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Aaron Myers

Born in Salvador, Bahia, Rui Barbosa de Oliveira studied at the law academies of Recife and São Paulo, where he met Antônio de Castro Alves, the “Poet of the Slaves,” and future abolitionist Joaquim Nabuco. Barbosa's abolitionist campaign began in 1869, when he organized the conference “O Elemento Servil” (The Servile Element). Although the slave trade had been outlawed on November 7, 1831, slaves who had entered Brazil before that time remained in bondage, and many Africans had since been illegally enslaved. At the Elemento Servil conference, Barbosa condemned slavery on legal grounds by invoking this 1831 law.

In the following years Barbosa frequently challenged the proslavery Conservative Party. During the provincial elections of 1874 he criticized the Free Womb Law, which freed the children of all female slaves, as “a superficial improvement.” In 1884 he joined a reform cabinet led by Manoel Dantas ...


Melinda Bond Shreve

judge, newspaper owner, and civil rights activist was born in Pender, Nebraska, to John Bird Miller and Nora Herbaugh. His father was born a slave, and his mother was a school teacher. Miller has been recognized for his significant gains in spearheading court cases which resulted in equal opportunity and fair housing for all Americans.

Miller graduated from high school in Highland, Kansas. He studied at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, as well as Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he majored in journalism. He obtained his bachelor of laws degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, in 1928, and graduated from the University of Southern California Law School as well (Flamming, 2005, p. 302). Miller was admitted to the Kansas bar, and the California bar in 1933.

In Los Angeles he met notable poet Langston Hughes who noticed some ...