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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 ...


Lucilda Hunter

poet, dramatist, musician, artist, was born prematurely on 11 May 1904 in Axim in the Gold Coast (now Ghana). Her father was Joseph Ephraim Casely-Hayford, a journalist, educator, and Pan-African activist of Fante origin, and her mother was his second wife, Adelaide Smith Casely-Hayford, a Sierra Leonean–born feminist, writer, and educator.

Gladys Casely-Hayford spent the first five years of her life between the Gold Coast and England. Her mother first took her there in 1906 to consult a specialist about a congenital hip defect that had made her left leg weak and misaligned, creating mobility problems. A second visit to England was for her mother’s own health and family reasons. Both visits lasted for months and might have contributed to the failure of her parents’ marriage, which ended with a legal separation agreement in 1914 Gladys went to Freetown when her mother returned to Sierra Leone and attended the ...


Christopher Hogarth

French-African poet associated with the Pan-Africanist Négritude literary movement, was born on 9 July 1927 in Bordeaux France His father was Senegalese and his mother Congolese Diop was thus strictly speaking a European of African parentage but his struggle to affirm his African identity in the face of colonial Europe is reflected in his life and poetry As a child Diop and his family traveled often between France and Africa and he attended some primary school years in Senegal Diop s father died when he was eight years old thus leaving his mother Marie Diop to raise his large family he was the third of five children Diop lived his earliest teenage years in German occupied France and suffered greatly from bouts of tuberculosis meaning that many of his childhood years were spent in hospitals It was in sanatoriums that Diop found his passion for literature and he started ...


Said M. Mohamed

Somali poet, born Abdullahi Sultan Muhammad, is one of the most respected Somali poets. Timacadde gained this honor using his poetic talent neither to gain world material nor to espouse his clan cause, but to try to steer the Somali public away from the danger of clan politics.

Timacadde was born in 1920 in a farming settlement called Gallooley in Northern Somalia. After completing his early Islamic religious education, he moved to French Somaliland (Djibouti), where he began composing some of his early poems. When the anticolonial movement started in British Somaliland, Timacadde returned to British Somaliland.

Timacadde joined the Somali National League party during liberation movement and then became its main poet urging Somalis to rise up against colonial powers and stand up for their rights by supporting Somalia National League s quest for an independent Somaliland that would reunite with United Nations administered Italian Somaliland When in the ...