1-20 of 40 results  for:

  • 1941–1954: WWII and Postwar Desegregation x
  • Revolutionary x
  • 1877–1928: The Age of Segregation and the Progressive Era x
Clear all

Article

Carlos Dalmau

A passionate speaker and outspoken critic of United States imperialism and the 1898 invasion and occupation of Puerto Rico, Pedro Albizu Campos spent many years in prison for his role in the pro-independence nationalist movement, during the turbulent years of the 1930s through the 1950s. He opposed the annexation of Puerto Rico by the United States when the island was ceded by the Spanish after the Spanish-Cuban-American War (1895–1898). For Albizu, Puerto Ricans—ethnically mixed and culturally different—were not, and should not be, Americans. Independence was the only legitimate and anti-imperialist solution to the island's status.

From an early age Albizu stood out as an excellent student He grew up in the city of Ponce a municipality in southern Puerto Rico where he received a grant that gave him the opportunity to study chemical engineering at the University of Vermont He later graduated from the Harvard Law School where ...

Article

Michael J. Bustamante

was born on 27 February 1927 in Havana into a working-class family with twelve children. After completing the eighth grade and working as a bricklayer, Almeida was introduced to political activity in 1952 upon meeting Fidel Castro while employed at the beach club for students of the University of Havana. A veteran of the failed 1953 assault on Santiago de Cuba’s Moncada Barracks, and prisoner of the Fulgencio Batista government until May 1955, Almeida returned to Cuba in late November 1956 from exile in Mexico, along with other insurgents of the 26th of July Movement, aboard the yacht Granma. Together with Fidel Castro and his brother, Raúl, as well as Ché Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, Almeida was among the few rebels who survived initial clashes with Batista’s forces and arrived at the Sierra Maestra in eastern Cuba. In early 1958 he was promoted to Comandante Commander the ...

Article

Michael J. Murphy

automobile worker and activist, was born General Gordon Baker Jr. in Detroit, Michigan, one of five children of General Gordon Baker Sr., an automobile worker, and Clara Baker, a housewife. Baker attended Southwestern High School in Detroit and went on to take classes at Highland Park Community College and Wayne State University. In the early 1960s he took a job with Ford Motor Company and continued to work in the automobile industry for almost forty years. In 1941 Baker s father had moved his family to Detroit from Georgia in search of a job in the booming war production industries taking part in the massive migration of African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North during the first half of the twentieth century Becoming an autoworker allowed Baker Sr to dramatically improve his family s standard of living especially in comparison to his prospects ...

Article

Marian Aguiar

Ahmed Ben Bella was born in Maghnia, Algeria. After fighting for the French during World War II, Ben Bella returned home to witness the colonial administration’s crackdown on the Algerian population. During the crackdown, the French bombed Islamic villages and killed thousands of Muslims in response to the 1945 anticolonial riots in the Sétif region. Inspired to join the growing Algerian independence movement, Ben Bella worked with several illegal revolutionary groups until he was arrested and imprisoned by the French in 1950.

After escaping from prison in 1952, Ben Bella joined other exiled anticolonial leaders, including Mohamed Boudiaf and Hocine Aït Ahmed, in Cairo, Egypt. Together they helped found the main revolutionary party, the Algerian National Liberation Front (Front de Libération Nationale, or FLN). Ben Bella was an arms procurer for the FLN in 1956 when he was captured aboard a plane ...

Article

Lahcen Ezzaher

Moroccan anticolonialist leader, was born in Rabat. Although he was raised in a family of modest income, he managed to attend a French elementary school for children of notable families at the age of nine. In 1938, he graduated from Moulay Youssef High School in Rabat. He attended Algiers University in Algeria, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1942. He returned to Morocco and taught mathematics at Gouraud High School and then joined the teaching faculty at the Royal College. In La mémoire d’un roi: Entretiens avec Eric Laurent, the late King Hassan II, who was one of Ben Barka’s students, described him as a man with “a vast knowledge, a charming personality, and a passionate nature” (p. 108).

The year 1935 marked the beginning of Ben Barka s involvement in the national movement for independence He was the youngest member of ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Algerian anticolonial leader and politician, was born on 25 December 1916 in the town of Maghnia in western Algeria. His family was relatively affluent, and he was the youngest child of five boys and several girls.

Although Ben Bella’s father was a practicing Muslim, Ben Bella himself never managed to master Arabic. He attended primary schools in Maghnia and graduated in 1930. Ben Bella was a phenomenal football (soccer) player at school, and he seriously considered becoming a professional athlete. However, he ended up joining the French army and served in numerous campaigns during World War II. His bravery and skill made him a legend in his own unit, and he eventually reached the rank of Sergeant Major. At the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy, he carried his wounded company commander 1500 yards to safety and then took charge of the company Charles De Gaulle his future ...

Article

George Reid Andrews

The son of former slaves, João Cândido was born in the cattle-ranching country of southern Brazil. In 1895, at the age of fifteen, he joined the Brazilian navy, which at that time had a very clear racial hierarchy. While the officer corps was exclusively white, an estimated 80–90 percent of the enlisted seamen were Afro-Brazilian, many of them forcibly recruited against their will. Slavery had been abolished in Brazil only a few years earlier, in 1888, and many officers continued to treat crews as though they were in fact slaves. Conditions of service were extremely harsh; and even though whipping had been outlawed in the navy in 1890, it was still widely used as a means of discipline.

Brazil joined the naval arms race of the 1890s and early 1900s expanding its fleet to become the largest naval power in Latin America Cândido himself was sent ...

Article

Peter Limb

known popularly as “Mota” (Gujerati term of affectionate respect) or “Doc,” South African communist, liberation movement and Indian leader, and physician, was born in Krugersdorp in 1909 to Muslim Indian immigrants Mohamed and Amina, who in 1904 started a business in Krugersdorp. The son of a prosperous merchant, racial segregation soon affected Yusuf as he traveled daily to working-class Fordsburg to attend Indian-only schools.

After early schooling, he left for India, matriculating at Aligarh Muslim College, where Gandhi’s anticolonial movement left a deep impression. Refusing to enter the family business, in 1929 he moved to London to study medicine and got involved in anticolonial politics. His father insisted he move to Edinburgh to avoid politics, and in 1936 Dadoo graduated with Glasgow and Edinburgh medical degrees, but his political involvement with the Independent Labour Party and Indian National Congress intensified as he began to read Marxist literature.

In 1936 ...

Article

Richard A. Bradshaw

local assembly representative and political leader during the struggle for independence of Ubangi-Shari (now Central African Republic), was born in Kouango, Ouaka, on 8 June 1915, the son of a French or Portuguese father, Joseph Darlan, and a Banziri woman from Ouaka region, Elisabeth Mandalo. He was originally named Théophile Mandalo (1915–1937), but he later adopted the name Antoine Théophile Darlan and married Pauline Loyo. Antoine attended primary school in Bambari, then the École urbaine (“city school”) in Bangui. In 1931 he joined the colonial civil service as an accountant for the finance department, but he soon came to oppose French colonialism. In 1935 Antoine and several colleagues—Jean Baptiste Songomali, Marie-François Augustin Gandji-Kobokassi, Benoît Mombeto, Pierre Indo, and Bernard Condomat—founded the Amicale Oubanguienne, a cultural association devoted to achieving equal rights and access to higher posts for Ubangians. In 1940 Antoine Gandji Kobokassi and Théophile Nguinio started a ...

Article

Françoise Vergès

writer, psychiatrist, and activist, was born on 20 July 1925 at Fort de France Martinique at the time a French colony The descendant of a slave of African origins Fanon was the fifth of eight children His parents who were of mixed heritage belonged to the urban middle class His father Félix Casimir Fanon worked in the French customs Eléanore Médélice his mother was a shopkeeper She was very proud of her Alsatian roots on an island where the hierarchy of color was very strong Both parents discouraged their children from speaking Creole and encouraged them to integrate into French culture Fanon studied at the elitist Lycée Schoelcher where he had Aimé Césaire as one of his teachers At eighteen Fanon joined the Free French army and was sent for army training to Algeria Fanon became disillusioned with the cause of freeing Europe from Nazism and wrote to his ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Congolese (Kinshasa) revolutionary and politician, was born in 1927 in the eastern region of what was to become the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite his short-lived international fame as a Marxist guerilla commander who, it briefly appeared, might seize control over his homeland in 1964, relatively little is available about his early life.

He became an adherent of the Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba’s Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) political party in the late 1950s, and became one of the most prominent MNC leaders in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo by 1959. The Belgian government’s sudden decision in 1959 to withdraw from the Congo in 1960 led to numerous struggles between the fledgling Congolese political parties which had been legally allowed to operate by the colonial administration only since the 1950s Gbenye was proof that the MNC had support in various parts of the ...

Article

Maria G. van Enckevort

was born on 28 October 1893 in Paramaribo, Suriname. He would sometimes use the Anglicized spelling “Housewood,” and was also known to use the aliases J. Billings, Charles Woodson, and Edward Mason for his political activity. Otto’s father, Rudolf Huiswoud, a tailor, had been born enslaved in Suriname, where slavery was abolished in 1863, though full emancipation did not come until 1873. His mother, Jacqueline Bernard Huiswoud, came from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. Huiswoud’s experience of the oppressive Dutch colonial system in Suriname prepared him for a lifelong struggle against imperialism and for the right of self-determination for all subjugated people. Like many of his Caribbean and African contemporaries, he looked toward the Soviet Union for support in this struggle.

As a teenager he apprenticed to a cabinetmaker and a printer but he left Paramaribo in order to pursue a career at sea He initially headed ...

Article

Mustafa Kabha

was a member of the Free Officers, a group that succeeded in engineering a coup against the monarchist regime of Egypt in July 1952. Kamal al-Din Husayn was born in Kaylubiyya, Egypt, in 1921, and graduated from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1939. At the outbreak of World War II he enlisted in the Egyptian army and served in an artillery unit in the Western Desert. He took part in the War of 1948 in Palestine and upon his return to Egypt was appointed a teacher at the school of artillery and at the military staff college. In January 1949 he joined the Free Officers who were operating clandestinely within the Egyptian army together with ʿAbd al Latif al Baghdadi However he also maintained a strong relationship with the Muslim Brothers long serving as their liaison with the Free Officers His association with the Muslim Brothers ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

Mau Mau anticolonial rebel leader, was born on 31 October 1920 in Nyeri district Kenya His mother was Nyambura though she was later commonly known as Waithuthi It is unclear who his father was as his mother was an unmarried widow at the time of Kimathi s birth He had two brothers Gichuhi and Wagura as well as three sisters Nyankinyua Wangeci and Wanjagu His family sent Kimathi to a Catholic school at the town of Wamagana not far from the Catholic mission of Tetu However Kimathi was baptized at an Anglican church and finished his primary schooling in Ihururu Although Kimathi was baptized he also had interest in the spiritual traditions of his Kikuyu ethnic community His grandmother Nyakinyua told him stories about Ngai the most powerful deity in Kikuyu cosmology He later would turn to these traditions during his days as a Mau Mau fighter battling ...

Article

Emmanuel Asiedu-Acquah

Ghanaian army officer and coup-maker, was born on 26 October 1926 at Alakple, a village in the south of the British mandated territory of Trans-Volta Togoland (present-day Volta Region of Ghana). His father, Kwasi Kotoka, was a fisherman and his mother, Tordeafiadewo Kpodo, was a trader. Kotoka had his elementary and secondary education at the local Catholic primary school and the Anloga Senior School, which he completed by 1941. He then went on to train as a Catholic catechist-teacher. After a stint as a teacher, he trained as a goldsmith. In July 1947, he started a career in the military by enlisting with the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force. On graduating from his basic military training, he was appointed to teach English to newly enlisted soldiers at the Infantry School based in Accra, the capital of colonial Ghana.

Kotoka rose through the ranks ...

Article

first prime minister of the Republic of the Congo (later Democratic Republic of the Congo), was born 25 July 1925 in Onalua a small village in Kasai Province Belgian Congo His parents belonged to the small Tetela ethnic group known for its resistance to Belgian colonial domination which in Onalua was well anchored and brutally asserted Lumumba was a curious even audacious child with a sharp intelligence He did not allow himself to be ruled by adults or his comrades and was remembered as a leader always ready to defend his friends His assertive temperament distinguished him but also got him into trouble for he could not succeed in an environment like the colonial Congo where docility passed for a primary virtue An autodidact he was shaped by neither family school nor religion he observed everything keenly imposing himself on his society and surprising above all the Belgian colonial ...

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

Edmond J. Keller

Ethiopian military officer and leader of an attempted coup against Emperor Haile Selassie, participated in the armed resistance against the Italian Fascist occupation of his country during World War II. When the war ended, he continued to serve in his country’s military and was a member of an Ethiopian unit deployed by the United Nations during the Korean War.

It is significant that the end of the war coincided with the intensification of the African nationalist struggle for independence from European colonial rule. Although Ethiopia had never experienced European colonial rule—its history books refer to the five-year Italian Fascist interlude as nothing more than an occupation—some say that the modern Ethiopian Empire was based on a form of internal colonialism and worse. The modern state was established in 1855, and between then and 1974 successive emperors had attempted to modernize a form of bureaucratic authoritarianism Until the overthrow ...

Article

Nelson Santana

was born, probably in 1927, into a family of African descent in the southeastern Dominican Republic province of Barahona. As a young man Mesón left the Dominican Republic and traveled to New York, where he met his eventual wife with whom he fathered two children, Juan Miguel Mesón and Darlene Mesón Holmes. Prior to his arrival in New York, Mesón served as a sergeant in the Dominican navy.

In the Dominican Republic, Mesón served the Dominican government in various capacities, including during the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina, and in the process he gained the trust of the Trujillo family. In addition to his military service, he worked as a bodyguard for Ramfis Trujillo, son of the dictator, and also as a machinist for some of Trujillo’s boats, including his personal yacht, the Angelita named after the dictator s daughter Working for the government Mesón witnessed many ...

Article

Curt Johnson

Mozambican nationalist and anticolonial leader, was born in June 1920 in Manjacaze, Gaza Province, Mozambique. His father was a local chief, and Mondlane remembered herding cattle as a child. His mother, early on, emphasized his education, and he attended a primary school run by the Swiss Mission, which had a strong influence on his political development. He taught himself English and managed to obtain a place in a secondary school in North Transvaal, South Africa. He next attended Witwatersrand University. In 1948– 1949, he was among the founders of NESAM (Núcleo dos Estudantes Africanos Secundários de Moçambique), an anticolonial cultural-political organization for Mozambican youth. His activities in NESAM led to his expulsion from South Africa and first encounters with the police on his return to Mozambique.

Through the intercession of American church groups Mondlane traveled to Portugal where he again ran afoul of the Portuguese secret police as a ...