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José Antonio Fernández Molina

was born in Cartago, Costa Rica. He amassed the nation’s largest fortune during the first half of the nineteenth century and served in several political posts. Aguilar Cubero was identified as mulatto when he was baptized and was the great-grandchild of a mulatto slave woman. His grandfather and father were involved in businesses such as cacao production in the Caribbean coast and trade with Nicaragua. Immediately after independence in 1821, ethnic categories, which were an integral part of the colonial social hierarchy imposed by Spanish rule, were abolished and legally forbidden in the new Federal Republic of Central America, which encompassed Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua for two decades.

It was within this new framework that Aguilar Cubero became an important coffee producer and trader serving as the intermediary between local coffee producers and foreign markets According to family tradition he learned to write while working ...

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Chaitali Korgaonkar and Robert Smieja

porter, clerk, and civic leader in Hartford, Connecticut, was born in Guilford, Connecticut, the son of Ham Primus, a sailor, and Temperance Asher. His grandfather, named simply Primus, is recognized in one local history as a servant and apprentice to a Dr. Wolcott in East Windsor, Connecticut, in the mid-eighteenth century. Later on, inspired by Dr. Wolcott's work, this Primus became a doctor himself, setting up his own office. We know little about Holdridge Primus's early life, but we do know he was earning a living by age twelve. In his early teenage years, he made his way to Hartford, Connecticut, where he worked and apprenticed for William Ellsworth, (later governor of Connecticut from 1838 to 1842). When Ellsworth served in Congress around 1840 he chose to take Primus with him based on his merit intelligence and dedicated service Primus was employed in a ...

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Sean Jacobs

South African politician and businessman, was born on 5 March 1953 in the then new township of Soweto, south of Johannesburg. His father worked as a clerk at Johannesburg General Hospital. As a child, Sexwale was a keen karate enthusiast, resulting in his receiving the nickname “Tokyo.” In 1973 he matriculated from Orlando West High School in Soweto. While at school Sexwale, a local student leader, had become a follower of Steve Biko’s Black Consciousness Movement. Shortly afterward he left South Africa. By then he had also become involved with the banned African National Congress (ANC). He joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the ANC. In 1975 he completed a business degree at the now disbanded University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. He later completed a military officers’ course in the Soviet Union.

In 1976 Sexwale reentered South Africa on a mission for MK but was ...