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legendary founder of the Chadian kingdom of Baguirmi, was apparently born in the early sixteenth century. Given the wealth of legends about his life and the lack of documentary evidence, it may be that stories involving Dala Birni Bisse may refer to events linked to several early mbang kings of Baguirmi Many oral traditions collected about Dala Birni Bisse claim that his grandfather ʿAbd al Tukruru was the great grandson of ʿAli son in law of the prophet Muhammad Supposedly ʿAbd al Tukruru s father Muhammad Baguirmi was a black child of two Arabian parents who was nearly killed by his angry relatives ʿAbd al Tukruru advised his twelve sons and twelve of their friends to leave Yemen and establish a kingdom somewhere to the west They brought with them bellows made of stone from the holy city of Medina three drums three trumpets and three lances carried by ...


Cheikh Anta Diop is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century. A central figure in African-centered scholarship, his intellectual range and work spanned many disciplines. At the 1966 World Festival of the Arts in Dakar, Senegal, Diop shared with the late W. E. B. Du Bois an award as the writer who had exerted the greatest influence on black thought. He is most known for his work to reaffirm the African character of ancient Egypt through scientific study and to encourage African scholars to use ancient Egypt as a source of valuable paradigms to enrich contemporary African life and contribute to new ways of understanding and improving the world.

Cheikh Anta Diop was born in Diourbel Senegal a town that has a long tradition of Muslim scholarship and learning fostered by the Mouride Brotherhood He began his education at the age of four in ...



Richard A. Bradshaw

Central African religious leader whose prophetic vision and teaching of nonviolent resistance to foreign domination in the 1920s helped inspire the so-called Baya Revolt or Hoe Handle War (Biro Konggo Wara), was born Barka Ngainoumbey during the 1890s in the village of Seri-Poumba, near Bouar and the Cameroonian border in western Ubangi-Shari. His name is also spelled Karnou. His father, Gbayanga Ngabanan Ngaiwen, belonged to the Gbaya (Baya) ethnolinguistic group, and thus so did his son. Barka’s parents separated while he was still very young, and his mother took him back to her village with her. Little is known for certain about his youth, but it is said that as a teenager, Barka was initiated into the Labi cult, which is associated with the acquisition of certain extraordinary powers, and that Barka was known for his hunting and fishing skills.

It is said that when Barka went to ...


Jeremy Rich

Kongolese religious and political reformer, was born to a wealthy noble Kongo-speaking family in Kibangu, a mountainous region located in present-day Angola. Little is known of Kimpa Vita’s immediate family, but she grew up during a period of fragmentation and civil war. The relative stability of the Kongo kingdom in the sixteenth century had collapsed in the wake of the Portuguese invasion from Angola to its south in the 1660s. By the late seventeenth century, the old kingdom had divided into a range of competing noble families, each claiming to be the rightful dynasty that could rebuild the shattered fragments of Kongo into a single state. Kimpa Vita’s father served as an officer in the army of King Álvaro X, whose pretentions of being the true monarch of Kongo did not correspond with the tiny amount of territory around Kibangu that he actually controlled.

Amid this chaotic political landscape Kimpa ...


Zambian prophet, was born near Kasomo Village in the Chinsali District of northern Zambia in the early 1920s. She was named Mulenga Lubusha at birth, and was later baptized with the Christian name Alice. Her mother, Musungu Chimba, and father, Lubusha, were members of the royal clan of the Bemba kingdom, the Crocodile Clan. Further details about her mother are unknown; her father was a village policeman who fought for the British during World War I and was a messenger for the colonial administration.

Lenshina married Gipson Nkwale soon after puberty and had a child with him After the death of Gipson she was cleansed and inherited according to Bemba custom by his cousin Petros Chintankwa d 1972 with whom she had five children She relished her position as a mother and is remembered fondly by her children She campaigned for the material and spiritual well being of all but ...


Nico Slate

artist, teacher, and activist, was born in Aberdeen, Mississippi, the son of Cleveland Sykes, a handyman, and Anna Bell Clay. Growing up in Mississippi and in St. Louis, Missouri, Sykes and his eight siblings faced segregation and poverty. In the face of racism and hardship, his parents taught him to treat his home and his neighborhood with care and respect. In 1958 Sykes moved to San Diego, California, where he began painting in his spare time and where he met Erma Thornton. In 1961 he moved again, this time to Los Angeles, where two years later he and Erma were married.

Rozzell and Erma Sykes rented a small bungalow on the 4800 block of St Elmo Drive in Mid City Los Angeles The building was old and dilapidated but the Sykeses improved it practicing one of Rozzell s favorite sayings If you are ...