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Francesco L. Nepa

newspaper publisher, municipal official, and politician, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Robert Pelham, a plasterer and mason, and Frances Butcher. The Pelhams were a prosperous free black family who at one time owned a farm in Petersburg, Virginia. They were forced to sell, however, because of the harassment of townspeople, who were probably jealous of the family's success. The need to leave Virginia became apparent when the Pelhams attempted to purchase a license for their pet dog but were turned down by local authorities, who claimed that only whites and slaves could purchase dog licenses. The family decided to head north, and around 1862, after brief stops in Columbus, Ohio, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Pelhams settled in Detroit shortly after Benjamin's birth.

Pelham attended Detroit public schools and the fashionable Barstow private school While still a student he became a newsboy ...

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Rose C. Thevenin

educator and scholar, was born in Baldwin City, Kansas. Little is known about his parents; his mother died when he was nine and he was raised by his three maternal uncles, Elbert, Giles, and Theodore Wright, and his grandparents. In 1928 Porter enrolled at Talladega College in Alabama with a major in chemistry and a minor in biology. Upon graduation, he became a teacher at Booker High School in Sarasota, Florida. After only four months at his teaching position, the institution closed due to financial woes, so Porter returned to college. He enrolled at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). Upon graduation, he became principal of Tivoli Junior High School in Defuniak Springs, Florida.

Porter moved to New York during the 1930s and worked as a redcap at the New York Central Railroad Station He later moved to Michigan to pursue a master s degree in ...