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Gloria Chuku

journalist and president of Nigeria, was born into the family of Obededan Chukwuemeka Azikiwe, a clerk with the Nigerian Regiment of the West African Frontier Force in the northern Nigerian Hausa town of Zungeru. Later known affectionately as Zik, as a child, Nnamdi learned Hausa before his parents sent him to Onitsha, their Igbo hometown, for his primary education in 1912. In 1918, he graduated from Christ Church School, Onitsha, and he briefly taught there as a pupil teacher (1918–1920).

His education also took him to the Efik town of Calabar where he enrolled in the prestigious Hope Waddell Training Institute Following his father s transfer to Lagos Nnamdi moved with the family and enrolled at the Wesleyan Boys High School Lagos a predominant Yoruba town By the time he graduated from high school Nnamdi had acquired three major Nigerian languages Hausa Igbo and Yoruba and ...


A member of the Igbo people of western Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe was educated at mission schools in the city of Lagos. He worked briefly as a clerk for the national treasury at Lagos, but in 1925 he left Nigeria in 1925, a stowaway on a ship bound for the United States. There, he studied history and political science while supporting himself as a coal miner, casual laborer, dishwasher, and boxer. As a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, Azikiwe became familiar with black activist Marcus Garvey and the Back to Africa movement.

In 1934 Azikiwe moved to Ghana, became editor of the Africa Morning Post, and published Liberia in World Affairs, a book about another West African nation. He published Renascent Africa in 1937 That same year he returned to Nigeria where he joined the executive committee of the Nigerian Youth ...


Pedro L V Welch

was born on 11 August 1955 in the rural working class district of Rock Hall, St. Thomas, Barbados, to Aidan and Carmentha Beckles. His father was a tailor whose antecedents were decidedly working class, as was the case with the majority of Afro-Barbadians whose ancestors had been enslaved on the plantations of Barbados. Rock Hall was the first free village in Barbados. Most of the formerly enslaved were forced to remain in plantation employment after emancipation, and hence on the plantation tenantries. In the free villages, by contrast, the residents held the land in freehold and were not bound to the plantation labor force or to residence on the plantation tenantries.

Beckles attended the Black Bess Primary School, in the rural parish of St. Peter, between 1959 and 1965 Subsequently he attended the Coleridge and Parry Secondary School also located in St Peter It was here that he was ...


Paul K. Sutton

was born on 23 September 1949 in Pointe-a-Pierre, Trinidad, the second of six children. Her father, Roy, was an estate security officer and jazz musician who emigrated to England when she was 8. Floella followed two years later to join the family in London where her father had found work as a garage mechanic. In later years she spoke of the difficulties she had in adjusting to life in London, including racism, which were chronicled in her autobiographical children’s book Coming to England (1995). This was adapted for a BBC television program, which won a Royal Television Society award in 2004.

Benjamin left school at the age of 16 to work as a clerk in Barclays Bank. In 1973 she won a part in Hair, a successful musical, and so began a theatrical career. Appearances in the London West End musicals Jesus Christ Superstar and The ...


Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Julian Bond grew up in the North where his father, Horace Mann Bond, was president of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. In 1957 Julian Bond enrolled at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he cofounded the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR) and organized Sit-Ins at the Atlanta City Hall cafeteria in 1960. That year he left direct campaigns to engage in communications work for COAHR when it joined several other groups to form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). After helping found SNCC, Bond became its director of communications.

In 1965 Bond won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives in a newly created black district in Atlanta. However, his statements against the Vietnam War led the House to bar him from his seat. In December 1966 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in his favor and he ...


Jennifer Jensen Wallach

civil rights activist, politician, and television host. The son of the prominent educator Horace Mann Bond, Horace Julian Bond spent his early years in Philadelphia, where his father was the president of Lincoln University. In 1957 the family relocated to Atlanta, where Horace Mann Bond accepted a faculty position at Atlanta University. Julian Bond attended a Quaker preparatory high school and then enrolled at Morehouse College. Although his family hoped that he would follow in his father's footsteps and become a scholar, Julian was far more interested in political protest than in his academic coursework. In 1961 he dropped out of school to work full-time in the civil rights movement, not completing his BA in English at Morehouse until 1971.

Eager to fight for desegregation in Atlanta, Bond cofounded the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (COHAR). On 15 March 1960 he was arrested ...


Joanne Collins-Gonsalves

was born Olga Lowe on 16 September 1920 in Berbice, British Guiana (now Guyana). A brilliant student, she excelled in her studies and selected education as her chosen career path. She read for and received her teacher’s certificate from the Government Training College in 1941. Olga Bone furthered her tertiary education by obtaining a diploma of education from the University of Birmingham in England, from which she graduated in 1959. She also pursued a master’s degree in education at the University of Chicago, where she specialized in the areas of measurement, evaluation, and statistical analysis, graduating in 1963. Bone enhanced her qualifications through a specialized course in educational testing at Princeton University in 1970.

As an educator she taught in Guyana at St Patrick s and the All Saints Anglican schools both in Berbice While in Georgetown she taught at the Bel Air and Redeemer Lutheran ...


Roanne Edwards

Best known for his weekly Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television show Tony Brown's Journal, Tony Brown has become a controversial figure in the landscape of American race relations. Although once active in the Civil Rights Movement, he has criticized present-day black activists for prioritizing civil rights at the expense of black business initiatives and education programs in computer technologies. He advocates black economic self-sufficiency and has consistently opposed welfare as well as Affirmative Action policies that he believes mainly benefit middle-class blacks. “If America were capitalist,” said Brown in an interview with Matthew Robinson of Business Daily, “it could not be racist. Racism is flourishing because we are awash in socialistic controls.”

Born in Charleston, West Virginia, Brown was reared by two domestic workers, Elizabeth Sanford and Mabel Holmes who informally adopted him at the age of two months after his father deserted the family ...


Patit Paban Mishra

academician, businessperson, author, talk-show host, and journalist. The fifth son of Royal Brown and Katherine Davis Brown, William Anthony Brown was born in Charleston, West Virginia. The marriage of his parents broke down in the racist environment of Charleston. His father was a light-skinned person, whereas his mother was of dark color. For several years he was raised by a foster family, Elizabeth Sanford and Mabel Holmes, before he was reunited with his mother and three siblings. Brown had a turbulent childhood, but by sheer determination, perseverance, and hard work along with the support of his foster parents and several school teachers, he rose in life—primarily through education. After high school he attended Wayne State University in Detroit, where he earned a BA in sociology (1959) and an MSW in psychiatric social work (1961).

After graduation Brown obtained a ...


Sandria Green-Stewart

was born on 21 April 1925 in Bunker’s Hill, Trelawny, Jamaica, to Robert Patterson, a butcher and farmer, and Carolyn Anderson-Patterson, a seamstress. She recalled that her father wanted her to become a nurse, but that as a child she “was teaching everything in sight” (interview with author). Patterson attended Unity All-Age School and Bethlehem Teachers’ College, and after graduating in the mid-1940s taught at Tweedside Primary School, in the parish of Clarendon, where she was responsible for three classes. At Tweedside she began a career in teaching that lasted more than forty years.

Patterson completed the General Certificate of Education, Advanced Level (GCE A-Level) through independent learning. After securing a government scholarship, she attended the University of the West Indies, where she received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1951. On 15 April 1953 she married Alvin S Chambers and a year later the couple moved to ...


Lisa Clayton Robinson

Jewel Plummer Cobb was born in Chicago, Illinois. By her sophomore year in high school, she had begun to work toward her goal of becoming a biologist. She received a bachelor's degree in biology from Talladega College in Alabama in 1944. She then studied cell physiology at New York University, earning a master's degree in 1947 and a Ph.D. in 1950.

Cobb continued her research at several different universities and eventually became involved in university administration. She was president of California State University at Fullerton and dean at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, Connecticut College, and Douglass College in New Jersey. Cobb became trustee professor of the California State University System in 1990. In 2001 she received the Reginald Wilson Award from the American Council on Education Office of Minorities in Higher Education for her career achievements in promoting diversity in higher education Cobb ...


Anthony A. Lee

Badi Foster was born in Chicago to an interracial Baha'i family. His father (William) was black, and his mother (Ruth) was white. When Badi (which means “wonderful” in Arabic and is the name of a celebrated Baha'i martyr) was eleven, his parents moved to Morocco as pioneers (missionaries) for the Baha'i religion. He spent his adolescence in that country, learning French and Arabic. He attended the American School in Casablanca to the eighth grade, and then transferred to the American School of Tangiers where he completed his high school education in 1960.

As a consequence of learning new languages and negotiating new cultures Foster discovered that although Morocco had its own structures of inequality and oppression American notions of race were unknown there He explains that as a boy therefore he was vaccinated against racism never internalizing ideas or racial inferiority and gaining important insights even as a teenager ...


Richard A. Bradshaw and Juan Fandos-Rius

writer, school inspector, politician, diplomat, and foreign minister of the Central African Republic (CAR), was born at Pointe-Noire, Middle Congo, on 27 November 1927. His father, Pedro Franck, was from Cabinda, Portuguese Angola, and his mother, Baza Souzat, was from the former Belgian Congo, but he was granted CAR citizenship on 12 January 1967. After studying at the École des Cadres for French Equatorial Africa in Brazzaville, Franck was sent to Ubangi-Shari as an administrator in 1945. On 24 October 1951 he married Marie-Josèphe Jeannot Valangadede, who bore three girls and four boys before a divorce on 19 May 1973. She was a leader of the CAR National Women’s Association and the first female member of a CAR government.

Franck was active in the Éclaireurs Boy Scouts and represented them at the Grand Congrès des Mouvements de Jeunesse de Toute l AEF Grand Congress of Youth ...



Mordecai Wyatt Johnson was born in Paris, Tennessee. In 1911 he received a B.A. degree from Atlanta Baptist College (now Morehouse College), and subsequently taught several courses there, including English, history, and economics. He then enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he took a second B.A. degree, in social sciences, in 1913. A third B.A. degree, in divinity, came from Rochester Theological Seminary three years later. For the next several years he served as pastor of a Baptist church in Charleston, West Virginia, and organized Charleston's first office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In the early 1920s he returned to school, first at Harvard Divinity School, where he was awarded a M.A. degree in theology in 1922, then at Howard University, where he received a Ph.D. degree in theology in 1923 Supported by the Young Men s Christian ...


Akilah S. Nosakhere

educator, theologian, college president, public servant, and author. A man of great wisdom, dignity, and faith, Benjamin Elijah Mays is best known for his role as president of Morehouse College from 1940 to 1967. It was Mays who transformed the historically black all-male college into a prestigious college for black men. The so-called Morehouse mystique is the result of Mays's commitment to young black men.

Mays was born in Ninety Six, South Carolina, in 1894 to Hezekiah and Louvenia Carter Mays, former slaves and tenant farmers. The youngest of eight, Mays graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1920. During the next twenty years Mays taught and traveled the world as an executive of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the World Council of Churches and as dean of Howard University's School of Religion. In 1921 as an ordained Baptist ...


Robert Fay

Benjamin Mays was born in Ninety-Six, South Carolina, the son of Hezekiah and Louvenia Carter Mays, both former slaves. After attending Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, he transferred to Bates College in Maine, earning a bachelor's degree in 1920. The following year he became ordained a Baptist minister. He then attended the University of Chicago's Divinity School, earning a master's degree in 1925 and a Ph.D. ten years later. In 1934 Mays assumed the deanship of Howard University's school of religion where he revitalized a moribund program. In six years under Mays' administration, enrollment increased, the quality of the faculty improved, and the library grew. In addition, the school achieved the American Association of Theological Schools' highest rating.

In 1940 Mays became the president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, serving in that position until 1967 Although he enhanced the quality of ...


Orville Vernon Burton

Mays, Benjamin Elijah (1 Aug. 1894 or 1895–28 March 1984), educator, college president, and civil rights activist, was born near Rambo (now Epworth), South Carolina, the son of Hezekiah Mays and Louvenia Carter, tenant farmers who had been enslaved. Benjamin, the youngest of eight children, grew up in the rural South when whites segregated and disfranchised African Americans by law (he himself was not allowed to vote until 1945, when he was fifty-one years old). His first childhood memory was the 1898 Phoenix Riot in South Carolina where, he recalled, white vigilantes murdered his cousin.

At an early age Mays developed an insatiable desire for education Extreme racial inequality however marked the South s segregated education system In 1900 for example African Americans 55 percent of South Carolina s population received only 2 percent of the appropriations for higher education By the age of seventeen Mays had ...


Donald Roe

civil rights lawyer, law professor, and university president. James Madison Nabrit Jr., a dedicated civil rights lawyer, educator, and public servant, graduated from Northwestern University Law School and established a law practice in Houston, Texas, in the early 1930s. During this period, he represented Native Americans in cases involving oil and gas issues. He also developed an interest in civil rights law and was involved in cases relating to black voting rights. Nabrit joined the Howard University Law School faculty in 1936. He was among a small cadre of brilliant lawyers, centered at Howard, who led the fight to dismantle legal segregation in the United States. After serving as a law professor, dean of the law school, and university secretary at Howard during a twenty-four year period, Nabrit became president of the university in 1960.


James Madison Nabrit was born in Washington, D.C., to the Reverend James Madison and Gertrude Nabrit. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1923 and from Northwestern University Law School in 1927. In 1930 Nabrit moved to Houston, where he worked as a civil rights lawyer. Nabrit joined the faculty of Howard University Law School in 1936, where in 1938 he taught the first formal civil rights course in any law school in the United States. While a teacher and administrator at Howard from 1936 to 1960, Nabrit was involved in numerous civil rights cases including Bolling v. Sharpe, in which he and attorney George E. C. Hayes challenged segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia. Bolling was ruled upon by the Supreme Court in conjunction with Brown v. Board of Education wherein the court found segregation to be unconstitutional In ...