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Article

Bridget Brereton

was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on 30 September 1860, into a light-skinned, mixed-race family of the upper middle class. His parents’ names were John and Pauline (née Durand de Beauval). He was educated at the Roman Catholic high school, St. Mary’s College, in Port of Spain, and qualified as a barrister at Gray’s Inn, London, being called to the Bar in Trinidad in 1882.

As a barrister engaged in private practice in Trinidad from 1882 to his death in 1930, he enjoyed the largest such practice in Trinidad in the first decades of the twentieth century, with important companies among his clients. He was appointed Queen’s (later King’s) Counsel—that is, he was recognized as a senior member of the Trinidad Bar—at the unusually young age of 37 (1897).

Alcazar entered the public life of colonial Trinidad as a young man He was elected ...

Article

Estelle Appiah and Margaret D. Rouse-Jones

was born in Dominica on 23 February 1869. He was one of a small group of West Indian professionals who migrated to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) early in the twentieth century. Few details are known about Christian’s formative years, except that he was influenced by his Antiguan-born father, after whom he was named. Both trained as teachers at the Mico Training School in Antigua and practiced the profession in Dominica. Christian’s father was also an outspoken activist who sent multiple petitions about grievances with Dominica’s chief justice to the Colonial Office during the 1860s and 1870s. As a young man, Christian was aware of the atrocities experienced by enslaved Africans, and he considered it his duty to return to Africa to give back to his homeland.

Despite financial constraints Christian fulfilled his desire to make Africa his home He began his legal training at Gray s Inn London ...

Article

David Dabydeen

West Indiancarpenter murdered in Notting Hill by white youths. Britain was particularly racially tense in the late 1950s, when the white working classes felt culturally and economically threatened by the presence of Blacks. Two active political groups in the Notting Hill area were the White Defence League and the National Labour Party, one claiming to be a Nazi group, the other a racial nationalist one. The culmination of the situation were the ‘race’ riots in 1958 in Notting Hill. One of the tragic results of these events was the murder of Cochrane, an Antiguan who was on his way back from the hospital after having had his broken thumb bandaged. He was stabbed with a knife in May 1958 by six white youths who were never caught. Following Cochrane's murder, the black activist Claudia Jones campaigned for the black community and helped to organize strategies for approaching the ...

Article

Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones

a central figure in the twentieth-century Puerto Rican independence movement, was born into a modest family of mixed racial descent on 9 July 1909 in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. He was the fourth of nine children of Carmen de Gracia and Ceferino Concepción. After graduating from Central High School in Santurce in 1926, Concepción de Gracia attended the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus, earning degrees in law and business administration in 1932. During his early years in legal practice, he distinguished himself as the counsel for Pedro Albizu Campos (1891–1965 and other leaders of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party who had been charged with conspiring to overthrow the government of the United States Albizu Campos was imprisoned in Puerto Rico and later in Atlanta Georgia Concepción de Gracia moved to New York City in order to work on the appeal of the case He ...

Article

James Jankowski

Egyptian lawyer, judge, and nationalist leader, was born in the delta village of Kafr al-Musayliha in Minufiyya Province on 23 December 1870. Son of a prominent landowning family, Fahmi was educated at first in the traditional educational system of his village primary school (kuttab), the Ahmadi Mosque in Tanta, and al-Azhar, but later entered the secular school system, attending the Khedival Secondary School in Cairo, and graduating from the School of Administration in 1890.

After working in the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Administration of Waqfs through the 1890s, in 1903 Fahmi opened a private law practice. He was elected to the new Legislative Assembly in 1913. One of Egypt’s most distinguished lawyers, in 1914 Fahmi became president of the Egyptian Bar Association for the first time he would hold this position twice more in later years He also served as president of the ...

Article

Stephen Clingman

, South African lawyer and antiapartheid figure, was born Abram Fischer in Bloemfontein on 23 April 1908 to a distinguished Afrikaner family. His grandfather, Abraham Fischer, was a negotiator and delegate for the Orange Free State during the Anglo-Boer War, prime minister of the Orange River Colony after the war, and a member of the first Union cabinet of South Africa in 1910. His father, Percy, was judge-president of the Supreme Court of the Orange Free State; his mother, Ada, came from a prominent family of her own. In this context Bram Fischer realigned the anti-imperialism and Afrikaner nationalism he inherited, turning it toward a wider and more inclusive form of South African identity.

In Bloemfontein Fischer attended school at Grey College where he came under the tutelage of Leo Marquard founder of the National Union of South African Students NUSAS After a year at the University of Cape ...

Article

Edward Greene

was born on 5 January 1923, the son of Milutine Cox and John Henry Duport Georges, in Dominica. He obtained his formative education at Roseau Boys School on that island, where his father was the headmaster. From an early age, he distinguished himself as an outstanding student, winning one of the few scholarships to the Dominica Grammar School at age 9, and attributing to a teacher there named N. K. Jeffers his keen interests in and lifelong passions for English and history. These proved to be assets in his armory as professor, jurist, and raconteur. His academic and professional career was a superlative example of how brilliance combined with wise nurturing and diligence can produce the highest excellence despite circumstances of limited social and material privilege.

After winning the Dominican Island Scholarship at the unprecedented age of 17 years he proceeded to McGill University in Montreal to pursue a ...

Article

Juan Fandos-Rius

a gendarme police officer in the Central African Republic (CAR), born in about 1934 to Kaba Sara parents from the region of Paoua in the Ouham-Pendé region of what was then northern Ubangi-Shari, just south of its border with Chad. Soon after Ubangi-Shari became the Central Africa Republic (CAR) in the late 1950s, Izamo joined the nation's new national police force, the Gendarmerie Nationale, in which he was promoted to sergeant in 1960, captain on 1 January 1962, and chef d’escadron (major) on 1 December 1964. Izamo was appointed head of the Gendarmerie by President David Dacko on 6 March 1964, before he was promoted to major, and by 1965 he had became one of Dacko s closest advisers The Gendarmerie s mission included maintaining internal security and this made it more important for the president than the nation s army since the CAR s ...

Article

Juan Fandos-Rius

Central African general of the Gendarmerie Nationale (national police force), was born on 22 December 1936 at Fort Sibut, in the Kémo Gribinguidépartement of the French colony of Ubangi-Shari. His father, Alphonse Lingoupou, was a Banda nurse, and his mother's name was Monique Imale Awa. At age nineteen Martin joined the French army and was sent to serve in Cameroon and Algeria. He then went to school at Puget-sur-Argens in southeastern France before attending the École de Formation des Officiers du Régime Transitoire des Troupes de Marine (an officer training school) from 1962 to 1964 at Fréjus, where his classmates included the future president of the Central African Republic (CAR) André Kolingba. After promotion to second lieutenant in the Central African army on 1 October 1964 Lingoupou attended the École des Officiers de Gendarmerie Nationale in Melun and studied at the Institut de Criminologie in Paris He ...

Article

Julian Cresser

was born at his family’s property of Roxborough (Roxburgh), in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica, on 4 July 1893. He was the third of four children, after Vera and Muriel and before Roy, born to Thomas Albert Samuel Manley, a successful produce dealer, and his wife Margaret (née Shearer), a postmistress. Thomas died in 1899, and financial problems led Margaret to move her family to Belmont, a rundown property that her husband and father had acquired jointly some years before in Guanaboa Vale, St. Catherine Parish.

Color Thomas was a brown man and Margaret nearly white occupation and property meant that the Manley family enjoyed a modicum of social status in rural Jamaica but theirs was not a life of privilege Margaret was indefatigable in her efforts to provide for her family managing Belmont and among other things running a post office on the property Norman was from ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

Nickname of Edgar McManning or Manning (1889–1931), Jamaican criminal. Living in London by 1916 and working in an armaments factory, Manning achieved notoriety through widespread newspaper reports. Their misrepresentations have since fuelled memoirs, biographies, and histories. He shot three men in 1920 and was sent to prison for sixteen months. In 1922 he was alleged to be dealing in cocaine. The Times described him as an ‘important drug trafficker’: he pleaded guilty to being in possession. A year later he was again found with drugs, and again pleaded guilty. Newspapers linked him with a young woman's death through heroin, and with prostitution, but without evidence.

Cocaine use was expanding in London and the amended Dangerous Drugs Act changed the maximum sentence for possession from six months to ten years Manning was the first to be convicted under these rules and went to prison for three years He returned ...

Article

David Dabydeen

Adopted name of Michael de Freitas (1933–1975), black revolutionary and civil rights activist in London. Michael X was born in Trinidad to a Portuguese father and Barbadian mother. He immigrated to London in 1957 and lived in the Notting Hill area. Before converting to Islam, Michael X, who was also known by the name of Michael Abdul Malik, was a pimp and a hustler, similar to his idol Malcolm X. He founded the Racial Adjustment Action Society and in 1967 became the first person to be imprisoned under England's Race Relations Act. Michael X's impulsive nature resulted in several convictions, among them an eighteen‐month jail sentence for advocating the shooting of black women who were seen in the company of white men. He argued for the congregation of Blacks in social communes. In 1969 he was given money to start a commune in Islington but ...

Article

Cecily Jones

Nickname of Rahasya Rudra Narayan (1938–1998), barrister and civil rights activist. He was born in British Guiana (now Guyana), the ninth of ten children of Indo‐Guianan parents. He arrived in Britain in 1953, and after a series of menial jobs enlisted in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, where he served until 1965, before leaving with the rank of sergeant. He then read for the Bar, at Lincoln's Inn, where he helped to found the Bar Students' Union, and later also became the Union's first president. He was called to the Bar in 1968, a year before his marriage to Dr Naseem Akbar, with whom he had two daughters.

When, in 1973, Narayan and Sighbat Kadric QC founded the Association of Commonwealth Lawyers (the predecessor to the Immigrant Lawyers' Group, which became the Society of Black Lawyers in 1981 the chairman of the ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

Lawyer in Lancashire and Cheshire born in British Guiana (now Guyana). The son of a Georgetown builder, Nelson studied at St John's College, Oxford (1898–1902), where he was an officer of the Oxford Union under Prime Minister Asquith's son Raymond. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1904, and established his legal practice in Manchester and his home at Bowdon, then Hale, Cheshire. He married, had a daughter, played cricket, and was elected to Hale Council from 1913 to his death. He chaired the Council in 1937.

Nelson achieved fame following the murder of George Storrs at Stalybridge in 1909. As defence lawyer, Nelson secured the acquittal of Mark Wilde, who had been accused of the crime. The Yorkshire Herald called him ‘the coloured barrister’ (29 October 1910) but the Stalybridge Reporter of that date just published his ...

Article

Shane Graham

justice on the South African Constitutional Court, attorney and legal scholar, author, cultural critic, and human rights activist, was born 30 January 1935 in Johannesburg. The older of two sons born to Emil “Solly” Sachs, a trade union leader, and Ray Ginsberg, his full name was Albert Louis Sachs. Both of his parents were associated with the Communist Party in the 1920s; as Sachs wrote in his 1966 book The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs he grew up in a political home a home of books of ideas and of stimulating people His parents separated when he was young his father stayed in Johannesburg while Albie and his mother moved to Cape Town where she worked as secretary to Moses Kotane a leader of both the Communist Party and the African National Congress ANC Sachs attended South African College Schools an exclusive institution in Cape Town from which he ...

Article

Anthony P. Maingot

was born Hugh Olliviere Beresford Wooding in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to Barbadian parents, in 1904. When he died in 1974, his life had spanned the critical stages from Trinidad’s Crown colony status to internal self-government, the failed attempt at West Indian Federation, and the dawn of independence.

At a time when an excellent education was a rare commodity for a black man, Wooding won a coveted scholarship to Queen’s Royal College, one of the two highly regarded secondary schools on the island. In 1923 thanks to excellent exam results he won that year s scholarship to study law in England It was the England of widespread color bars and he later had many stories to tell of the profound indignities he suffered These merely reinforced the sense of racial pride he always observed in his parents and which encouraged him to always put his best efforts ...