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John Davidson

James Africanus Horton was a pioneer African nationalist. Largely forgotten for eighty years after his death, interest in him revived during West Africa’s advance to independence. His major works, West African Countries and Peoples (1868) and Letters on the Political Condition of the Gold Coast (1870), were republished in 1969 and 1970, respectively. Horton exemplified the contribution of the Krio elite of Sierra Leone to the development of West Africa in the mid-nineteenth century. He rejected the argument that Africans were inherently biologically inferior. He argued for extended provision of education, for the building of railways, and for economic development generally. He hoped that the British colonies would expand, with a provision for African self-government and a major role for Western-educated Africans.

Horton was born in Gloucester, Sierra Leone, in 1835 His parents were Igbo recaptives from Eastern Nigeria who were rescued from a ...


David Killingray

West African medical doctor, army officer, and political writer born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the son of a liberated slave. He went to school and studied at Fourah Bay Institute with a view to entering the Christian ministry. However, along with two other men, he was selected in 1853 to study medicine in Britain with a view to returning to West Africa as an army medical officer. Horton studied first at King's College London and graduated from Edinburgh in 1859. He was very conscious that he was an African and adopted the name ‘Africanus’. Commissioned into the Army, he returned to West Africa, where he spent twenty years practising as a military doctor and occasionally serving as an administrator. He retired as a lieutenant‐colonel in 1880 Early in his career many of his white fellow doctors resented his role and they persuaded the War Office not to appoint ...


Joseph Goakai

leader of Sierra Leonean rebel group the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), was born Foday Saybana Sankoh in Masumbiri, Kholifa Rowala Chiefdom, Tonkolili District in the northern province of Sierra Leone on 17 October 1937. His father, Morlai Sankoh, was an ethnic Temne from Masang, Tonkolili District, who for a long time moved between farming and dealing in gold. His mother, Mbalu Serry, was also a Temne from Robis, in the Kholifa Rowala Chiefdom, Tonkolili District.

Sankoh descended from a fierce local warrior family on his father s side and a prominent local ruling family on his mother s side His paternal grandfather Pa Fosekie Fosiki Sankoh was a local warrior from a town called Yunkro Yonkro in the Kafu Bollom Chiefdom Port Loko District and was a chartered mercenary in the Temnedom According to the family oral history Pa Fosekie was hired from Yonkro during the tribal wars of ...


George Baca

anthropologist, was born Council Samuel Taylor in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Walter Knight Taylor and Odelle Grace Robinson Taylor. “Count,” as his intimates called him, was dynamic, tall, a stylish dresser, and a great storyteller, using his deep voice for dramatic effect. Colleagues, students, and teachers remembered him adorned with a French beret, ascot, and an ornate walking stick.

Taylor passed as a white man during the 1940s. From 1942 to 1946 he served in the marines—well before President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the U S Armed Forces where he saw combat duty with the Air Delivery Squadron and Aviation Supply during World War II A most striking feature of his biography is that as a gay black man Taylor served as a platoon sergeant in aviation supply in several locations in the South Pacific and near China during the war ...