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Sadie Mossell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a prominent black Philadelphia family. Her father, Aaron Mossell, was the first African American to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her grandfather, Benjamin Tucker Tanner Tanner, edited the first black scholarly journal in the United States, the A.M.E. Church Review.

Mossell received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1921. She worked as an actuary in North Carolina, then left to marry Raymond Pace Alexander, a graduate of Harvard Law School. With her husband's encouragement, she returned to the University of Pennsylvania, earning her law degree in 1927. The two entered law practice together. Their civil rights work began in 1935 when husband and wife fought to end racial segregation in Philadelphia The Alexanders visited segregated city theaters hotels and restaurants to demand rightful admittance under law and agitated for ...


Nancy Elizabeth Fitch

Alexander, Sadie Tanner Mossell (03 January 1898–01 November 1989), economist and lawyer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Aaron Mossell, an attorney and the first black graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Mary Tanner. While a young girl her father abandoned the family, and she was raised by her mother with the assistance of relatives.

Alexander received her degrees from the University of Pennsylvania With her Ph D in economics awarded in 1921 she became the first African American woman to receive a doctorate in economics and among the first three African American women to receive a doctorate in any field in the United States Her doctoral dissertation The Standard of Living among One Hundred Negro Migrant Families in Philadelphia was a thorough social survey investigating spending patterns from 1916 to 1918 of African American migrant families newly arrived from the South ...


Lia B. Epperson

attorney and civil rights activist, was born Sadie Tanner Mossell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the youngest of three children of Aaron Albert Mossell Jr., an attorney, and Mary Louise Tanner. In 1899 Mossell's father deserted the family and fled to Wales. During elementary school Sadie and her mother divided their time between Mossell's grandparents' home in Philadelphia and an aunt and uncle's home on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. When her mother returned to Pennsylvania, Mossell remained under the care of her aunt and uncle in Washington until she graduated from M Street High School.

Mossell entered the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 1915 and majored in education Her years as a student in an institution with so few women students and even fewer African Americans were extremely challenging Yet with her family s financial and emotional support she prospered academically and graduated ...


Alexander, the first black woman to earn a PhD in Economics, in a 1981 interview provided this advice for young black men and women: “Don’t let anything stop you. There will be times when you’ll be disappointed, but you can’t stop. Make yourself the best that you can make out of what you are. The very best.”

Sadie Tanner Mossell was born into a prominent Philadelphia family. Her father, Aaron Albert Mossell, had been the first African American to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her grandfather, Benjamin Tucker Tanner, was a well-known author, a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the editor of the country’s first African American scholarly journal, the African Methodist Episcopal Review. The famous painter Henry Ossawa Tanner was her uncle At the turn of the century the Tanner home was a gathering place and intellectual center ...


Sanya Osha

Egyptian economic theorist, was born in Egypt to an Egyptian father and a French mother, both of whom were medical doctors. Amin had his early schooling at Port Said and then proceeded to France, where he obtained degrees in political science and statistics before finally earning a doctorate in economics from the University of Paris in 1957. He joined the French Communist Party (FCP) but later broke away and eventually became involved with Maoist organizations. After his studies in France, Amin returned to Egypt to work for the government, but eventually had to leave the country for his antigovernment stance. He then worked for the Ministry of Planning in Mali between 1960 and 1963. Amin was later offered a research position at the Institut Africain de Développement Économique et de Planification (IDEP). In addition, he held professorships in Poitiers, Dakar, and Paris. In 1970 he was appointed ...


Sanya Osha

The task to build a more human world is an ongoing one. In this regard, the work of the Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen deserves more than a passing mention. Sen is important because he speaks primarily for the developing world and also because, along with the late Pakistani economist Mahbub Ul-Haq, he seriously advocated a paradigm shift in terms of the approach for estimating human development. According to Sen, development is understood

as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy. Focusing on human freedoms contrasts with narrower views of development such as identifying development with the growth gross national product, or with personal incomes, or with industrialization, or with technological advance, or with social modernization.

(1999, p. 4)

If it is agreed that Sen uses the discourse of the establishment to criticize the establishment then much more could be said of Samir Amin the ...


Esther Aillón Soria

of three oral history books, was born on 27 January 1950 in the Dorado Chico community, in the municipality of Coripata (Yungas region of La Paz). His parents were Santiago Angola Larrea, born in Cala Cala, and Irene Maconde Zambrana, also born in Dorado Chico. Both were illiterate, and they served as pongo (man) and mitani (woman), a system of servitude for peasant laborers until 1947, at a “hacienda” (latifundia after which they worked as farmers in the coca and citrus fields Based on his experience and a self taught quest Angola Maconde became a researcher and in the twenty first century he has embraced a historical perspective from his experience as an Afro descendant in Bolivia in his numerous published works He is part of the first Afro Bolivian generation born in the Yungas region who have migrated to the city of La Paz though many ...


Kendy Vérilus

was born Celesti Corbanese in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 3 December 1942, the son of Germaine Delva and Paul Corbanese. He completed his elementary and secondary school education at the Petit Séminaire Collège Saint-Martial, an acclaimed all-boys Catholic school in the capital city. Throughout his childhood, he frequented screenings of art films that played at the Tribune, an esplanade and theater complex formerly located on the Champ de Mars, an important public square in downtown Port-au-Prince. Upon finishing his études classiques, he left for Europe—a popular option available to the middle and upper classes at the time—to pursue a bachelor’s degree in economics, and in 1970 he earned a Ph.D. at La Sapienza Facoltà, Università di Roma. While in Europe, he joined a film club and regularly attended art-house film screenings in both Rome and Paris.

On completing his studies and finding himself unable to return to his homeland ...


Marlene Attzs

was born in Trinidad and Tobago on 27 February 1934. He received his education at the Tacarigua Anglican School and Queen’s Royal College (Trinidad), Downing College (Cambridge University), and Mansfield College (Oxford University). Best launched the Tapia House Movement in 1968, was a founding member of the New World Group, and promoted Caribbean thought as publisher and managing editor of the Trinidad and Tobago Review, as well as through leadership in consultancies and institutes. Lloyd Best served regionally through the University of the West Indies (UWI).

In 1957 Best joined the Faculty of UWI in Mona, Jamaica, as a lecturer in economics and a fellow at the Institute of International Relations, and he remained in academic employment until 1976, when he resigned to contest the Trinidad and Tobago general elections of 1976 under the rubric of the Tapia House Movement THM a party Best had ...


An economist deeply involved in public policy and administration, Andrew Brimmer was appointed in 1966 as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board, where he served until 1974. He worked to alleviate unemployment, the national deficit, and racial discrimination. In 1969, when small businesses were suffering, Brimmer urged African Americans to forsake “black capitalist” ventures and pursue work in large mainstream companies instead. He proposed an income-tax reduction plan to President Gerald L. Ford in 1974; the following year, it became the basis of congressional legislation. In 1984, when black unemployment was double that of whites, Brimmer supported strategies that combined Affirmative Action with self-help.

Brimmer, the son of a sharecropper who struggled to make ends meet during the Great Depression, was born in Newellton, Louisiana After high school he joined the army where he became a staff sergeant Brimmer received a B A ...


Darius V. Echeverría

economist and educator. Some individuals are important because they exemplify the historical past, while others are important because they embody generational change toward social progress. As the first African American governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board (1966–1974), Andrew Felton Brimmer is both the former and the latter.

The life story of this extraordinary leader began on 13 September 1926 in Newellton, Louisiana. The son of Andrew Brimmer Sr., a sharecropper, and Vellar Davis Brimmer, a warehouse worker, Brimmer picked cotton as a child in rural northeastern Louisiana while attending segregated public schools. Rather than allowing the hardships of poverty and racial injustice to discourage him, Brimmer used these experiences as a motivating force. Early on he was determined to earn a college degree so that he could serve in positions where he could help others.

Brimmer graduated from high school in 1944 and ...


Diana Senior-Angulo

was born on 4 July 1963 in San José, Costa Rica, the fourth of seven children of Shirley Barr Aird and Luis Campbell Patterson. Epsy, whose paternal grandmother was an immigrant to Costa Rica from Jamaica, completed her secondary studies at the Liceo Franco Costarricense and Colegio Superior de Señoritas in Costa Rica in the 1980s. She later attended the University of Costa Rica, earned a degree in economics at the Latin University of Costa Rica in 1998, and received an M.A. in development cooperation at the Foundation for Cultural and Social Sciences in Spain in 2008.

Campbell began her activist career addressing environmental issues. In 1992 she was one of the founders of the Afro Caribbean and Afro Latin American Women s Network now known as the Afro Latin American Afro Caribbean and Diaspora Women s Network in the Dominican Republic She was also one of ...


Owen J. M. Kalinga

leading economic thinker in Malawi’s decolonization movement, was born in Kaluli Village, Florence Bay (now Chitimba), in British Nyasaland. The area today forms the border of Malawi’s Karonga and Rumpi districts. Very early in his life, his family also lived at Kasoba, just north of Karonga boma, which he was later to adopt as his official second home. Chisiza, then known as Gladstone Dunduzu Kaluli Chisiza, went to Uliwa Junior Primary School and then to Khondowe, the Livingstonia Mission headquarters, where he completed standard six. In keeping with the reputation of the people of Nyasaland (now Malawi) as migrant workers, Chisiza left for Tanzania in 1949.

Chisiza found employment as a clerk in the Tanganyika police force but after a few months he departed for Uganda in search of further education He enrolled at Aggrey Memorial College a private school in Kampala that was also the home of Makerere ...


Nicole L. Phillip-Dowe

was born in Victoria, St. Mark’s Parish, Grenada, on 10 August 1944 to Flora Coard (née Fleming) and Frederick McDermott Coard, an official attester, justice of the peace, and civil servant, as well as president of the Credit Union League and the Civil Service Credit Union. Coard attended the Grenada Boys Secondary School, and he also taught there for one year after graduating. In 1966 he attained a B.Sc. in economics at Brandeis University in the United States. During his time at Brandeis he was both the Wein Scholar and the Eleanor Roosevelt Research Scholar. In 1967 he attained his master’s degree in comparative politics at Sussex University in England. During his tenure in Britain he wrote a book that offered a scathing critique on the British education system, titled How the West Indian Child Is Made Educationally Subnormal in the British School System (1971).

On 6 July ...


Compton Bourne

was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on 14 November 1929 to Herman Demas, a police officer, and Audrey Demas, a housewife. In 1958 he married Norma Taylor. The couple had one child, a daughter Allison.

Demas’s early schooling occurred at Tranquility Boys’ Intermediate School in Port-of-Spain. When he was 10 years old, he won an exhibition scholarship to attend Queen’s Royal College, the country’s most prestigious secondary school. From there, he won an Island Scholarship in 1947 to attend Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. Demas remained as a student at Cambridge from 1948 to 1955, graduating with a baccalaureate in economics Tripos in 1951, a master of arts in economics in 1953, and a master of letters in 1955 for his thesis on the history of economic development of the West Indies from 1870 to 1913.

His professional career began with ...


Jeremy Rich

politician and economist, was born in the town of Khombole, Senegal. His father worked as a railway employee and a policeman. Dia's mother was a member of a “ceddo” family known for its attachment to indigenous spiritual beliefs outside of orthodox Islamic traditions, but his father was from a family of Muslim scholars. Dia's father died when Dia was only ten years old, but his family succeeded in supporting his education. Dia's father could speak French, but was illiterate and never received any formal Western schooling. His willingness to openly complain about poor treatment to his colonial employers also made a deep impression on Dia. As a young man he attended the primary school of École Blanchot in Saint-Louis followed by the École Normale William Ponty, the most respected secondary school in French West Africa. In 1924 Dia visited Dakar for the first time and he was amazed ...


Daniel Donaghy

lawyer and economist. Roger Walton Ferguson was born in Washington, D.C., to a supervisory cartographer with the U.S. Army Map Service and an elementary school teacher. He was raised in the District of Columbia's Northeast section and attended public school until his parents enrolled him at Sidwell Friends School, an exclusive independent school that serves primarily elite Washington, D.C., families. There Ferguson first became interested in economics and finance. He had observed his father buying Treasury securities and was familiar from an early age with Wall Street and the Federal Reserve.

After graduating from high school, Ferguson attended Harvard University, where he studied economics and supported himself by working as a campus janitor. He graduated magna cum laude and spent a year in England at Cambridge University's Pembroke College before returning to Harvard to earn a law degree (1979) and a PhD in economics (1981 ...


Francesco L. Nepa

Abram Lincoln Harris, Jr., was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Abram Lincoln Harris, a butcher, and Mary Elizabeth Lee, both descendants of slaves freed before the Civil War. After completing his secondary education in the public schools of Richmond, Harris enrolled at Virginia Union University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1922. In 1924 he received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Harris then joined the faculty of West Virginia Collegiate Institute (later West Virginia State College), where he taught economics. He remained there until 1925, at which time he began a short stint as executive secretary of the Urban League in Minneapolis. Also in that year, Harris married Callie Ellen McGuinn; they had no children and divorced in 1955 After his year with the Urban League he went to work as a ...


John H. McClendon

political economist, economic historian and theorist, and social critic. Abram Lincoln Harris Jr. was born in Richmond, Virginia; his father was a butcher and his mother a schoolteacher, and both parents were strong advocates of education and encouraged him in his pursuit of higher education. Harris earned his BS in economics and anthropology from Virginia Union in 1922 and two years later received an MA in economics from the University of Pittsburgh. Harris's thesis at Pittsburgh focused on the African American working class. Concern with the plight of African American workers remained a vital part of Harris's research agenda for most of his career. This interest is best exemplified in his seminal book The Black Worker; the Negro and the Labor Movement, which he coauthored with the noted political scientist Sterling D. Spero in 1931.

Harris began his teaching career at West Virginia State University ...


William Arthur Lewis was the first black person to receive the Nobel Prize in a category other than peace. He once described his intellectual career as consisting of three phases: the history of world economics and development, industrial economics, and the economic problems of underdeveloped nations. In his Nobel lecture, he suggested that the least developed countries should concentrate on increasing their regional trade rather than being heavily dependent on the continued growth of the most developed countries. He believed that in this way, underdeveloped nations could eventually accelerate their own economies even as growth in the more technologically advantaged nations slackened.

Lewis wanted to study engineering but decided it would be pointless since, at that time, neither the government nor white firms would hire a black engineer. A brilliant student, he received a bachelor of commerce degree with honors from Saint Mary's College in Saint Lucia (1929 ...