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The existence of HIV was first identified among populations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as it was in North America and sub-Saharan Africa, in the early 1980s. HIV is a particularly virulent and incurable infection that is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids (such as blood or semen) and attacks the immune system, leaving the infected person susceptible to opportunistic infections and certain cancers, often resulting in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and death. Recent trends in Latin America and the Caribbean show a disproportionate number of new cases of HIV infection emerging among the poor and working classes and among populations of African descent.

After a few cases of the disease were diagnosed among Haitian immigrants in the United States, considerable attention was focused on the AIDS epidemic in Haiti This focus led to the misconception among many U S scientists and in the media that Haitian ...


A 1996 book by the National Research Council, Lost Crops of Africa, draws attention to the potential of the continent's little-known indigenous crops for improving regional and global food supplies. Featured prominently among the 2,000 native grains, roots, and fruits utilized as food staples is African rice (Oryza glaberrima), “the great red rice of the hook of the Niger.” Yet, despite its plant-breeding potential, there are other compelling reasons for a research focus on glaberrima.

This overview of rice history in the Americas raises several issues that bear on prevailing conceptions of the Columbian Exchange the period of unparalleled crop exchanges from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries Scholarship on the Columbian Exchange has long emphasized the economically viable crops of American Asian and European origin the role of Europeans in their global dispersal and thus the diffusion of crops to rather than from Africa The slight attention ...


Mayda Grano de Oro

José Celso Barbosa played a key role in the politics of the Spanish-American War, denouncing the Creoles' political aspirations. At the same time, his involvement reflected the complexities and contradictions in race issues confronted by black Puerto Ricans at the time. Barbosa's achievements were not typical of blacks in Puerto Rico at the turn of the century. He represented the “self-made man” that came from humble origins. He had the opportunity to study at the only institution of secondary education on the island, thanks to the determination of his aunt. He completed his studies in the Jesuit seminary before going to the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, where he graduated in 1880. His experience in the United States made him an admirer of republican ideals for social equality and justice.

When Barbosa returned to Puerto Rico he started his medical practice and became a member ...



Dorsia Smith Silva

physician, politician, and delegate to the U.S. Congress, was born Donna Marie Christian in Teaneck, New Jersey, to Virginia Sterling Christian and retired Chief District Court Judge Almeric L. Christian, from St. Croix. Christian-Christensen's parents wanted their daughter to understand her cultural connections to the Virgin Islands, so she spent part of her adolescence in St. Croix. This time in St. Croix had a profound influence on Christian-Christensen's career and commitment to helping others.

Christian-Christensen returned to the United States to graduate from St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana, where she earned a B.S. degree in 1966. After reading a United Negro College Fund booklet about the lack of minorities in health care, she decided to enter the medical field. She attended George Washington University Medical School and earned an M.D. degree in 1970. From 1970 to 1971 Christian Christensen worked an as ...


David Killingray

Medical doctor and Pan‐Africanist.

Born in Barbados, Clarke won an island scholarship and came to London in 1914 to study medicine. He graduated from Cambridge in 1918 and qualified as a surgeon two years later. He set up a medical practice in Southwark, south‐east London, where he worked until 1965.

Clarke was a founder member of the League of Coloured Peoples (LCP) in 1931 and active in encouraging and also providing generous financial support for various Pan‐African causes. Clarke was non‐partisan and enjoyed good relations with the left and right Pan‐African factions in the 1930s–1940s, and this enabled him to act as a mediator in planning for the Conference on the African Peoples, Democracy, and World Peace held in London in July 1939 Many Caribbean and African visitors to Britain stayed at Clarke s home in Barnet which was also used for some LCP social functions for ...



Elizabeth Heath

Cocoa is produced through the processing of cacao seeds, or cocoa beans. The beans are harvested and then cured or fermented in a pulpy state for three to nine days. During this time, heat kills the seeds and turns them brown. The enzymes activated by fermentation impart the substances that will later give the beans their characteristic chocolate flavor during roasting. The beans are then dried in the sun, cleaned in special machines, and roasted. After roasting, they are shelled and ground into chocolate. Cocoa has a high food value, containing as much as 20 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrate, and 40 percent fat. It is also mildly stimulating because of the presence of theobromine, an alkaloid that is closely related to caffeine.

Until the end of the nineteenth century Latin America was responsible for nearly 80 percent of the world s cocoa production Although the Spanish and Portuguese introduced ...


Benjamin R. Justesen

physician and diplomat, was born near Bennettsville, South Carolina, to parents whose names are not recorded, and who may have been slaves or freed slaves. At an early age, he moved with his parents to St. Joseph, Missouri, where he was educated in that city's public schools.

A gifted student, Crossland later graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, before completing his medical studies at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He practiced medicine and surgery for twelve years in both Missouri and Kingstree, South Carolina, where he also served for a brief period as assistant postmaster. He also served as city physician for several years in St. Joseph.

Crossland also became active in Republican Party politics in Missouri, and by 1901 had become a member at large of that state s Republican central committee He was also elected president of the Negro Republican State League As ...


Susanne Freidberg

Until the end of World War II, the term development generally referred to biological growth processes, and its economic significance was only metaphorical. But development acquired a new meaning when President Harry Truman introduced a term that implied the antithesis in his inaugural speech in 1949:

We must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of the underdeveloped areas. More than half of the people of the world are living in conditions approaching poverty. … Their poverty is a handicap and a threat to both them and to more prosperous areas….

Thus development was defined as a need and a goal as soon as certain areas among them the entire African continent were defined as underdeveloped Within several years development became an important field of study in economics sociology and other social sciences ...


Diana Obregón and Hugo Sotomayor

The historical situation in Colombia offers a significant case study of the health issues of black communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Comparison of the situation in Colombia with other black populations in the region provides a broader understanding of how social conditions contribute to the incidence of disease.


Jean Mutaba Rahier

The province of Esmeraldas, on the northern coast of the South American nation of Ecuador, is the southern part of a vast black cultural area called the Pacific Lowlands, which also includes the Pacific coast of Colombia and the province of Darién in Panama. Mangroves abound on the seashore; inland is a dense rain forest. Around 70 percent of the province's population is of African descent. The rest of the population is composed of Native Americans (the Cayapas or Chachis) and mestizos (people of mixed European and Native American ancestry). The mestizos, who migrated principally from the Ecuadorian Andes, the province of Manabí, and southern Colombia, are generally the Esmeraldian elites.

Blanqueamiento, or Whitening is one key to Esmeraldian ideas about race. The popular expression mejorar la raza to improve the race refers to blanqueamiento the publicly acknowledged ideal of darker skinned people marrying lighter skinned ...



Julio Cesar Pino

Favelas represent the plight and promise of the urban poor in Brazil. Although they can be found throughout the country, favelas are more numerous in Rio de Janeiro, once the nation's federal district (1889–1960) and still its second largest city. Shantytowns such as Rocinha and Jacarezinho have become an indelible part of the landscape of the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City). Other Brazilian metropolises—São Paulo, Salvador, Recife—have their own favelas, with populations numbering in the hundreds of thousands, but these settlements have not attained the political prominence or journalistic notoriety of the ones in Rio.

The favela is fundamentally different from inner city slums and tenements the type of poor people s housing prevalent in the developed world Tenements are usually rundown buildings owned by a landlord where the occupants pay rent Squatter settlements by contrast are units of self constructed housing built on terrain seized and ...


Tony Burroughs

Genealogy is a subset of family history—it is, more specifically, the study of family lineage, tracing a person's ancestors backward into time, or tracing the descendants of a person in the past into the present. Early African American family history consisted primarily of oral history, sometimes adding data from family records (such as Bible entries and funeral programs) and cemetery grave markers. More formally, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History published twenty-eight family histories from 1942 to 1978 in the Negro History Bulletin, and the African American journalist Frank Bolden published eight feature-length histories of black families from western Pennsylvania in the Pittsburgh Courier in 1950, documenting family roots going back 100 to 220 years.

Interest in African American genealogy exploded after the author Alex Haley researched his family history during the late 1960s and published a fictionalized version of his family story ...


Leyla Keough

Whether bought by Russians at the slave markets of Constantinople, or by the tsar himself in the Netherlands, scholars agree that Abram, who was born in Eritrea and asserted that he was the son of an Ethiopian prince, entered Russia in 1700 and began his service with the Royal Court in 1705. Within two years Abram, who later adopted the surname Hannibal, had won the favor of Tsar Peter I, known as Peter the Great, who became his godfather when he joined the Russian Orthodox Church. The newly baptized Abram Petrov served as the tsar's personal valet both in Russia and away from it during his military campaigns.

After nine years in service to the court, the tsar sent Hannibal to Paris for further education. In 1718 he joined the French army to gain access to the best military engineering program and during his service he was ...


Laura M. Calkins

homeopathic physician, was born in Chatham, a hub of fugitive and free-black settlement in extreme southwestern Ontario, then known as Canada West. Little is known about Jones's early life. Her parents were James Monroe Jones and Emily Jones. Her father came from a family of manumitted slaves in North Carolina, and his father, James Madison Jones, had obtained the family's freedom in 1843 and moved to Oberlin, Ohio, where he graduated from Oberlin College with an AB degree in 1849; at least one of his brothers also graduated from Oberlin.

Sophia Jones had three sisters, Anna Holland Jones, Emma (or Emily) Jones, and Frederica Florence Jones, and two brothers, George and James These children probably all attended one of the Chatham area s private schools for black students and they excelled in their studies As a young woman Sophia attended the Wilberforce Educational ...


Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Hubert Julian, the son of Henry and Silvina (Lily) Hilaire Julian, owners of a cocoa plantation and a shoe factory, became one of the first African American pilots when he earned an aviation license at the age of nineteen. Instead of becoming a doctor as his parents hoped, Julian lived a life of international intrigue as a pilot, arms dealer, and mercenary. Sent to school in England, Julian left Europe for Canada when World War I (1914–1919) broke out. He earned a pilot's license in Canada and arrived in Harlem in the early 1920s with hopes of flying from North America to Africa.

Julian earned the name “The Black Eagle of Harlem” after a stunt in 1923 that typified his ability to parlay failures and defeats into publicity and monetary successes Flamboyant and charming Julian turned a failed parachute ...


Benjamin R. Justesen

physician and diplomat, was born in Monticello, Florida, the son of James and Emily Livingston. After the Civil War, his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where Livingston and his older sisters, Julia and Minerva, attended public schools. He became a schoolteacher in Jacksonville while attending that city's Cookman Institute, later merged into Bethune-Cookman University in Orlando. After his graduation from Cookman in 1882, he was recommended by Florida Republican leaders for appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Livingston's quest was detailed by many U.S. newspapers that year, including a memorable sketch in the New York Sun (3 Sept. 1882) describing the youth as “conceded to have a bright, intelligent face and a fine physique. If he should prove qualified in his studies, his fellow cadets must not destroy him.” Livingston's unexpected nomination surprised the Sun which recalled the recent expulsion ...


Bridget Brereton

physician and pharmacologist, was born in Cocoye Village, Trinidad, to Lewis Albert Maloney, a building contractor and grocery chain operator, and Estelle Evetta (Bonas) Maloney, a needlepoint teacher to young women. Maloney has the distinction of being the first African American professor of pharmacology in the nation and the second person of African descent to earn both a medical degree and a doctorate of philosophy in the United States.

Arnold began his career planning to become a druggist in Trinidad. He studied at Naparima College in Trinidad, a school affiliated with Cambridge University in England, where he received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1909 Maloney had expectations of becoming a druggist in Trinadad however after receiving an unexpected letter from his uncle suggesting greater opportunities existed in the United States he migrated to New York to study medicine During this same year while attending Lincoln ...


In Maria Lionza, a medium in trance invokes spirits of various origins. The invoked spirit possesses the medium, then responds to petitions of the faithful. This cult is utilitarian in nature: the spirits often prescribe cleansing rituals to eliminate evil and heal illnesses.

See also Venezuelan Religion African Elements in ...


Jeffrey Green

In the 1850s the Medical Register was established in Britain. It listed those who were entitled to practise. Nurses and dentists had yet to be treated in this manner. Communities continued to trust individuals who attended mothers in childbed, herbalists, and those who could set broken bones. There were charlatans, the makers of dubious remedies, fairground fakers, and abortionists. Black people had a part in all of this, with gullible patients seeing extra powers in their very appearance.

James McClune Smith, a New Yorker who qualified in medicine at Glasgow University in the 1830s, returned to practise in New York. Active in the anti‐slavery movement, Smith's British experience is known through his recollections of the actor Ira Aldridge. Less public medical personnel are more difficult to identify.

Sierra Leonean Africans were the first qualify under the 1858 legislation. William Davies and James Africanus Horton qualified in London ...