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Baker, Frankie  

John Garst

the inspiration for the “Frankie and Johnny” song, was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents were Cedric Baker and his wife Margaret (maiden name unknown), and she had three brothers: Charles, Arthur, and James. Charles, who was younger than Frankie, lived with her on Targee Street in 1900. In 1899 Baker shot and killed her seventeen-year-old “mack” (pimp), Allen “Al” Britt. St. Louis pianists and singers were soon thumping and belting out what would become one of America's most famous folk ballads and popular songs, “Frankie and Johnny,” also known as “Frankie and Albert,” “Frankie Baker,” and “Frankie.”

At age sixteen or seventeen Baker fell in love with a man who, unknown to her, was living off the earnings of a prostitute (this kind of man was known as an “easy rider,” a term made famous by W. C. Handy in his ...


Davidson, Shelby J.  

Rayvon David Fouché

inventor, was born to Shelby Jeames and Amelia Scott Davidson in Lexington, Kentucky. He attended public school in his hometown of Lexington and then attended college in Louisville to study education. This school's program did not challenge Davidson or adequately prepare him for a career. So in the fall of 1887 he enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C. However, his previous academic training was not sufficient to gain admission to Howard University's college department. He spent his first two years completing the preparatory program and finally received a degree in 1896. That same year he began to study law, and by June 1896 he had completed standard readings in the law curriculum under the direction of William A. Cook.

In 1893 while Davidson completed his education he found employment as an unclassified laborer for the Treasury Department making $600 per year He secured this position through ...


Halimi, Gisèle  

Julia A. Clancy-Smith

Tunisian lawyer activist and writer was born in Halq al Wadi La Goulette the port for Tunis to Tunisian Jewish parents from the large Taïeb clan Zeiza Gisèle Élise Halimi s gender made her unwelcome at birth Her father Edouard an Orthodox Jew of precarious economic resources had desired a second son Despite or perhaps because of the fact that her parents had no formal schooling and distrusted education and books Halimi evinced a passion for reading and studies from early on which she satisfied through the public library in Tunis Since most of the family s meager income went for her older brother s schooling Halimi s prospects for high school seemed dim at best so she took a scholarship examination and earning the highest grade was able to attend lycée which eventually opened the door to a university education in France Before studying law she had two other ...


Jiagge, Annie Ruth  

Josephine Dawuni

judge, women’s rights advocate, and civic leader, originally from Togo and active as an adult in Ghana, was born Annie Ruth Baeta in Lomé, Togo, on 7 October 1918. Her father, Reverend Robert Domingo Baeta, was a teacher and minister and her mother, Henrietta Baeta (née Sedode), was also a teacher. On 10 January 1953, Annie Ruth Baeta married Fred K. A. Jiagge; they later adopted a son. Jiagge began her early education in Lomé, and later went to live with her maternal grandmother, Julia B. Sedode, in Keta, Ghana (then known as the Gold Coast), to be educated in English. In 1938, she attained a teaching certificate from Achimota College, and taught until 1944. In 1946, she began teaching an adult domestic science class to help improve the literacy rate among adults in Keta.

In 1947 after passing the London matriculation exam Jiagge ...


Molokomme, Athaliah Maoka Lesiba  

Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi

Botswana lawyer and women’s rights activist, was born in Francistown in northern Botswana on 4 December 1959. She was the second of nine children born to Rufus Oka Kabiwa (1930–1990) and Imeldah Mishodzi Molokomme (b. 1940). Her parents were teachers by profession. They raised a large family on strong values of sharing, community, and mutual respect. Having learned how to read at the age of three and a half, Molokomme was sent to school by her parents, at this unusually tender age. Her formative years were spent in primary school at Tchangati, Sebina, and Mathangwane. In 1970 she entered secondary school at St. Joseph’s College Kgale, a Catholic mission school on the outskirts of the capital city, Gaborone. Described as having been a brilliant student, she graduated with a first-class examinations classification in 1975.

Molokomme then enrolled at the University of Botswana to study law She graduated ...


Tamale, Sylvia  

Aili Tripp

Ugandan lawyer, university professor, and human rights advocate, has been one of the most outspoken activists in Uganda on many controversial issues, especially women’s rights, gay rights, and human rights more generally. She was also the first woman dean in the Faculty of Law at Makerere University and is currently associate professor of law and a lawyer. She received her bachelor of law degree from Makerere University, her master of law degree from Harvard Law School, and her PhD in sociology and feminist studies from the University of Minnesota in 1996. She teaches gender and law, research methods, and a variety of other subjects. She is the author of numerous publications on feminist legal theory, gender and sexuality, and African feminism. Her pioneering work on women parliamentarians in Uganda was entitled When Hens Begin to Crow: Gender and Parliamentary Politics in Uganda Westview Press 1999 She has also ...


Truth, Sojourner  

Nell Irvin Painter

Sojourner Truth, born a slave in Ulster County, New York, a symbol of women's strength and black women's womanliness, is summed up in the phrase “ar'n't I a woman?” Known as Isabella VanWagener until 1843, she changed her name and became an itinerant preacher under the influence of Millerite Second Adventism.

In the 1840s Truth encountered feminist abolitionism during her stay in the Northampton (Mass.) Association of Education and Industry. There she met Olive Gilbert, who recorded The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Bondswoman of Olden Time, which Truth published in Boston in 1850. During the 1850s and 1860s sales to antislavery and feminist audiences of this narrative provided Truth's main source of income. Truth attended the 1851 Akron, Ohio, convention on women's rights in order to sell her book. The chair of that meeting, Frances Dana Gage wrote the most popular version of ...