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Article

Ronald Walters

Democratic Party activist and cabinet secretary, was born Ronald Harmon Brown at Freedmen's Hospital in Washington, D.C., the son of William Brown, who worked for the Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency, and Gloria Elexine Carter. The Browns moved to Harlem, New York, in 1947, and Ron grew up in the famed Theresa Hotel, where his father was manager. Joe Louis was a frequent guest, and gave young Ron the nickname “Little Brown.” Ron showed his entrepreneurial skills at an early age by getting autographs of Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson and other celebrity guests at the Theresa and selling them for five dollars each to his friends His parents both graduates of Howard University set Ron on a solid path to join the black middle class which became in many ways the social network that would make possible many of his achievements As a child he ...

Article

Alonford James Robinson

Born in Washington, D.C., Ron Brown grew up in Harlem, New York. He graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1962, after becoming the first black student to pledge a fraternity there. He enlisted in the United States Army. After his service, Brown worked for the National Urban League in New York while earning his law degree at night from St. John's University in 1970. He held several positions in the Urban League from 1968 to 1979, including general counsel, chief Washington spokesperson, deputy executive director, and vice president of Washington operations.

In Washington, D.C., Brown became active in the Democratic Party, and in 1979 he served as deputy manager of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy's presidential campaign. A year later Kennedy appointed him the chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1982 Brown resigned from the senate committee to become deputy ...

Article

Ntewusu Aniegye

Ghanaian lawyer, diplomat, politician, was born on 7 December 1950 in Bimbilla in the Northern Region of Ghana. His father, Alhaji Alhassan Chambas, was a district commissioner in Kwame Nkrumah’s government from the 1950s to mid-1960s. He was educated at Mfantispim School, Cape Coast (the former Wesleyan High School whose alumni include John Mensah Sarbah, Dr. K. A. Busia, and Kofi Annan), and Tamale Secondary School, Tamale. He is a graduate from the University of Ghana, where he read political science, obtaining his BA in 1973. He then travelled to the United States, where he obtained his MA and PhD degrees at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 1977 and 1980, respectively. He later earned a law degree from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Having briefly taught and practiced law in America he returned to Ghana where he became a school administrator He later joined the military ...

Article

Joseph Wilson

Michigan politician. Born in Detroit, Charles Coles Diggs Jr. attended the University of Michigan and Fisk University and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Following in his father's footsteps, Diggs worked as a funeral director in his family's business in Detroit, then was elected to his father's seat in the Michigan state senate in 1950. After sponsoring the state's Fair Employment Practices Commission, Diggs was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1954 as the first African American congressman from Michigan.

In the first year of his congressional career Diggs asserted leadership and became involved in the civil rights movement he spoke before ten thousand people attending a Mississippi conference organized by the largest civil rights group in the state the Regional Council of Negro Leadership Returning to Mississippi later that year he attended the notorious trial of the accused murderers of Emmett Till the ...

Article

Mohammed Badrul Alam

public servant and the first African American secretary of labor. Alexis Herman is among the few African American women who as a public servant rose to great heights through innovative and entrepreneurial skills. She was born in Mobile, Alabama, on 16 July 1947 and was educated at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin (1965–1967), Spring Hill College in Mobile (1967), Xavier University in New Orleans (1969), and the University of South Alabama (1970–1972 Inspired by the civil rights movements of the 1960s as well as by the women s and labor movements of the 1970s Herman worked strenuously to desegregate her old high school in Mobile During her childhood she looked on in awe when her father sued the Democratic Party to let African Americans vote he later became the first African American wardsman in Alabama As a proactive outreach worker in Pascagoula ...

Article

Jaime McLean

As a community activist, businesswoman, and political manager, Alexis Herman has devoted her life to resolving labor issues and advocating for American workers. Throughout her thirty-five-year career, Herman has been successful in translating her experiences with workers into effective labor policy. Having dealt with both gender and racial discrimination herself, Herman has dedicated her life to exposing institutional barriers and developing policies based on “common sense ideas that improve the bottom line.”

Alexis Margaret Herman was born in Mobile, Alabama. After graduating from Heart of Mary High School in 1965, Herman moved to Wisconsin, where she attended Edgewood College. In 1967 she transferred to Spring Hill College in Mobile before going on to Xavier University in New Orleans, where in 1969 she received her BS. Herman later did graduate work at the University of South Alabama while pursuing a career in community activism.

Herman s early career provided ...

Article

Emma Hunter

Tanzanian businessman, politician, and diplomat, was born in Dar es Salaam on 26 January 1922, the son of Habib Jamal and Kulsum Thawer. He attended primary school in Mwanza and secondary school in Dar es Salaam, then went to the University of Calcutta and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in commerce. On his return from Calcutta in 1943, Jamal entered the family business, but over the decades which followed he became increasingly involved in politics. In 1950 he was one of the founding members of the new Asian Association. Marking the emergence of a new generation within the Asian community in Dar es Salaam, the Association hoped for a future nonracial state in Tanganyika. In the Asian Association’s petition to the United Nations Visiting Mission in 1951, they called for a universal adult franchise and full independence within twenty years. In 1955 the Asian Association moved from ...

Article

The son of Limas and Dora Lee Brooks McHenry, Donald Franchot McHenry was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He grew up in poverty in East St. Louis, Illinois, where a public school is now named in his honor. McHenry received a B.S. degree from Illinois State University in 1957 and an M.S. degree from Southern Illinois University in 1959. As a student he was president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). McHenry was involved in negotiations to end segregation in area housing and restaurants.

McHenry then moved to Washington, D.C. He taught English at Howard University beginning in 1959 and entered the graduate program in international relations at Georgetown University. His public career began when he joined the U.S. Department of State in 1963. In 1968 he was made assistant to the secretary of state. From 1971 ...