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Batrell Oviedo, Ricardo  

Mark A. Sanders

In 1912 Batrell published his memoir Para la historia: Apuntes autobiográficos de la vida de Ricardo Batrell Oviedo, the only account of Cuba’s final war for independence written by an Afro-Cuban. Poor and uneducated, Batrell taught himself to read and write, then composed his memoir to document the participation of Afro-Cubans in the war (approximately 60 percent of the Liberation Army was black; see Ferrer, 1999, p. 2), and to present the war from the perspective of a black soldier.

Born on the Santísima Trinidad de Oviedo sugar plantation near Sabanilla, in the province of Matanzas—Cuba’s largest sugar-producing province—Batrell worked as a field hand until the age of 15. On 2 February 1896 he joined the Liberation Army that had months earlier crossed the Spanish fortified ditch (la trocha at Puerto Píncipe and invaded the western provinces Matanzas La Habana and Pinar del Rio Serving in ...


Booker, Cicero B., Jr.  

Mason R. Hazzard

police officer, civil rights activist, and litigant, was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, to Cicero B. Booker Sr., the first African American police officer in the town of Waterbury, and Addie Booker, a homemaker.

Booker attended and graduated from the local public schools before going on to further his education, earning an associate's degree in Police Science and Administration from Mattatuck Community College, now known as Naugatuck Valley Community College, in Waterbury in 1978. He also attended Western Connecticut State University. In 1955, at the age of seventeen, Booker enrolled in the US Marine Corps as a private, remaining on active duty for three years until he left the military in 1958 at the rank of corporal.

Booker then joined the police department in his hometown of Waterbury in 1961. He quickly ascended to the rank of patrol officer, but by 1985 his ...


Booker, Cicero Benton  

Jamason Pestana

policeman and community leader, was born in Corapeake, Gates County, North Carolina to Emilie P. Benton, a homemaker, and John Zebedee Booker, a farmer. He was the third child in a family of seven and attended the local segregated schools in Gates County.

Booker moved to Connecticut in 1926, where he settled in Waterbury in New Haven County. There, in about 1934, he married Addie (maiden name unknown), a woman from South Carolina, and the couple had three children: Ann, Sally, and Cicero Jr. In 1943 Booker was appointed to the City of Waterbury supernumerary police force, an informal black citizen group. By 1946 a committee was formed in the African American community to recruit one of their own to the Waterbury police force. In January 1946 Booker was appointed to the police force as a patrolman He was the first African American police officer ...


Brown, Cora  

Linda M. Carter

state legislator, attorney, police officer, and social worker, was born Cora Mae Brown in Bessemer, Alabama, the only child of Richard and Alice Brown. Her father and mother were employed as a tailor and cook respectively. In 1922 the family moved to Detroit when Brown was seven years old. After graduating from Cass Technical High School in 1931, Brown attended Fisk University and received a degree in sociology in 1935.

Brown returned to Detroit, and until 1941, she was employed as a social worker. After working for the Children's Aid Bureau, Old Age Assistance Bureau, and the Works Progress Administration, Brown, as a policewoman in the Women's Division of the Detroit Police Department from 1941 to 1946, prepared legal cases. In 1946 Brown enrolled in Wayne State University's School of Law; she received her LL.B degree in 1948 and passed ...


Brown, Lee  

Cary D. Wintz

law enforcement officer, mayor, cabinet secretary, and professor. Lee Brown is best known as a high-profile law enforcement officer who held the position of chief of police or its equivalent in four major U.S. cities, served in President Bill Clinton's cabinet as drug czar, and was the first black mayor of Houston, Texas.

Lee Patrick Brown was born in Wewoka, Oklahoma, on 4 October 1937 to Andrew and Zelma Brown, who worked as farm laborers. When Brown was five the family moved to Fowler, California, about ten miles south of Fresno. As a child Brown often joined his parents in the fields, picking crops. But he also stayed in school, and he attended Fresno State University on a football scholarship, studying sociology and criminology.

In 1960 one semester before graduation Brown left college and took a job as a patrolman with the San Jose ...


Brown, Lee P.  

John Herschel Barnhill

reform police commissioner and politician, was born in Wewoka, Oklahoma, the son of sharecroppers Andrew Brown and Zelma Brown. By the 1940s the Browns were in California, picking grapes, watermelon, and cotton. Lee worked the fields, but he was a high school athlete. An athletic scholarship to Fresno State University and a 1960 Fresno State B.S. in criminology enabled him to pursue police work. He became a San Jose police officer in 1960 even before graduation. In 1964–1965 he was head of the San Jose police union.

He received his M.A. in sociology from San Jose State University in 1964 and became an assistant professor there in 1968, the same year he earned his master's degree in criminology from the University of California, Berkeley. Brown moved to Portland State University in 1968 as chair of the Department of Administration of Justice He received his Ph D from ...


Bussey, Charles  

Bret A. Weber

law enforcement officer, community organizer, and mayor, was born in Stamps, Lafayette County, Arkansas, but lived most of his life and built his career in the state capital, Little Rock. His mother, Annie Bussey, lived in Stamps, with his father Charlie Bussey, who worked at the local sawmill. A childhood friend of Maya Angelou's, Bussey and his sister, Delvira Bussey, who became a schoolteacher, shared a deep concern for the welfare and future of children. He moved to Little Rock in the 1940s and opened an appliance shop and on 11 October 1945 married Maggie Clark. Though unsuccessful in the appliance business, by 1950 he had become the state s first black deputy sheriff and was later assigned to the prosecuting attorney s office as an investigator As deputy sheriff he founded the Junior Deputy Baseball program and many of those ...


Clement, Samuel Spottford  

Laura Murphy

politician and memoirist, was born a slave on a farm owned by James Adams in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. When Adams died shortly after Clement's birth, the boy, his mother, and two siblings were sold to a man named Tasswood Ward from nearby Campbell County. The family was treated harshly by the Wards, who beat them cruelly without warning for petty reasons.

On 8 April 1865 the workers in the field heard cannon fire and fighting from nearby Appomattox. The next day the Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant's Union forces to end the Civil War.

On Christmas morning of 1865 Clement and his family moved to a piece of land about fifteen miles from the Ward farm where his father struck a deal under which he would clear the land and reap its harvest The family continued to work on farms throughout Clement s youth ...


Conley, Michael Alex  

Adam R. Hornbuckle

was born in Chicago, Illinois, the second of three children of Alex and Ora Conley. He played basketball and competed in track and field at Luther High School South, a private Lutheran high school in the Ashburn neighborhood of Chicago. Conley led his basketball team to the Illinois Class A State Championship in 1980 and to runner-up in 1981. He dominated track and field, winning state titles in the triple jump from 1979 to 1981, the long jump in 1980 and 1981, and the 100 and 200 meters in 1981. Also in 1981, Conley won the triple jump and placed second in the long jump at The Athletics Congress (TAC) Junior National Track and Field Championships. Upon graduating high school in 1981 he earned an athletic scholarship to play basketball and compete in track and field at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville Eddie ...


De Kock, Eugene Alexander  

Jeremy Rich

was born in the town of George, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa on 29 January 1949. His father, Lourens Vosloo De Kock, was a prosecutor and later a judge in Gauteng (then Transvaal) Province. De Kock later described his relationship with his father as very distant and unemotional. His parents frequently argued, but agreed that De Kock should spend most of his time studying rather than socializing. He also had a stuttering problem that made him rather self-conscious. At Voortrekker High School in Boksburg, De Kock loved to play rugby. He graduated in 1966 and completed a law certificate through correspondence courses. He joined the police in January 1968 and served nine tours in Zimbabwe, serving with Ian Smith’s white settler Rhodesian army until 1976 His training and field experience convinced him the end of apartheid would lead to Communist rule and genocide against whites in South Africa ...


Foster, Robert Wayne “Bob”  

Michael L. Krenn

boxer, was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Little is known of Foster's life before he began boxing. Foster himself admitted that he got into numerous fights as a child and a high school student and was once taken to court for fracturing the skull of another young man with one punch. With few options open to him and a close scrape with the law motivating him, Foster signed up for the U.S. Air Force in 1957, shortly after graduating from high school.

Foster's tremendous punching power soon became evident to his air force commanders during informal inter- and intra-unit boxing matches, and they put him on the service's boxing team. For four years Foster traveled with the team all over the United States and the world. He engaged in well over one hundred fights, losing only three. In 1960 he won the light heavyweight title at the ...


Furbush, William Hines  

Blake Wintory

photographer, politician, sheriff, assayer, barber, and lawyer, was born a slave in Carroll County, Kentucky. William Hines Furbush became a member of the Arkansas General Assembly as well as the first sheriff of Lee County, Arkansas. His Arkansas political career began in the Republican Party at the close of Reconstruction and ended in the Democratic Party just as political disfranchisement began.

Little is known about Furbush's early life, though his literacy suggests a formal childhood education. Around 1860 he operated a photography studio in Delaware, Ohio. In March 1862 he traveled to Union-controlled Helena in Phillips County, Arkansas, on Kate Adams and continued to work as a photographer. In Franklin County, Ohio, that December he married Susan Dickey. A few years later, in February 1865 he joined the Forty second Colored Infantry at Columbus Ohio He received an honorable discharge at the ...


Glover, Nathaniel, Jr.  

Kelsey Schurer and Marina Reasoner

sheriff and college president, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. His father, Nathaniel Glover Sr., was a part-time Baptist pastor, and his mother, Arsie Singletary Glover, cleaned houses; together they raised five children in a two-room house in downtown Jacksonville. As a boy, Glover worked to provide funds for his family, first selling copies of the city's black newspaper, and later working at a local cafe. While walking home from work in 1960 Glover encountered a crowd of white segregationists protesting against the integration of the food counter at the cafe The group noticed he was a dishwasher and clubbed him with an ax handle When he appealed to a white officer for help Glover was told to Get out of town The incident was a defining moment in Glover s life and he became resolved that it might have been prevented had his tormentors been given proper ...


Izamo, Jean-Henri  

Juan Fandos-Rius

a gendarme police officer in the Central African Republic (CAR), born in about 1934 to Kaba Sara parents from the region of Paoua in the Ouham-Pendé region of what was then northern Ubangi-Shari, just south of its border with Chad. Soon after Ubangi-Shari became the Central Africa Republic (CAR) in the late 1950s, Izamo joined the nation's new national police force, the Gendarmerie Nationale, in which he was promoted to sergeant in 1960, captain on 1 January 1962, and chef d’escadron (major) on 1 December 1964. Izamo was appointed head of the Gendarmerie by President David Dacko on 6 March 1964, before he was promoted to major, and by 1965 he had became one of Dacko s closest advisers The Gendarmerie s mission included maintaining internal security and this made it more important for the president than the nation s army since the CAR s ...


Jenkins, Edmund  

Glenn Allen Knoblock

law enforcement officer, was born in South Carolina and likely enslaved until he was a young man. Records are unclear as to Jenkins's native locale. Although it is possible he resided most or all of his life in the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina, details of Jenkins's early life are unknown. The 1880 Federal Census reveals that an Edmund Jenkins was living in St. Stephen's Parish near Charleston, listed as being age thirty-five, a “mulatto,” working as a minister. His wife was named Cinda, age thirty-two, and his children were Cuffee (age fourteen), Nelly (age sixteen), Lavinia (age seven), Lily (age three), and Grace age six months His wife s name here leads to some confusion Jenkins s only known wife was Elizabeth also called Lizzie making it possible if this were the same Edmund Jenkins that he had at least two wives during his lifetime No ...


Johnson, Ronald S.  

Caryn E. Neumann

a captain in the Missouri Highway Patrol who took over the command of police forces in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson during the 2014 riots over the police-related death of Michael Brown. One of three children born in St. Louis to a security officer at St. Louis University and Annie Johnson, a receiving clerk at a pharmaceutical company, Johnson grew up in Ferguson. As the only black children in a suburban school, Johnson and his siblings faced racial epithets and ostracism. He wanted to be a police officer from an early age. Johnson earned a degree in criminal justice from Florissant Valley Community College and has attended various police training programs over the years, including the FBI National Academy.

Johnson joined the Missouri Highway Patrol in 1987. His first assignment after graduating from the agency's Law Enforcement Academy was with Troop C. Promoted to corporal in 1995 ...


Jones, James Monroe “Gunsmith”  

Verity J. Harding

gunsmith and engraver, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the eldest son of Allen Jones, a slave and a blacksmith, and Temperance Jones, a slave. He was one of eight children, a daughter and seven sons, born into a long line of slavery. His paternal grandfather, Charles Jones, was born in Africa around 1770 and brought to America to be sold into slavery some years later. Although born a slave, Gunsmith Jones was freed in 1829 when his father purchased liberty for his entire family Allen Jones was a skilled blacksmith who labored intensely for himself and his family while simultaneously performing his slave duties to earn the vast sum of money necessary to buy his family s freedom After saving the extraordinary amount of $2 000 he was cheated out of the money by his master and left with nothing With admirable determination he ...


Kennard, Willie  

David Childs

military corporal, town marshal, and gunslinger, was a Civil War soldier of the seventh Illinois Rifles. Little is known about his life in the three decades before the war. After the war ended, Kennard struggled to find employment and enlisted in the Ninth Cavalry, an entirely African American unit. His unit served in Fort Bliss, Texas, and then moved to the Arizona Territory at Fort Davis, where they fought against Apache Indians. He earned a reputation for having a talent with weaponry and became an arms instructor for nearly twenty-five years. In the summer of 1874 Kennard responded to an ad, in the Rocky Mountain News, for a town marshal in Yankee Hill, located in the Colorado Territory, for $100 per month. He travelled to the town and sought out the local leaders to inquire about the position.

He was directed to Yankee Hill s five city councilmen who ...


Lamine, Théodore-Blaise  

Richard A. Bradshaw and Juan Fandos-Rius

policeman and politician in the Central African Republic (CAR), was born 11 October 1942 at Mbaiki in the Lobaye region of Ubangi-Shari in French Equatorial Africa (FEA). He studied agricultural engineering at the Institut d’études agronomiques d’Afrique centrale (Central African Institute of Agronomic Studies) at Wakombo in the CAR, then poultry production at the École nationale d’aviculture (national aviculture school) in Rambouillet, France. By 1966, when Lamine was finishing his studies in Paris, Jean-Bédel Bokassa had seized power in the CAR; the new president was from the same ethnic group, the Ngbaka, and the same Lobaye region as Lamine. This provided Lamine with an opportunity to pursue a potentially more rewarding career, and so rather than becoming an agricultural engineer and animal husbandry expert, Lamine joined the Central African police force on 12 July 1967 and was sent to study at the École nationale supérieure de police national ...


Lingoupou, Martin  

Juan Fandos-Rius

Central African general of the Gendarmerie Nationale (national police force), was born on 22 December 1936 at Fort Sibut, in the Kémo Gribinguidépartement of the French colony of Ubangi-Shari. His father, Alphonse Lingoupou, was a Banda nurse, and his mother's name was Monique Imale Awa. At age nineteen Martin joined the French army and was sent to serve in Cameroon and Algeria. He then went to school at Puget-sur-Argens in southeastern France before attending the École de Formation des Officiers du Régime Transitoire des Troupes de Marine (an officer training school) from 1962 to 1964 at Fréjus, where his classmates included the future president of the Central African Republic (CAR) André Kolingba. After promotion to second lieutenant in the Central African army on 1 October 1964 Lingoupou attended the École des Officiers de Gendarmerie Nationale in Melun and studied at the Institut de Criminologie in Paris He ...