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Camille A. Collins

founder of MOVE, an anarchist communal organization active primarily in the Philadelphia area, was born Vincent Leaphart in the Mantua section of West Philadelphia.

Africa served in the Korean War, though little else is known about his early life. In the early 1970s, while working as a neighborhood handyman and dog walker (nicknamed “the dog man”), he began to corral followers. With the assistance of Donald Glassey a white graduate student in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania Africa a third grade dropout compiled the MOVE doctrine in a document known as The Guidelines His group was first known as The Christian Movement for Life later The Movement and finally MOVE Numerous press reports stress the fact that MOVE is not an acronym and therefore the tenets of the group can only be vaguely delineated Responding to this criticism group member Delbert Africa quipped It means what it says ...


Joshunda Sanders

activist and sole adult survivor of a deadly bombing of a home of the MOVE organization, in one of Philadelphia's black neighborhoods, that killed 11 people and left over 250 people homeless. Africa was born Ramona Johnson in West Philadelphia, where she was raised by her mother, Eleanor Jones, and attended Catholic school from first through twelfth grade. She then attended Temple University, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Political Science and an associate's degree in Criminal Justice. In 1976, her last year at Temple, she was hired by Community Legal Services, the state-sponsored legal aid in Philadelphia. There she worked helping tenants with legal issues they had with their landlords, an experience that set the foundation for activism later in her life. “Prior to that I was not active in anything,” Africa said I had a general idea about injustice by police brutality and ...


Sandy Dwayne Martin

clergyman, community activist, denomination organizer, and black nationalist was born Albert Buford Cleage Jr., one of seven children of Pearl (whose maiden name is now unknown) and Albert Cleage Sr., in Indianapolis, Indiana. Shortly after Agyeman's birth, Cleage, Sr., a medical doctor, relocated with his family to Detroit, Michigan, where the father helped to establish the city's first African American hospital. After an undergraduate education that included a stay at Fisk University in Tennessee, Agyeman received his BA in Sociology from Wayne State University in 1937, serving as a caseworker for the Department of Public Welfare from 1931 to 1938. Subsequently Agyeman felt the call to ministry and obtained a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Oberlin College Graduate School of Theology in 1943. Also in 1943Agyeman married Doris Graham, to which union was born two children, Kris and the ...


Melissa Castillo-Garsow

was born Maymie Leona Turpeau De Mena in 1891, to Isabella Regist and Francisco Hiberto De Mena in San Carlos, Nicaragua. She was raised in an upper-middle-class family—her father was the government minister of lands in San Carlos—and was privately educated. De Mena traveled to the United States in 1913–1914 and 1917–1925. She was employed as a clerk-stenographer and teacher before she began her career in Marcus Garvey’s United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) as an interpreter, lecturer, organizer, and journalist. Originally, she joined the Chicago chapter of the UNIA, serving as one of their delegates to the national convention in 1924.

Although in 1925 she was still listed as part of the Chicago UNIA, following her participation at the 1924 convention De Mena was tapped by Garvey to accompany George Emonei Carter and Henrietta Vinton Davis on the SS Goethals when it toured the Caribbean to ...


Akinyele K. Umoja

founder and principal organizer of the Southern California chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Evon Carter Little information is published about his early life. Evon Carter moved the family to Los Angeles, California, in the early 1950s. Carter became known to friends and relatives by the name “Bunchy” Carter would introduce himself as “Bunchy … like a bunch of greens.”

During the time Carter s family moved to Los Angeles black youth built street organizations in South Central Los Angeles to defend themselves against white supremacist youth gangs in predominately white neighborhoods adjacent to the African American community One of those street organizations was the Slausons named for Slauson Avenue which runs through South Central Bunchy rose as a leader of the Slausons in the early 1960s The Slausons with 5 000 members was the largest street force in Los Angeles during the ...


Kimberly Curtis

visual artist, educator, and activist, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, the second of the seven children of Dana C. Chandler Sr., a longshoreman, and Ruth Chandler. At age five Dana Chandler Jr. and his family moved to Roxbury, Massachusetts, a predominantly African American community. Chandler's parents, who had not attended school beyond the ninth and eleventh grades, raised their children to recognize the importance of completing high school and earning a college degree. Chandler grew up in a poor, working-class family and attended Boston's public schools throughout childhood and adolescence. He received primary and elementary education at the Asa Gray and Sherwin schools. After a six-month hospital stay to treat rheumatic fever, he transferred from Boston Latin School to J.P. Timility Junior High School. At Boston Technical High School his art teachers Ralph Rosenthal and Gunnar Munnick inspired him to become an artist. In 1959 Chandler graduated ...


Jocelyn L. Womack

activist, educator, and lawyer, was born Kathleen Neal in Dallas, Texas, to Ernest Neal and Juette Johnson, educators. Activism and scholarship were staples of the Neal family home, as both of her parents held advanced degrees. Ernest and Juette met while attending the University of Michigan in the 1940s. Juette held a master's degree in mathematics, and Ernest earned a PhD in Sociology. Ernest was working as a Wiley College sociology professor in Marshall, Texas, at the time of Kathleen's birth.

Shortly after Kathleen s birth Ernest accepted a job at Tuskegee Institute relocating the family to Alabama In addition to Kathleen s early exposure to academia her father s work in foreign aid promoted a family environment in which social progress was frequently discussed At the age of nine Kathleen had already embarked upon a life of global travel and had an appreciation of diverse cultures Her father ...


Pedro R. Rivera

and founder of the African Nationalist Pioneer Movement (ANPM) in Harlem, New York City. Cooks was born on 23 June 1913 in the city of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. He was the youngest of four siblings. His parents, James and Alice Cooks, moved from the island of St. Martin to San Pedro during the sugar boom at the turn of the twentieth century that brought thousands of workers from other parts of the Caribbean to the Dominican Republic. James became a successful entrepreneur who also was concerned with helping the workers by maintaining mutual aid societies. Carlos was introduced to political activities as a child. His career in New York as a leader for black racial consciousness started from a local Dominican branch of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which was housed in a family property.

The UNIA was founded by the Jamaican Marcus Garvey who established ...


Jonathan Morley

Journalist and activist born to wealthy parents, against whom she rebelled. Cunard became a well‐known figure in the London modernist movement, and throughout the busiest period in her career, the 1930s, was a controversial advocate of black emancipation in the United States and Africa.

At 855 pages long, weighing nearly 8 pounds, with 150 contributors, the NEGRO anthology of 1934 was Cunard's most ambitious publication: a collection of essays, polemics, and poetry from France, Britain, and America designed to highlight the vibrancy of the black world and to lobby for black freedom. Writers of interest include the future African presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Pan‐Africanists George Padmore and W. E. B. DuBois, the black modernist novelist Zora Neale Hurston, and the poets Nicolás Guillen, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Countee Cullen, Alain Locke, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound who ...


LaVerne Gyant

actress, activist, and elocutionist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Mansfield Vinton Davis, a musician, and Mary Ann (Johnson) Davis. Davis's talents as an actress and elocutionist were apparently inherited from her father, while her inclination toward activism came from her stepfather, George A. Hackett, who was a recognized leader within the African American community in Baltimore. Both Mansfield Davis and George Hackett died while she was still young After her stepfather s death Davis and her mother moved to Washington D C where she had the advantage of attending the best schools and with her fondness for books made rapid progress in her studies At the age of fifteen she passed the necessary exams to become a teacher and began teaching in the Maryland school district During this time she was recruited by the Louisiana State Board of Education who tendered her ...


Adele N. Nichols

a black nationalist best known as Ahmed Evans, was born in Greenville, South Carolina, to John Henry Evans and Ora (surname unknown). Evans was the fourth of twelve children, and when he was young, he and his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Other than that his family was poor, little is known about his early life before he joined the U.S. Army in 1948. He served in the Korean War as a sergeant in a ranger company but left the Army to return to Cleveland to work, following an injury to his head and back.

He returned to the Army in 1954 and won a boxing championship at Fort Hood in Texas He also struck a superior officer was tried by a military court and was given a punishment of two years in military prison His ruling was lowered because there was medical evidence that supported him ...


Ula Y. Taylor

Garvey, Amy Euphemia Jacques (31 December 1896–25 July 1973), journalist, Pan-Africanist, and the second wife of black nationalist Marcus Garvey, journalist, Pan-Africanist, and the second wife of black nationalist Marcus Garvey was born in Kingston Jamaica the daughter of George Samuel Jacques a property owner and Charlotte maiden name unknown Amy Jacques s family was rooted in the Jamaican middle class thus she was formally educated at Wolmer s Girls School an elite institution in Jamaica As a young woman she suffered from ailing health due to recurring bouts with malaria In need of a cooler climate she emigrated to the United States in 1917 and settled in New York City where she had relatives After hearing contradictory reports about the Universal Negro Improvement Association UNIA recently founded by Garvey she attended a meeting in Harlem She was intrigued by the organization and in 1918 became ...


Sholomo B. Levy

journalist and Pan-Africanist, was born in Kingston, Jamaica, the daughter of George Samuel Jacques, a cigar manufacturer and landlord, and Charlotte Henrietta, a member of the Jamaican aristocracy. Amy's family traced their ancestry on the island back to John Jacques, a white property owner and the first mayor of Kingston. She grew up as part of the “brown elite,” who were considered socially and economically superior to the black majority. After completing her secondary education at the exclusive Wolmer's Girls School, Amy worked in the law office of T. R. MacMillian for four years and had thoughts of becoming a lawyer. However, in April 1917 she left Jamaica for New York, arguing that the cooler climate would mitigate her recurring bouts of malaria.

Amy Jacques arrived in Harlem, the Mecca for ambitious Caribbean immigrants—particularly those animated by the new black nationalist philosophy of Marcus Garvey In the summer ...


Patricia Robinson Williams

As a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance, Marcus Garvey was in the vanguard of the new awakening among African Americans. Although his philosophy was at odds with other leading figures of the era, such as W. E. B. Du Bois, his influence could not be abated. Promoting his ideals in the art of oratory and through his newspapers, first Negro World and later the Blackman, Garvey has influenced almost every generation of African American writers since.

Images depicting the destructive element in racial prejudice, one of the cornerstones of Garvey's ideology, were initially seen when major fiction writers of the Harlem Renaissance, such as Nella Larsen, grappled with the infirmities of “color” prejudice. In Larsen's so-called passing novels, Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929 mulattoes move into the white world to escape personal oppression and limited opportunity As is typical in Garveyism this ...


William Jordan

Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in his native Jamaica in 1914, and moved it to Harlem in 1916. The organization encouraged self-help and ethnic pride, sponsored black-owned business enterprises, and promoted Pan-African unity. Thanks to Garvey's flamboyant leadership, his popular Negro World newspaper, and colorful parades and mass rallies, the UNIA's membership soared to perhaps a million worldwide in the early 1920s. While Garvey's dream of a mass return of American blacks to Africa remained unfulfilled, he did establish, in 1920, the Negro Factories Corporation, which sponsored black businesses, and organized the ocean-going Black Star Line in 1919 to transport passengers and facilitate trade among black businesses in Africa and the Americas. Amid accusations by critics of corruption and mismanagement in these enterprises—the Black Star Line folded in 1922—Garvey was indicted on federal charges of mail fraud and, in 1925 sentenced to five ...


Claudrena N. Harold

Jamaican-born political activist A charismatic black nationalist whose political activism impassioned rhetoric and disciplined pursuit of individual greatness inspired women and men from various parts of the world Marcus Mosiah Garvey contributed mightily to the black liberation struggle in the years between the end of World War I and the onset of the Great Depression Suspicious of integrationist solutions to the problem of global white supremacy Garvey preached a message of race pride Pan African unity and economic self reliance It is of no use for the Negro Garvey once asserted to continue to depend on the good graces of the other races of the world because we are living in a selfish material age when each and every race is looking out for itself Hill vol 3 p 55 To facilitate his people s struggle for independence Garvey formed the Universal Negro Improvement Association UNIA created economic ...


David Dabydeen

Jamaican‐born champion of black solidarity and founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) who lectured and later lived in Britain. Garvey was born on 17 August 1887 in St Ann's Bay, Jamaica. His father was a mason and a deacon of the Methodist Church, and his mother was a pious Christian who devoted much of her time to the young Garvey. He attended infant and subsequently elementary school at St Ann's Bay Methodist school, where he was deemed a bright and astute student. When he was 14 he became a printer's apprentice under his godfather and five years later worked at the government's printing office in Kingston. His experience in the field of printing would later aid the establishment and development of his numerous newspapers and journals.

Garvey was passionate about racial and class issues from a young age A possible catalyst for his belief in the importance ...


Martha King

Photographs exist of Marcus Moziah Garvey in the full regal uniform that he wore during marches and rallies. These photographs are still sold on the streets of Harlem, where the UNIA had its headquarters in the years during and after World War I. Garvey, called a “black Moses” during his lifetime, created the largest African American organization, with hundreds of chapters across the world at its height. While Garvey is predominantly remembered as a “Back to Africa” proponent, it is clear that the scope of his ideas and the UNIA's actions go beyond that characterization.

Marcus Garvey was born in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, to Marcus and Sarah Garvey. His father was a stonemason and the family did some subsistence farming. After leaving school at fourteen, he served as a printer's apprentice in his godfather's business. When he was sixteen he moved to Kingston where his political ...


was born on 15 April 1894 at Brandon Hill in rural St. Andrew, Jamaica. He was the son of Charles Grant, a cultivator, and his wife, Louisa (née Jackson). After attending St. Phillips Church School in St. Andrew and West Branch Elementary School in Kingston, Grant became a dockworker on the Kingston Wharves. With the advent of World War I he stowed away on a British troop ship and subsequently joined the 11th Battalion of the British West Indies Regiment. He became known as St. William Grant, and the “St.” is most likely a reference to his service as a sergeant in the military.

Unable to find any gainful employment on his return home, Grant emigrated to New York in 1920 where he joined Marcus Garvey s Universal Negro Improvement Association UNIA Grant s military experience saw him rapidly promoted from street leader to commander and president of the ...


Eric W. Petenbrink

political theorist, was born Haywood Hall in South Omaha, Nebraska, the youngest of three children of Haywood Hall, a factory worker and janitor, and Harriet Thorpe Hall. When he was fifteen, racist violence in Omaha prompted the family to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Hall soon dropped out of school and began working as a railroad dining car waiter. In 1915 the family moved to Chicago, Illinois, to be near extended family, and Hall enlisted in the military in 1917. He served in World War I for a year as part of an all-black unit in France, where he grew accustomed to the absence of racism. Hall married his first wife, Hazel, in 1920, but the marriage lasted only a few months. In spite of their lengthy separation, they did not officially divorce until 1932.

Hall s experiences in World War I and defending ...