lawyer and judge, was the third of five children born to Hillard Boone Alexander, a laborer from Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Virginia Pace, from Essex County, Virginia. Alexander's parents were born slaves, but were freed by the Thirteenth Amendment following the Civil War. In 1880 they migrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they lived in the Seventh Ward, a community that would later be made famous by W. E. B. Du Bois's seminal 1899 study The Philadelphia Negro. In 1903Alexander's mother died of pneumonia. Because his father worked long hours, Alexander and his siblings moved to North Philadelphia to live with his maternal aunt, Georgia Chandler Pace From the age of seven Alexander attended school and worked at various jobs including dockworker newspaper boy general helper at the Metropolitan Opera House in North Philadelphia Pullman porter and when he was in his early twenties ...
Alexander, Raymond Pace
David Alvin Canton
Abu al-Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Rushd, more commonly known as Averroës, was born in Córdoba, Spain. His father, a judge in Córdoba, instructed him in Muslim jurisprudence. In his native city he also studied theology, philosophy, and mathematics under the Arab philosopher Ibn Tufayl and medicine under the Arab physician Avenzoar. Averroës was appointed judge in Seville in 1169 and in Córdoba in 1171; in 1182 he became chief physician to Abu Yaqub Yusuf, the Almohad caliph of Morocco and Muslim Spain. Averroës's view that reason takes precedence over religion led to his being exiled in 1195 by Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur; he was restored to favor shortly before his death.
Averroës held that metaphysical truths can be expressed in two ways: through philosophy, as represented by the views of Aristotle and through religion which is truth presented in a ...
Mohammed Hassen Ali
pharmacist, lawyer, and Oromo nationalist and political activist in Ethiopia, was mainly responsible for the formation of the Oromo Liberation Front, which in turn transformed Oromo cultural nationalism to political nationalism. He was born in the region of Wallaga. He lost both his parents while very young, and it was his elder brother, the Reverend Gudina Tumsa, who brought him up and provided him with the best education.
While at Haile Selassie I University, Baro Tumsa immersed himself in student politics as well as risky underground Oromo political activities. From 1964 to 1966 he served as secretary and president of the union of the university students in Addis Ababa It was under his leadership that university students were radicalized and energized More than many of his contemporaries Baro Tumsa realized that the Oromo and other conquered people of southern Ethiopia were landless subjects without rights who were exploited economically ...
Freeman, Elizabeth (Mumbet, Mum Bett)
Bethany K. Dumas
Elizabeth Freeman was born either in New York or Massachusetts, the daughter of parents probably born in Africa. She apparently became the slave of Pieter Hogeboom of New York quite early. The only trace of her parents is Freeman's bequest to her daughter of two articles of clothing—a black silk gown given to Freeman by her father as a gift, and another gown that supposedly belonged to Freeman's mother. During her lifetime and even after her death, she was known as “Mum Bett” or “Mumbet,” a name derived from “Elizabeth.” Lacking a surname for most of her life, she sued for freedom under the name “Bett” and adopted the name “Elizabeth Freeman” after winning her lawsuit in 1781.
The proposed dates for her birth, which range from 1732 to 1744 are derived from an estimate carved on her tombstone suggesting that she was about eighty five ...
Hocutt, Thomas Raymond
David B. McCarthy
in a pioneering but unsuccessful attempt to desegregate higher education in North Carolina, was born in Durham, North Carolina, the son of Florence Amos and Thomas Henry Hocutt. After graduating from Durham’s Hillside Park High School, he worked in a pharmacy in a nearby city. He then enrolled in Durham’s North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University) while he worked as an assistant headwaiter at the Washington Duke Inn. Hocutt wanted to become a pharmacist, but North Carolina’s only program was at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill, which had never admitted African Americans.
In 1933 two Durham attorneys,
Jackson, Andrew C.
described by William and Charles Mayo, the founders of the Mayo Clinic, as “the most able Negro surgeon in America” was murdered by a mob during the Tulsa, Oklahoma, riots of 1921. Jackson was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Townsend (sometimes given as Talgris) and Sophronia Jackson, and grew up in Guthrie, Oklahoma. His middle name was either Christian or Chester.
Townsend Jackson, a police officer in Memphis, fled the city with his family as a mob targeted their home in 1889. Just in time for the Oklahoma land rush that year, he settled in Guthrie, where he was a justice of the peace, a barber, and a police officer. Townsend Jackson owned the family home. In 1900, Andrew Jackson and his older brother also named Townsend worked as porters while their older sister Minnie taught school The neighborhood where ...
Nixon, Lawrence Aaron
Connie L. McNeely
physician and civil rights activist, was born in Marshall, Texas, the son of Charles Nixon, chief steward of a private railroad car owned by the general manager of what was then the Texas and Pacific Railroad. When the private car was moved in 1886, the Nixon family followed it to New Orleans, where Charles Nixon was able to send his four children to private school, providing them with a better education than was available in the substandard public schools reserved for black children. When the family returned to Marshall in 1892, Lawrence's schooling continued through Wiley College, the oldest historically black college west of the Mississippi River, where he completed his undergraduate education.
Nixon worked at various jobs while obtaining his education, but began to fulfill his true professional dreams in 1902 when he entered Meharry Medical College in Nashville Tennessee Earning his medical degree ...
was the husband of the African American poet Phillis Wheatley. Peters was a free man when he first appears in Massachusetts court records in 1776, identified as a Boston “Shopkeeper.” His place of birth is unknown and he may never have been a slave. Until very recently, what little was known about Peters is found in two very brief nineteenth-century accounts, which depict him as a pretentious, handsome ne’er-do-well con man, a fraudulent lawyer or physician, who abandoned his wife as she lay dying in desperate poverty. Peters epitomized how precarious the life of a person of African descent could be in New England during the eighteenth century.
When or where John Peters first met the African-American poet Phillis Wheatley (1753?–1784) remains unknown. On 1 April 1778 they announced their intention to marry later that year at the height of her international celebrity Their engagement may ...
Pollard, Charlie Wesley
Susan M. Reverby and Elizabeth Sims
farmer, civil rights activist, and lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the government in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, was born in Notasulga, Alabama, the third child of six children of Lucius and Alma Pollard. The Pollard family owned and farmed their land in the Notasulga area, just outside of Tuskegee, for generations after the Civil War. As with many farmers, they often needed to secure liens, with their animals as the collateral, in order to complete their crop. In the early 1900s the family began to buy more acreage, and by 1908 Pollard s father was farming 160 acres and was the first black man in the county to own a mechanical cotton picker Pollard learned early how to horse and cattle trade and to build upon his family s farming skills He was educated in the Shiloh School one of the earliest Rosenwald schools built ...
Redmond, Sidney Dillon
E. C. Foster
physician, attorney, and political leader, was born in Holmes County, Mississippi, near the town of Ebenezer, the son of Charles Redmond, a former slave and blacksmith, and Esther Redmond, a former slave. In 1871 large numbers of blacks were elected to state and local government positions. Less than two years earlier a new state constitution had been put into effect that promised to make democracy a reality for both black and white Mississippians. Moreover, the abolition of slavery in the United States had occurred six years before Redmond's birth. After leaving the farm near Ebenezer along with the rest of his family, Redmond settled in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where he later attended Rust College. Upon graduation from Rust College in 1894 he entered the field of education and served both as a principal at Mississippi State Normal School in Holly Springs and as a ...
Rock, John Stewart
activist, lawyer, doctor, and dentist, was born to free parents in Salem County, New Jersey. The majority of secondary sources list his middle name as “Swett” or “Sweat,” although his biographer J. Harlan Buzby asserts that it was “Stewart.” His father, also named John Rock, lived for more than three decades in Elsinboro, Salem County, New Jersey, and married Maria Willet on 8 June 1820. The elder John Rock was a laborer, and though the family was poor, John and Maria Rock did their best to see that young Rock was educated.
By 1844 Rock was teaching at an all-black school in Salem, a position he held until 1848. While teaching he read extensively and began studying medicine with two white doctors in the area, Quinton Gibbon and Jacob Sharpe He attempted to gain admission to medical colleges in the area but ...
Rock, John Sweat
Alonford James Robinson
John Sweat Rock, the son of free blacks, was born in Salem, New Jersey. He attended common schools in his hometown until the age of nineteen, when he was given the opportunity to study medicine with two white physicians in the area. After being trained by a white dentist, Rock earned his medical degree in 1852 from the American Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
By 1855 Rock relocated to Massachusetts, where he became one of the first African American members of the Massachusetts Medical Society. While in Boston, Rock supported the abolitionist movement, providing medical treatment to Fugitive Slaves. He was a participant in the 1855 abolitionist campaign to desegregate the city's public schools and spoke at the 1858 Faneuil Hall commemoration of Crispus Attucks Day.
Rock later earned a law degree and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar on September 14, 1861 As an active ...