories, Marshall incorporated the language and lessons she had learned from the women around her, and she in turn inspired younger black women writers such as Alice Walker and Ntozake Shange.

Marshall was born Valenza Pauline Burke in Brooklyn, New York, to parents who had recently immigrated from Barbados, and was raised in a close-knit West Indian community. In a 1983 essay titled The Making of a Writer From the Poets in the Kitchen ...

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Elena Vezzadini

Egyptian educationalist nationalist and feminist was born in al Zaqaziq on the Nile Delta Her father was an officer of the Egyptian Army killed before her birth during an expedition to Sudan most probably to quell the Mahdist upheaval 1881 1885 Her mother was a housewife illiterate whose name and origins are unknown and who reared her and her only brother alone From al Zaqaziq the family moved to Cairo so that Nabawiyya s brother could attend primary and secondary schools and later be admitted to the Cairo Military College This gave Nabawiyya the chance to attend the Girls Section of the Abbas Primary School After that Nabawiyya decided to enter the al Saniyya School for Teacher Training against her mother and brother s will Among middle class families like hers work for women was frowned upon and teaching was seen as particularly deplorable because it entailed regular breaches of ...