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Mayda Grano de Oro

José Celso Barbosa played a key role in the politics of the Spanish-American War, denouncing the Creoles' political aspirations. At the same time, his involvement reflected the complexities and contradictions in race issues confronted by black Puerto Ricans at the time. Barbosa's achievements were not typical of blacks in Puerto Rico at the turn of the century. He represented the “self-made man” that came from humble origins. He had the opportunity to study at the only institution of secondary education on the island, thanks to the determination of his aunt. He completed his studies in the Jesuit seminary before going to the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, where he graduated in 1880. His experience in the United States made him an admirer of republican ideals for social equality and justice.

When Barbosa returned to Puerto Rico he started his medical practice and became a member ...


Aneesa A. Baboolal

was born, illegitimate, in Cedros, located on Trinidad’s southwestern peninsula, in November 1867. (Some scholars, including Selwyn Cudjoe [2013], name Dr. St. Luce Philip as the first legislator of African lineage, in 1838.) In 1882 David was admitted to the Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain. He won an Island Scholarship in 1885 (becoming the first Afro-Trinidadian to do so), studied law at Gray’s Inn (London) in 1886, and was admitted to the Bar in July 1889. He then began to practice in Trinidad.

David opposed the Crown Colony government, and as secretary of the Reform Committee (1892–1895), he advocated for the addition of elected members to the Legislative Council (members at the time were nominated by officials or selected by the governor). This change did not occur until 1924 however after his death David was also nominated to a Legislative ...