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Charles L. Lumpkins

Founded in 1971, the Black Workers Congress (BWC), an African American organization of primarily industrial workers, called on working people, especially black and other nonwhite workers, to solve their shop-floor issues by taking matters into their own hands rather than waiting for union officials and managers to make decisions. The BWC aimed to steer black workers and the labor movement in a militant and radical direction. The congress, which also had Hispanic American, Asian American, and Native American affiliates, announced its long-term mission to achieve workers’ control of factories, offices, and other worksites; an end to workplace exploitation; and the establishment of a society that values human rights above property rights.

The BWC had its roots in the revolutionary union movements (RUMs), centering on black auto workers in late-1960s Detroit, Michigan. Some of the founders and early leaders of the BWC, including John Watson and General Gordon Baker Jr ...



Graham Russell Hodges

Class as a factor in the lives of African Americans in the twentieth century created mixed reactions. In a society that in some ways generally regards itself as classless, many Americans regard economic inequality as a social problem that needs fixing—through government programs or, preferably, individual initiative. For African Americans, the massive impact of race and racism seemed to render all blacks victims of white prejudice. W. E. B. Du Bois's dictum that the color line would be the major problem of the twentieth century had the effect of underscoring that African Americans were behind a racial veil apart from white Americans: material conditions made this analysis convincing. Until the late twentieth century, few African Americans could be described as wealthy, and fewer owned the means of production.

By the early twenty first century for the first time there were significant numbers of blacks with money and power In addition ...



Tyronne Tillery

The year 1900 marked a turning point in the history of Detroit and in the character of its growth. By the turn of the century, its commercial and trade preeminence had been replaced by dynamic industrial growth anchored in the automobile industry. Detroiters long before Michigan achieved statehood in 1837 African Americans were affected by these changes The romantic recollections of a city where African American teachers taught black and white children in the same public schools and the races lived worked and played together were quickly giving way to the twentieth century reality of northern racial castes Racial attitudes ranging from simple ethnocentrism to hate based philosophies of racial superiority fed institutional discrimination limiting black opportunities in employment housing education and public accommodations Waves of non Anglo Saxon European immigrants seeking to share in American social and economic mobility made the most of the growing obsession with race ...



Elizabeth Heath

The term Dyula is a Mande word meaning “itinerant trader” that refers both to the ethnic group and to the occupation for which they are best known. Little is known about the Dyula before the thirteenth century, when they emerged as the main trading class of the ancient Mali empire. Their Mande language suggests that they originated in the empire’s heartland along the upper Niger River. The Dyula traveled throughout West Africa and traded Gold, kola nuts (a natural stimulant), salt, and cloth. They played an important role in organizing the production of cloth and, according to some historians, spurred increased production of cloth and other trade goods during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Along with trade goods, the Dyula also helped disseminate the advanced culture of the western Sahel, including Islam, the dominant religion of the Dyula, as well as Arabic and Sudanic architecture.

Over ...


Miranda Kaufmann

A black‐faced, shock‐haired, fat red‐lipped, and goggled‐eyed character in brightly coloured clothes introduced to Britain in 1895 with the publication of Bertha and Florence Kate Upton'sThe Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls. Such was the popularity of the central Golliwog's character that the Uptons produced twelve sequels until 1909, which were reprinted many times until the late 1970s. The character was brave, courteous, and lovable, ‘the prince of golliwogs’, based on a black‐faced minstrel doll Upton had had as a child in America. During the First World War she put the original manuscripts and toys up for auction, raising £472 10s., which purchased an ambulance called the Golliwog for the Red Cross. The buyer presented the items to the Prime Minister, and they lived at Chequers for some 90 years before being recently moved to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.

As neither the Uptons ...



Marcy S. Sacks

The black presence in New York City dates back to the earliest years of Dutch colonization in the early seventeenth century. Over the generations, as the population of Manhattan increased in size, the once relatively scattered black population gradually became more concentrated within fewer geographic regions of the city. The 1800s witnessed the beginning of an uptown march, as the black population that had been centered in the working-class district of Five Points on the lower tip of the island early in the century faced residential pressures, leading it to shift its hub into modern-day Greenwich Village, then to an area known as the Tenderloin situated approximately between Twentieth and Fortieth streets. Though racial prejudice limited their housing options, black New Yorkers in the nineteenth century nevertheless lived in fairly heterogeneous working-class communities alongside ethnic whites.

The turn of the twentieth century however witnessed a precipitous growth in the black ...


Laura Tabili

Indian and Caribbean workers employed in British shipping from the early 19th century.

1.Who were the Lascars?

2.Pay and conditions

3.Black seamen in British ships

4.Racial and gender divisions in maritime labour

5.Lascars, black seamen, and the National Union of Seamen




Daniel Adams

The City of Miami was incorporated on 28 July 1896. In the early twenty-first century Miami was the seat of Miami-Dade County, formerly known as Dade County. Some of the first African Americans who migrated to Miami worked for the Florida East Coast Railway. Others were agricultural workers who moved south to Miami after all crops north of Lake Worth were destroyed by the great winter freeze of 1894–1895. Bahamian immigrants made up a substantial portion of early immigrants to Miami, having fled the Bahamas after the collapse of that nation's economy in the 1880s. By 1896, 40 percent of Miami's black population was Bahamian in origin. Unlike many of their southern U.S. counterparts, Bahamian blacks knew how to grow crops and trees in the rough coral-rock terrain.

Miami s first black neighborhood was Colored Town an area in the city s northwest quadrant officially known as ...


Eric Bennett

Violence erupted in Dade County, Florida, on the night of May 17, 1980, when residents of Liberty City, a predominantly African American neighborhood, learned of the verdict in a case of white-on-black police brutality. Furious blacks threw bricks, rocks, and bottles at white suburban motorists who had to drive through Liberty City to reach a main Miami highway. Rumors of whites shooting children in retaliation fueled the violence. Black mobs attacked white derelicts and white motorists who tried to flee their damaged cars on foot.

Meanwhile, a nominally peaceful protest, sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), failed to produce a speaker. Soon the frustrated crowd joined in the violence, attacking the Dade County Department of Public Safety headquarters as well as local white-owned businesses.

Joining forces with Miami police the National Guard restored order with roadblocks and guns By the time the rioting ...



Bizeck Jube Phiri

paramount chief of the Ngoni (in present-day Zambia), was the eldest son of Zwangendaba (Zongendaba); his mother was Nshlanze Sosera Ngumayo. It was during the migration of the Ngoni northward around 1830 that Ntutu Mpezeni was born. Ntutu Mpezeni was about nine years old when the Ngoni crossed the Zambezi River. Indunas are in agreement that he was carried across the Zambezi as was befitting of a paramount chief’s heir. Legend also has it that prior to crossing the Zambezi River, Zwangendaba had given Mpezeni a small shield and an assegai and that he had killed his first duiker buck. Zwangendaba continued his wandering until his death in 1945, after which Ntutu Mpezeni took over as leader of the Ngoni. Mpezeni led the group from Fipa country into what is now the Chipata district of Zambia.

Before leaving the land of the Bemba people Mpezeni captured Chanda Mukulu sister ...


Gloria Chuku

omu (female monarch) and trader, was born in the nineteenth century in the city of Onitsha in southeastern Nigeria. Her father was Isagba Okwuona of Ogbendida village, Onitsha, and her mother was Ngbokwa Amasinwa Okigbo of nearby Ojoto. Nwagboka married Uzoka Egwuatu, an Igala immigrant from Ogbeotu village, Onitsha. While Nwagboka’s husband maintained two residences, one at Igala and another in Onitsha, she lived in Onitsha with her son, Egwuatu. Nwagboka started her trading career as an apprentice, but later became a successful trader herself due to her business acumen and her Igala connections, through which she bought elephant tusks, which she sold to European traders. Ivory was a very lucrative trade at the time, in high demand both locally and overseas. It was estimated that, in two consignments of ivory Nwagboka shipped overseas, she made £10,000. She gave some of the proceeds to Obi king Anazonwu 1823 1899 ...


Peter J. Duignan

fifth president of the Republic of Liberia, was born in Newark, Ohio, the son of John Roye, a wealthy merchant. His mother's name is unknown. His father died in 1829, leaving some personal property and land to Roye. He went to public schools in Ohio, attended Oberlin College, and taught for a few years in Chillicothe. He also tried his hand as a sheep trader and shopkeeper in various parts of the Midwest. After his mother died in 1840 he was influenced by the emigration movement to escape American prejudice. He rejected the idea of going to Haiti and instead traveled to Liberia in 1846 just before an independent republic was installed there in July 1847, taking with him a stock of goods.

At the time of Roye s arrival the new republic faced a variety of ills The dominant Americo Liberians remained a small minority threatened ...


Richard I. Lawless

Arab seamen from Yemen in south‐west Arabia began visiting South Shields at the end of the 19th century. By the early 20th century some had become domiciled there and were shipping out regularly from the port, a major coal‐exporting centre at that time. Arabs were engaged mainly as firemen, especially in the coal‐carrying tramp trades. Their numbers grew rapidly during the First World War, when South Shields became the largest centre of Arab seamen in Britain after Cardiff. They contributed significantly to the war effort, filling the vacuum in the merchant marine created when British seamen were called up for service in the Royal Navy and the Army. Many were killed when their ships were torpedoed.

Some Arabs settled down in the town married local women and opened a number of seamen s boarding houses cafés and shops but the majority were transients and sojourners and after a number of ...


Godfrey Muriuki

was a major Kikuyu trader and leader in Kenya. By the 1880s the Kikuyu who had migrated from Murang’a had occupied Kiambu and reached the outskirts of what is now Nairobi. The frontier was a land of opportunity. Individuals were able to acquire land from the Dorobo, or Athi, through purchase, conquest, or creating family relationships through adoption. Kiambu had rich volcanic soils, and the area was blessed with plenty of rain. Being expert agriculturalists, the Kikuyu made full use of the newly acquired virgin land to grow plenty of foodstuffs. And by coincidence, their expansion coincided with the arrival of trading parties from Mombasa on their way to the interior.

The region between the coast and the highlands was barren, or nyika. Consequently caravan parties of Arabs and Swahili could not obtain provisions until they reached Machakos and Kikuyu land For this reason the frontier of Kikuyu ...