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Elizabeth Schmidt

Guinean political activist, was born into a farming family in the Lower Guinea village of Posseya in 1929. She was a political activist in the town of Tondon in the mid-1950s. A member of the Guinean branch of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA), Camara led the local RDA women’s committee. Toward the end of World War II, she married Thierno Camara, a military veteran who was later elected president of the Tondon RDA subsection.

A hotbed of opposition to government- appointed canton (administrative district) chiefs, Tondon attracted the attention of the French colonial authorities on 9 February 1955 when Thierno Camara and other RDA militants were arrested for undermining chiefly authority When villagers tried to thwart their leader s arrest Chief David Sylla attacked the crowd with his saber and gun seriously wounding several demonstrators He then entered the Camaras house and attacked M Balia Camara who was ...

Article

James Thomas III Jones

chairman of the Chicago branch of the Black Panther Party (BPP) for Self-Defense, was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Maywood, a suburban community located to the east of the city. Hampton's parents, migrants from Louisiana, had secured work at the Argo Starch Company. Hampton was an excellent athlete, and his athletic accomplishments were exceeded by his academic prowess. The Chicago area youth displayed his mental prowess via his matriculation from high school with honors in 1966.

Coming of age in the racially charged crucible of Chicago politics Hampton a prelaw student at Triton Junior College witnessed the civil rights movement in the South as a potential solution to his worsening urban environs As a teen Hampton adopted a posture of nonviolent civil disobedience and assumed leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People s West Suburban Branch Youth Council in Chicago However by the ...

Article

Norman O. Richmond

Black Panther spokesman assassinated in a police raid. Fred Hampton came from a stable black working-class family, but he said that he identified with the “wretched of the earth.” At age thirteen, he joined the youth chapter of the Maywood, Illinois, NAACP and was elected president. The chapter went from seventeen to seven hundred members under Hampton's leadership. By the age of twenty he had become a prominent member of one of the most militant political organizations in the history of the United States, the Black Panther Party (BPP), and was scheduled to become the Panthers’ chief of staff.

Hampton's leadership role in the BPP made him a target of government harassment and surveillance. The 4 December 1969 raid in which Hampton was assassinated occurred after a police informer named William O'Neal cooked dinner for the Panthers at Hampton s apartment and slipped a large dose of secobarbital into ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

activist, founding member of the National Negro Congress and the International Workers Order, and organizer for the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), was best known as assistant national director of the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee, centered in Chicago.

Accounts of Johnson's life prior to 1932 rely on the transcript of a 1937 Works Progress Administration interview. He was born and lived until the age of nine in a rural area of Texas between the Colorado and Brazos rivers. The WPA account records his birthplace as Siblo, which may be phonetic for Cibolo, at the time an isolated rural town outside of San Antonio. Johnson recalled being closer to the Gulf of Mexico and “seventy five miles from the Louisiana state line,” but both rivers reach the Gulf about 150 miles from Port Arthur. Even the year he was born is unknown.

He recalled being one of eight boys with ...

Article

Zoe Trodd

a free resident of Oberlin, Ohio, was one of the five black men who joined abolitionist John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry in mid-October 1859. Leary was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to free black parents Julie Memriel, the French-born daughter of a Guadeloupian, and Matthew Leary, a harness-maker. On his father's side, Leary's Irish grandfather and free black great-grandfather had fought against the British during the Revolutionary War. Leary attended a school for free blacks in Fayetteville and learned the trade of harness making from his father.

In 1856, at the age of twenty-two, Leary moved to Oberlin, Ohio, where he joined his two sisters, Henrietta and Delilah. Leary worked as a saddler and harness maker and learned to play several musical instruments. In 1858 he met and married Mary Simpson Patterson an Oberlin College graduate The couple had a ...

Article

Melissa Nicole Stuckey

educator and newspaper editor, was born John Carter Leftwich in Forkland, Alabama, the eldest of the eight children of Frances Edge and Lloyd Leftwich. From 1872 to 1876 Lloyd Leftwich served as one of Alabama's last black state senators. John Leftwich and his siblings grew up on the 122-acre farm his parents purchased from Lloyd Leftwich's former owner. The former slaves instilled in their children the importance of religion and education. Not only did the couple learn to read and write after the Civil War but they also donated a portion of their property for the construction of Lloyd Chapel Baptist Church and Lloyd Elementary School. Remarkable for the time period, most of their eight children became college graduates.

In 1886 Leftwich entered Selma University in Selma, Alabama. Unhappy there, he wrote to Booker T. Washington for permission to transfer to Tuskegee Institute and he offered to ...

Article

Todd Steven Burroughs

a leader of the Black Power movement and a scholar. As one of the cofounders of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP), Newton became an internationally recognized leader of America's left-wing political forces and a symbol of black radicalism. While he was in jail, the BPP grew into an organization of local chapters and branches across the United States.

Huey Percy Newton was born in Monroe, Louisiana. He attended college part-time in Oakland, California, between 1959 and 1965, studying psychology and philosophy. He was inspired by Malcolm X, whom he had heard speak at a local high school in the early 1960s, and as a result became a student activist.

The BPP, which Newton came to symbolize, formed after the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965. Asking permission to use the black panther symbol from the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, Newton and his friend Bobby Seale ...

Article

Marian Aguiar

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Huey Newton grew up in Oakland, California, a place that would become the West Coast center of the American Black Nationalist movement. While attending Merritt College in Oakland, he met Bobby Seale, and the two began to work together on a project to diversify the school's curriculum. Inspired by nationalist struggles in the Third World and revolutionaries such as Fidel Castro and Mao Zedong, Newton became critical of the racist oppression of blacks in the United States and the capitalist system he saw as underpinning that exploitation.

As a response to the condition of black America, Newton and Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense later simply called the Black Panther Party We want land bread housing education clothing justice and peace concluded the organization s ten point program which Newton coauthored Patrolling black neighborhoods with shotguns which were ...

Article

Kathleen N. Cleaver

leader of the Black Panther Party, was born Huey Percy Newton in Monroe, Louisiana, the son of Amelia Johnson Newton and Walter Newton, a sharecropper and Baptist preacher. Walter Newton so admired Louisiana's populist governor Huey P. Long that he named his seventh and youngest son after him A proud powerful man Newton defied the regional convention that forced most black women into domestic service and never allowed his wife to work outside the home He always juggled several jobs to support his large family Like thousands of black southerners drawn to employment in the war industries the Newtons migrated to California during the 1940s Settling in Oakland the close knit family struggled to shelter young Huey but could not stop the mores of the ghetto from shaping his life Years later those same ghetto neighborhoods became the springboard of the Black Panther Party that thrust Newton ...

Article

Carole Watterson Troxler

slave, entrepreneur, civic leader, and murder victim, probably was born in Alamance County, North Carolina. His mother gave her name as Jemima Phillips; she may have been a member of a free African American family named Phillips who lived in Caswell County, North Carolina, in the early nineteenth century. His father is unknown. Some of Outlaw's contemporaries thought he was the son of Chesley Farrar Faucett, a merchant with agricultural and tanning operations in northern Alamance County who served in the state legislature from 1844 to 1847 and from 1864 to 1865.

The judge and writer Albion Tourgée knew both Outlaw and Faucett and characterized them fictionally in Bricks without Straw (1880 Tourgée depicted Faucett sympathetically as an aged justice of the peace known for kindness as a slaveholder quiet wartime Unionism and cooperation with the Union League during Reconstruction Outlaw ...

Article

Norman Weinstein

Born Peter McIntosh, Tosh's entrance into music began during his teenage years in the Trenchtown ghetto of Kingston, where he and his friends Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer imitated the vocal harmonies of Curtis Mayfield. Tosh's early recordings as part of a Ska/Reggae trio with Marley and Wailer (who became known as “The Wailers”) made clear that his singing and songwriting talents were strongly flavored by rage against hypocritical individuals and institutions. Songs like “400 Years” and “Downpressor” are prime examples of his mastery of political protest songwriting. His first recordings as a solo artist in the early 1960s include a wry commentary on sexual mores (“Shame and Scandal”) and a boastful declaration of Rastafarian identity (“Rasta Shook Them Up”).

After quitting The Wailers in 1972 Tosh pursued a performing and recording career as a solo artist marked by the cultivation of a persona ...

Article

Mamie E. Locke

political activist, Republican party organizer, and lynching victim, was born a slave in Alabama. His parents' names are unknown. He lived on the Choctaw County farm of Beloved Love Turner, from whom he acquired his surname after emancipation. Jack Turner had no formal education but was described as articulate, perceptive, and courageous, with a commanding physical presence. He married Chloe (maiden name unknown) in the late 1860s, and they had four children. He remained in Choctaw County after being freed, working as a farm laborer around Mount Sterling and Tuscahoma.

After the Civil War, Turner became active in Reconstruction politics in Choctaw County. He was one of the organizers in 1867 of the county Republican Party which was composed of local blacks and a few whites including Turner s former owner Turner took an active role in helping former slaves make the transition from slavery to ...

Article

Mamie E. Locke

Turner, Jack (1840?–19 August 1882), political activist and party organizer, was born a slave in Alabama. His parents’ names are unknown. He lived on the Choctaw County farm of Beloved Love Turner, from whom he acquired his surname after emancipation. Turner had no formal education but was described as articulate, perceptive, and courageous, with a commanding physical presence. He married Chloe (maiden name unknown) in the late 1860s, and they had four children. He remained in Choctaw County after being freed, working as a farm laborer around Mount Sterling and Tuscahoma.

After the Civil War Turner became active in Reconstruction politics in Choctaw County He was one of the organizers in 1867 of the county Republican party which was composed of local blacks and a few whites including Turner s former owner Turner took an active role in helping former slaves make the transition from slavery to ...