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Sierra Leone

Cuffe, Paul, Sr. (1759-1817)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Paul Cuffe is best known for his work in assisting free blacks who wanted to emigrate to Sierra Leone.  Cuffe was born free on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts (near New Bedford) sometime around 1759. The exact date of his birth is unknown. He was the youngest of ten children. His father, Kofi (also known as Cuffe Slocum), was from the Ashanti Empire in West Africa. Kofi was captured, enslaved and brought to New England at the age of 10. Paul's mother, Ruth Moses, was Native American. Kofi, a skilled tradesman who was able to earn his freedom, died when Paul Cuffe was a teenager. The younger Cuffe refused to use the name Slocum, which his father had been given by his owner, and instead took his father's first name.
Sources: 
Sheldon H. Harris, Paul Cuffe, Black America and the African Return (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
East Tennessee State University

Cuffe, Paul, Jr. (?-?)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Paul Cuffe was born into a Pequot family that had intermarried with freed or escaped slaves in New England. His father, Paul Cuffe, Sr., became known for his attempt to begin an African American colony in Sierra Leone.  Paul Cuffe, Jr., made his living as a whaling harpooner and probably came to know Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick and other works.  It is probable that Melville modeled his character Queequeg, the aboriginal harpooner, after the younger Cuffe.
Sources: 
Bruce E. Johansen and Donald A. Grinde, Jr., The Encyclopedia of Native American Biography (New York: Da Capo Press, 1997).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
State University of New York, Buffalo

Washington, Henry (ca. 1740-post 1801)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Henry Washington, slave, loyalist, and colonizer, was born in Africa, perhaps in the Senegambia (present day Senegal and Gambia). Transported as a slave to America, he was bought by George Washington in 1763 to work on a project for draining the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia.  By 1766, he was living at Mount Vernon, Washington's Virginia plantation and caring for Washington’s horses.  Briefly a runaway in 1771, he fled again in 1776 to join royal Virginia governor Lord Dunmore’s Ethiopian Regiment of freed slaves. Moving to New York in late 1776, Washington served as corporal in a corps of Black Pioneers attached to a British artillery unit.  The unit was briefly stationed at Charleston, South Carolina in 1780 but returned to New York by 1782.  He was among the several thousand “loyal blacks” evacuated from the city in July 1783 to British Nova Scotia where he married a woman named Sarah and acquired a town lot and forty acres of land in Birchtown.

In 1791, with his wife and three children, Washington elected to join the expedition financed by the British government that would allow black loyalist refugees unhappy with their treatment in Nova Scotia to join the free black community established in Sierra Leone in West Africa. There, he settled outside Freetown and became a successful farmer.  In 1799, however, he joined in a protest movement against the autocratic rule of the white-run Sierra Leone Company and was banished to the colony’s desolate northern shore. His last years, after 1801, are unknown.  In ironic parallel to that other Washington, his onetime master in Virginia, Henry Washington lived through years of strife to become a founding father of a new society in his native land.
Sources: 
Cassandra Pybus, Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and their Global Quest for Liberty(Boston: Beacon Press, 2006); Ellen Gibson Wilson, The Loyal Blacks (New York: Capricorn Books, 1976).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Blyden, Edward Wilmot (1832-1912)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Edward Wilmot Blyden, widely known as the father of Pan-Africanism, was born on August 3, 1832 in Saint Thomas, in what are now the U.S Virgin Islands. Blyden was the third of seven children and was born to Romeo and Judith Blyden, a tailor and schoolteacher, respectively.   The family lived in a predominantly Jewish and English speaking community, and attended church at the integrated Dutch Reformed Church. Blyden’s parents were free and literate at a time when most blacks on the islands were enslaved and illiterate. In 1842, the family moved to Porto Bello, Venezuela where Blyden first discovered his facility with languages.  He also found that black free Venezuelans performed much the same menial labor as enslaved blacks in the Virgin Islands.  
Sources: 
Hollis Lynch, Edward Wilmot Blyden-Pan Negro Patriot (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964): Thomas W. Livingston, Education and Race: A Biography of Edward Wilmot Blyden (San Francisco: Glendessary Press, 1975).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Berea College

Coker, Daniel (1780-1846)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

 

Image Ownership: Public Domain

Daniel Coker (born Isaac Wright) was a writer, activist, and a founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church who eventually emigrated from the United States to Sierra Leone as a missionary and colonist. Coker was born in 1780 in either Baltimore County or Frederick County, Maryland to Susan Coker, a white indentured servant, and Edward Wright, a slave father. He was raised in a household with his white half-brothers from his mother’s previous marriage and was allowed to attend the local school as their valet. While still in school he fled to New York where he changed his name to Daniel Coker and was ordained a Methodist minister.

Upon secretly returning to Maryland, Coker’s friends helped him purchase his freedom which gave him the rare opportunity to boldly speak out against the institution of slavery as well as participate in activities not usually open to black Americans at the time. He began both teaching and preaching in the Baltimore area.  Responding to racial discrimination in the Methodist Church, Coker called upon African American Methodists to withdraw from the white-dominated church and establish their own organization. Unable to recruit enough parishioners from the Sharp Street Church where he worked, Coker and others who advocated his separatist ideals broke from the congregation to form the African Bethel Church, which later became Bethel A.M.E Church.

Sources: 
Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston, eds., Dictionary of American Negro Biography (New York: W. W. Norton, 1982); http://www.genealogyforum.rootsweb.com/gfaol/resource/AfricanAm/Coker.htm; http://www.ame-church.com/index.php.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington

The Pan-African Congresses, 1900-1945

 

Speakers at The Pan African Congress,
Brussels, Belgium,1921
Image Ownership: Public Domain

In the nearly half century between 1900 and 1945 various political leaders and intellectuals from Europe, North America, and Africa met six times to discuss colonial control of Africa and develop strategies for eventual African political liberation. In the article that follows, historian Saheed Adejumobi describes the goals and objectives of these six Pan African Congresses and assesses their impact on Africa.     

 

Pan-Africanist ideals emerged in the late nineteenth century in response to European colonization and exploitation of the African continent. Pan-Africanist philosophy held that slavery and colonialism depended on and encouraged negative, unfounded categorizations of the race, culture, and values of African people. These destructive beliefs in turn gave birth to intensified forms of racism, the likes of which Pan-Africanism sought to eliminate.

Summary: 
In the nearly half century between 1900 and 1945 various political leaders and intellectuals from Europe, North America, and Africa met six times to discuss colonial control of Africa and develop strategies for eventual African political liberation. In the article that follows, historian Saheed Adejumobi describes the goals and objectives of these six Pan African Congresses and assesses their impact on Africa.
Sources: 

Saheed A. Adejumobi, “The Pan-African Congress,” in Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations, Nina Mjagkij, ed. (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 2001).

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Seattle University

Blucke, Stephen ( --1792)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Colonel Stephen Blucke led an all-black Regiment that fought for the British during the American Revolution. He settled in Birchtown, Nova Scotia in 1783 and became a leader in the Black Loyalist community.

During the Revolutionary War, the most famous of the Black Loyalist Military units were called the Black Pioneers, which contained a small elite band of guerrillas known as the Black Brigade. The Black Brigade fought independently and later with the all-white unit Queen’s Rangers. The supplies they seized were vital to the survival of the Loyalists in New York. In a raid on a patriot militia leader, the Brigade and leader Colonel Tye were caught in a long battle. Their target was burned after Tye’s death and Blucke – a literate, free black from Barbados and officer in the Black Pioneers – succeeded Tye as Colonel of the Brigade.

Sources: 

Joseph Mensah, Black Canadians: History, Experiences, Social Conditions (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2002); Simon Schama, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution (Toronto: Penguin Group, 2006); http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/confederation/023001-2125-e.html.

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Royal African Company

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Royal African Company Slave Voyage Account
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Chartered in 1672, the Royal African Company was a royally chartered company which had a legally based monopoly on English trade to West Africa until 1698. The monopoly specifically extended through five thousand miles of the western coast from Cape Sallee (in contemporary Morocco) to the Cape of Good Hope (in what is now South Africa).

The Royal African Company traded mainly for gold and slaves (the majority of whom were sent to English colonies in the Americas). Headquarters were located at the Cape Coast Castle (located in modern-day Ghana). The Royal African Company also maintained many forts and factories in other locations such as Sierra Leone, the Slave Coast, the River Gambia, and additional areas on the Gold Coast.

Sources: 

Alexander M. Zukas, “Chartered Companies,” in Encyclopedia of Western
Colonialism since 1450
ed. Thomas Benjamin (Detroit: Macmillan
Reference USA, 2007); K.G. Davis, Royal African Company (London:
Longmans, Green and Co., 1957); Robert Law, ed., The English in West
Africa 1691-1699: The Local Correspondence of the Royal African Company
of England 1681-1699
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Hayford, Adelaide Smith Casely (1868-1960)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Adelaide Smith Casely Hayford in 1903
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Adelaide Smith Casely Hayford was a Victorian feminist who dedicated her life to the education of girls in Sierra Leone.  Born on June 2, 1868 in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Casely Hayford was the second youngest of seven children of parents William Smith Jr. and Anne Spilsbury.  Her prosperous, educated family was part of the Freetown Creole elite.  When Adelaide was four years old her family moved to England where she was raised and educated.  Her mother died soon afterwards.  Raised by her father, Hayford excelled in her studies.  When she turned 17 she was sent to Germany to study music.  In 1888 Casely Hayford moved back to England where she joined her father and new English stepmother.  In 1892, 24-year-old Hayford moved to Freetown to try teaching as a career.  This experience gave her an opportunity to study the education systems in West Africa

Sources: 

Cromwell, Adelaide M., An African American Feminist: The Life and Times of Adelaide Smith Casely Hayford, 1868-1960 (London: Frank Cass & Co. LTD., 1986); Desai, Gaurav, “Gendered Self-Fashioning: Adelaide Casely Hayford’s Black Atlantic,” Research in African Literatures 35:3 (Fall 2004).

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Hayford, Joseph Ephraim Casely (1866-1930)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Joseph Ephraim Casely Hayford was a West African barrister, author, and political leader who dedicated his life to helping improve conditions for the people of West Africa. Casely Hayford was born on September 3, 1866, the youngest of three sons to parents Reverend John de Graft Hayford and Mary (Awuraba) Brew, both of Anomabu, Gold Coast (present-day Ghana) which was then a colony in the British Empire.  

Casely Hayford received his education at the Wesleyan Boys High School in the Cape Coast Region of Ghana and then at Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  While at Fourah Bay College Casely Hayford became a follower on the West Indian-born African educator, Edward Wilmot Blyden.  After graduation Casely Hayford worked as a high school teacher and principal of Accra Wesley High School.  

Sources: 

G.I.C. Eluwa, "Background to the Emergence of the National Congress of
British West Africa, in African Studies Review 14:2 (1971); Kwadwo
Osei-Nyame, "Pan-Africanist Ideology and the African Historical Novel
of Self-Discovery: The Examples of Kobina Sekyi and J.E. Casely
Hayford," in Journal of African Cultural Studies 12:2 (1999); Adelaide
M. Cromwell, An African American Feminist: The Life and Times of
Adelaide Smith Casely Hayford, 1868-1960
(London: Frank Cass & Co.
LTD., 1986); Gauray Desai, “Gendered Self-Fashioning: Adelaide Casely
Hayford’s Black Atlantic,” Research in African Literatures 35:3 (Fall
2004).

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Taylor, Charles M. (1948- )

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Charles McArthur Taylor, born on January 28, 1948, in Arthington, Liberia, served as the president of Liberia from August 2, 1997, to August 11, 2003.  Born to Nelson and Bernice Taylor, his mother was part of the Gola tribe, and his father was claimed to be an Americo-Liberian.  Taylor went to school at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts, from 1972 to 1977, and earned a degree in economics.  

Sources: 

David Harris, "From 'warlord' to 'democratic' president: how Charles
Taylor won the 1997 Liberian elections," The Journal of Modern African
Studies
37:3 (1999) 431-455; Mark Kukis, "Africa's New Pariah-
Liberia's Charles Taylor," National Journal 35:22 (2003); Terence
Burlij, "A Profile of Charles Taylor,"
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/africa/liberia/taylor-bio.html.

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Horton, James Africanus Beale (1835-1883)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Sources: 

Christopher Fyfe, Africanus Horton 1835-1883: West African Scientist and Patriot, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972); James Africanus Beale Horton, Davidson Nicol, ed., Black Nationalism in Africa 1867: Extracts From Political, Educational, Scientific and Medical Writings of Africanus Horton,(New York: Africana Publishing Company, 1969).

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Sussex, England

Crowther, Bishop Samuel Adjai (1809 – 1891)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Sources: 

Jesse Page, Samuel Crowther: The Slave Boy Who Became Bishop of the Niger, (S.W. Partridge & Co. London, 1889.); James. F. Schon and Samuel A. Crowther, Journals of the Rev .James Frederick Schon and Mr Samuel Crowther who, With the Sanction of Her Majesty’s Government, accompanied the Expedition Up The Niger in 1841 on behalf of the Church Missionary Society, 2nd Ed. ( Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., 1970)

Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Sussex, England

Recaptives

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Freetown, Sierra Leone, 1803
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Sources: 
Sir Reginald Coupland, The British Anti-Slavery Movement, (Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., London, 1933); Adam Jones, From Slaves to Palm Kernals: A history of the Galinhas Country (West Africa) 1730-1890,  (Frank Steiner Verlag GMBH, Wiesbaden, 1983); Frank J. Klingberg, The Anti-Slavery Movement in England: A study on English Humanitarianism, (Yale University Press, 1926).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Sussex, England

George, David (1742-1810)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Artist Drawing of the Silver Bluff
Sources: 
Simon Schama, Rough Crossings ( Toronto: Penguin Group, 2005); Walter H. Brooks, The Silver Bluff Church: A History of Negro Baptist Churches in America (Washington, D.C.: Press of R. L. Pendleton, 1910) http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/brooks/brooks.html; http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2p30.html; James St G. Walker, The Black Loyalists: The Search for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone, 1783-1870 (New York: Africana Publishing Co., 1976); Robin W. Winks, The Blacks in Canada: A History, 2nd ed. (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1997); Pearleen Oliver, A Brief History of the Coloured Baptists of Nova Scotia (Halifax, N.S.: s.n., 1953).
Contributor: 

Johnson, Samuel (1846-1901)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Cover, The History of the Yorubas
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Rev. Samuel Johnson was a nineteenth-century Anglican priest and historian of the Yoruba ethnic group of Nigeria. Samuel Johnson is most noted for his manuscript The History of the Yorubas, which was posthumously published in 1921.  

Born to Henry and Sarah Johnson, in Hasting, Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1846, Samuel Johnson’s father was originally from the nation of Oyo in what is now southwestern Nigeria.  Henry Johnson claimed to be a descendent of Abiodun, the last great king of Oyo.  Captured by slavers, he was later liberated by the British Royal Navy and brought to Freetown, Sierra Leone. There he joined other "recaptives" who had grown large enough in number to dominate the politics and culture of the British Colony by the 1850s.

Sources: 
Paul Jenkins, ed., Recovery of the West African Past: African Pastors and African History in the Nineteenth Century (Basel: Basel Afrika Bibliographien, 2000); Elijah Olu Akinwumi, “Samuel Johnson,” Dictionary of African Christian Biography (2002); http://www.dacb.org/stories/nigeria/johnson_1samuel.html.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Fourah Bay College (1827- )

Entry Type: 
Institutions
History Type: 
Global African History
On February 16, 1827, The Church Missionary Society (CMS) founded Fourah Bay College, the first college in West Africa.  The first principal of the college was Rev. Edward Jones, an African American minister.  It was located atop Mount Aureol in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.
Sources: 
Cyril P. Foray, An Outline of Fourah Bay College History, 1827-1977 (Freetown: Foray, 1979); Apollos O. Nwauwa, Imperialism, Academe, and Nationalism: Britain and University Education for Africans, 1860-1960 (London: F. Cass, 1997); Daniel J. Paracka, The Athens of West Africa: A History of International Education at Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone (New York: Routledge, 2003).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Tacoma

Peters, Thomas (1738-1792)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Monument in Honor of Black Loyalists, Nova Scotia
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Born in Africa and enslaved in America, Thomas Peters is best known for his influence in settling Canadian blacks in the African colony of Sierra Leone. The earliest documentation of Peters’ life is as a 38-year-old slave in North Carolina.  When the Revolutionary War began in 1775, Peters escaped to British-occupied territory.
Sources: 
Simon Schama, Rough Crossings (Toronto: Penguin Group, 2005); James W. St G. Walker, “Peters (Petters), Thomas”, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online (2000) http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=2115&interval=25&&PHPSESSID=njv4l5j5dglrp8buu4elf70is1.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Boston King (c. 1760-1802)

Entry Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
Boston King Book Cover
Image Courtesy of History Collection, Nova Scotia Museum
Boston King, one of the pioneer settlers of Sierra Leone, was born enslaved on the Richard Waring plantation near Charleston, South Carolina around 1760. Through the age of 16, King was trained as a house servant before being sent to apprentice as a carpenter in Charleston. In 1780, when British troops occupied Charleston during the American Revolution, King fled to the British garrison and gained his freedom.  King was first a servant to British officers but like many black male Loyalists he joined the British Army. He worked mostly as a carpenter but on one occasion he carried an important dispatch through enemy lines, which saved 250 British soldiers at Nelson’s Ferry, South Carolina. Later, as a crewmember on a British warship, King participated in the capture of a rebel ship in Chesapeake Bay.
Sources: 
Boston King, Memoirs of the life of Boston King (Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 2003); Simon Schama, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution (New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, 2006); Joe Lockard and Elizabeth McNeil, eds. “Annotated Memoirs of the Life of Boston King, a Black Preacher originally published in The Methodist Magazine” (Arizona State University Antislavery Literature Project, n.d.), http://antislavery.eserver.org/narratives/boston_king/bostonkingproof.pdf/; James W. St G. Walker, “King, Boston,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=2489.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church [Philadelphia] (1794- )

Vignette Type: 
Institutions
History Type: 
African American History
Bethel AME Church, 1829
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the first African Methodist Episcopal Church in the nation, was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1794 by Richard Allen, a former slave.  Allen founded Mother Bethel AME after the church he had been attending, St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) in Philadelphia, began segregating its parishioners by race.  

The perceived need to segregate white and black parishioners at St. George had its roots, ironically, in the preaching of Richard Allen who had been an itinerant preacher and in 1786 began preaching a 5 a.m. sermon at St. George.  Allen’s sermons proved so popular with black Philadelphians that St. George soon became overcrowded.  As black attendance at the church increased, however, so too did race prejudice.  When the ruling body at St. George decided that blacks should be segregated and seated in a newly constructed balcony, Allen and his followers decided it was time to leave and start a new church.  
Sources: 
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, http://www.motherbethel.org/content.php?cid=18.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Freetown, Sierra Leone (1792- -)

Entry Type: 
Places
History Type: 
Global African History
Freetown Residents at the Beach
Image Ownership: Public Domain

Freetown is the capital, principal port, commercial center, and largest city of Sierra Leone.  The city was founded by British Naval Lieutenant John Clarkson and freed American slaves from Nova Scotia.  Freetown was part of the larger colony of the Sierra Leone which was founded by the Sierra Leone Company (SLC) in 1787. The SLC, organized by British businessman and abolitionist William Wilberforce, sought to rehabilitate the black poor of London and former slaves of North America by bringing them to the settlement in Sierra Leone where they would stop the African slave trade by spreading Christianity through the continent.

Sources: 
Michael Banton,  A West African City: A Study of Tribal Life in Freetown (London: Oxford University Press, 1969); Christopher Fyfe, Freetown: A Symposium (Freetown: University of Sierra Leone, 1968); Fourah Bay College: University of Sierra Leone. http://fbcusl.net/.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Fighting for Freedom on Both Sides of the American Revolution

 

Fighting for Emancipation in the War
of Independence
Image Courtesy of University of Chicago
Press

Alan Gilbert, University of Denver political scientist and anti-racist activist, is the author of Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence, one of the few works that examines the free and enslaved blacks who joined the American Patriots and the British during the American Revolution and the anti-racist whites who supported them.  In the account below he describes the book and why he wrote it.

Summary: 
<i>Alan Gilbert, University of Denver political scientist and anti-racist activist, is the author of  <u>Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence</u>, one of the few works that examines the free and enslaved blacks who joined the American Patriots and the British during the American Revolution and the anti-racist whites who supported them.  In the account below he describes the book and why he wrote it.</i>
Sources: 
Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012).
Contributor: 
Affiliation2: 
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Patriots-and-Loyalists-by-Alan-Gilbert/284675318252714
Affiliation: 
University of Denver

The Mano River Women’s Peace Network (2001-)

Entry Type: 
Organizations
History Type: 
Global African History
Liberian Women's Peace Group
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Sources: 
Mano River Women’s Peace Network / Reseau du femmes du fleuvre mano-pour la paix, http://www.marwopnet.org/welcome.htm; Mano River Women’s Peace Network Journal, http://www.marwopnet.org/voicesofpeace.htm.
Affiliation: 
California State University, Monterey Bay

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: For His Times and Ours

 

Image Courtesy of the Royal College of Music

In the article below Hilary Burrage, Executive Chair of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation, a United Kingdom (UK)-based non-profit organisation, describes the composer and how she came to regard and preserve his work and legacy.

It has taken three times the duration of his own lifetime for the reputation of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Britain’s greatest black classical composer, to begin to make an impact on our contemporary world.  At the time of his tragically early death in 1912, aged 37 from a chest infection, Coleridge-Taylor was a nationally feted musical figure.  His Hiawatha Trilogy of staged opera-cantatas based on the poem by Longfellow were massive commercial successes even though he gained almost nothing from them financially.  

Summary: 
<i>In the article below Hilary Burrage, Executive Chair of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation, a United Kingdom (UK)-based non-profit organisation, describes the composer and how she came to regard and preserve his work and legacy.</i>
Sources: 
Jeffrey Green, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a Musical Life (London, UK: Pickering & Chatto Publishers, 2011); Geoffrey Self, The Hiawatha Man: The Life And Work Of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (Aldershot, UK: Scolar Press, 1995); The Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation: http://www.sctf.org.uk.
Contributor: 
Affiliation2: 
The Samuel Coleridge Taylor Foundation

Africans, African Americans, Great Britain and the United States: The Curious History of the Rio Pongo in the Early 19th Century

Image Courtesy of Bruce L. Mouser
In the essay below, Bruce L. Mouser, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, describes the conflicting goals of African Creoles, African Americans, and British and American colonizationists in the fate of the Rio Pongo Valley along the West Coast of Africa.  Mouser explores these conflicts in his history of the period called American Colony on the Rio Pongo: The War of 1812, the Slave Trade, and the Proposed Settlement of African Americans, 1810-1830.    

The Rio Pongo, on Africa’s western coast, was the center of an unusual history that briefly brought together slaveholders and colonizationists, Africans and African Americans, and British and American diplomatic interests in an attempt to decide the fate of the region. The slaveholders who were African and the white supporters of African-American settlement contemplated meeting in the unlikely setting of the Rio Pongo as each group sought to impose its vision on this small region of West Africa.
Summary: 
<i>In the essay below, Bruce L. Mouser, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, describes the conflicting goals of African Creoles, African Americans, and British and American colonizationists in the fate of the Rio Pongo Valley along the West Coast of Africa.  Mouser explores these conflicts in his history of the period called <u>American Colony on the Rio Pongo: The War of 1812, the Slave Trade, and the Proposed Settlement of African Americans, 1810-1830</u>.    </i>
Sources: 
Bruce L Mouser, American Colony on the Rio Pongo: The War of 1812, the Slave Trade, and the Proposed Settlement of African Americans, 1810-1830 (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2013)
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Bonetta, Sarah Forbes (1843-1880)

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
Global African History
James Davies and Sarah Forbes Bonetta
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a princess of the Egbado clan of the Yoruba people, is best known as the goddaughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. Bonetta was born in 1843 in what is now southwest Nigeria. Her parents' names are unknown as are the names of her siblings who were all killed in the 1847 slave raid that made Bonetta a captive.  
Sources: 
“Sarah Forbes Bonetta: The African Princess in Brighton,” Afro-Europe International Blog, http://afroeurope.blogspot.com/2011/09/sarah-forbes-bonetta-african-princess.html; “Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davis, An African Princess in the British Monarchy Who Captured the Heart of Queen Victoria,” Trip Down Memory Lane, Kwekudee, 3 Sept. 2009;  http://kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com/2012/09/sarah-forbes-bonetta-davies-african.html; Walter Dean Myers, At Her Majesty's Request: An African Princess in Victorian England (New York: Scholastic, 1999).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Monrovia, Liberia (1821- )

Entry Type: 
Places
History Type: 
Global African History
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
Monrovia is the capital of Liberia as well as its largest city. It is located on Bushrod Island and Cape Mesurado along the Mesurado River. A 2008 census showed its population as 970,824.

Monrovia was founded on April 25, 1822 by members of the American Colonization Society (ACS), an organization created to return U.S.-born former slaves to Africa.  ACS representatives first arrived on the Mesurado River in 1821. The original name of Monrovia was Christopolis. In 1824 it was renamed “Monrovia” after James Monroe, who was the American President at the time as well as a supporter of the American Colonization Society. The indigenous populations of the areas surrounding Monrovia felt that the city was built on stolen land and began attacking it as early as 1822. Those attacks continued sporadically until the mid-nineteenth century.

Monrovia’s first settlers were former Southern slaves. Not surprisingly the early architecture of the city was largely influenced by the style of the Southern antebellum buildings.
Sources: 
James Ciment, Another America (New York: Hill & Wong, 2013); Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (New York: Basic Civitas Books, 1999); “Monrovia,” Encyclopedia Americana, Grolier Online, 2014; Encyclopedia Britannica, Online, 2014; The CIA World Fact Book https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gv.html.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian

Patient Zero: Thomas Eric Duncan and the Ebola Crisis in West Africa and the United States

 

Thomas Eric Duncan at a Party in
Monrovia, Liberia, 2011
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
In the following article Dr. Clarence Spigner, Professor of Public Health at the University of Washington, Seattle, describes the life of the first patient to die of Ebola on U.S. soil and the larger crisis of Ebola in West Africa.  He views it as a consequence of a long history of disease, poverty, and underfunded health care systems in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia which are at the center of the 2014 epidemic. 

On September 20, 2014, a forty-two year-old Liberian native, Thomas Eric Duncan, arrived in Dallas, Texas from a plane flight that originated in Monrovia, Liberia.  Duncan came to the United States ostensibly to reunite with his estranged teenaged son and the boy’s mother, Louise Troh, who had at one time been his girlfriend in Liberia.  Troh and her son lived in Dallas.

Summary: 
In the following article Dr. Clarence Spigner, Professor of Public Health at the University of Washington, Seattle, describes the life of the first patient to die of Ebola on U.S. soil and the larger crisis of Ebola in West Africa as a consequence of a long history of disease, poverty, and underfunded health care systems in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia which are at the center of the 2014 epidemic.
Sources: 
CDC: Centers for Disease Control, Outbreak Chronology (Ebola Virus Disease). www.cdc/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/history/chrononology.html; CIA Fact Book. www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook;  Aryn Baker, “Racing Ebola: What The World Needs To Do to Stop the Deadly Virus,” Time Magazine, 84:14 (October 13, 2014); Mary Dobson, The Story of Medicine: From Bloodletting to Biotechnology (London: Quercus, 2013); Joseph L. Graves, The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003); Wolter Kluwer, ed., Nurses’ Quick Check: Disease, 2nd Edition (New York:  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009); and Michael Oldstone, Viruses, Plagues & History: Past, Present and Future (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Washington, Seattle

Perry, Cynthia Shepard (1928- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
Cynthia Shepard Perry, a Republican and 25 year career diplomat, has served three Republican presidents. President Ronald Reagan appointed her as Chief of Education and Human Resources of the U.S. Agency for International Development where she served from 1982 to 1986, and named her Ambassador to Sierra Leone from 1986 to 1989. 

President H.W. Bush appointed her ambassador to Burundi where she served from 1989 to 1993.  President George W. Bush appointed her as U.S. Executive Director of the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, and Tunis, Tunisia in 2001.  As director, she promoted microlending projects for small start-up loans, especially for women. In addition, she analyzed African loan requests for schools, bridges, and projects to reduce poverty.
Sources: 
Council of American Ambassadors, http://www.americanambassadors.org/; “George Bush,  Nomination of Cynthia Shepard to be United States Ambassador to Brunei,” Nov. 7, 1980, The American Presidency Project, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/; Charles Stuart Kennedy, “Ambassador Cynthia Perry,” Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, Foreign Affairs Oral History Project, March 21, 1999; Cynthia Shepard,  All things Being Equal: A Woman’s Journey  (New York: Stonecrest International, 1998).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Seattle Central College

Young, Johnny (1940- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
Angie Young and Ambassador Johnny Young
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
Ambassador Johnny Young was a career diplomat and the third African American to be appointed ambassador by three presidents. In 1989 President George H.W. Bush appointed Young Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone. Five years later President Bill Clinton named Young Ambassador to the Republic of Togo and then Ambassador to Bahrain in 1997. In 2001 President George W. Bush chose Young as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia. Young is one of a handful of black ambassadors to have served in four nations.

Young was born in 1940 in Savannah, Georgia, and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Temple University in 1966, and completed a fellowship study at the Fels Institute of State and Local Government at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sources: 
U.S. State Department, “Biographies: Johnny Young” (2001-2009) (URL: http://2001-2009.state.gov/outofdate/bios/y/6827.htm); U.S. Department of State, “Ambassador Johnny Young” (URL: http://slovenia.usembassy.gov/young.html); wes eichenwald, “Ljubljana Life Interview: U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia, Mr. Johnny Young” (2002) (URL: http://www.geocities.ws/ljubljanalife/Ambassador.htm)
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Syracuse University

Palmer, Larry L. (1949- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
On November 1, 2011, President Barack H. Obama appointed Larry L. Palmer the United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. On March 30, 2012, the U.S. Senate confirmed Palmer’s nomination and he reported to his post in Bridgetown, Barbados. Born in Augusta, Georgia, on July 13, 1949, Palmer was also the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras under President George W. Bush (2002-2005). Between his two ambassadorships, Palmer also headed the Inter-American Foundation (2005-2010), a U.S. government agency which allocates financial aid throughout Latin America.
Sources: 
“Former UTEP Staff Member Named U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela,”  The University of Texas El Paso, http://admin.utep.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=65892; “President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 6/28/10,” The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts-62810;“Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean: Who Is Larry Leon Palmer?,” ALLGOV, http://www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/ambassador-to-barbados-and-the-eastern-caribbean-who-is-larry-leon-palmer?news=843889.
Affiliation: 
Morgan State University

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (1827- )

Entry Type: 
Places
History Type: 
Global African History
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
Malabo is located on the northern coast of Bioko Island and serves as the capital of Equatorial Guinea. Malabo is the largest of five islands and is the second largest city in Equatorial Guinea after Bata.

Indigenous African peoples in the territory of Equatorial Guinea included Bantu tribes, the Fang, and the Bubi. The Portuguese explorer Fernão do Pó was the first European to discover the island of Bioka in 1472 and Portugal officially colonized it in 1474.

In 1778 the land and adjacent islets were ceded to Spain. In 1827, the British leased Bioko Island from Spain and established Malabo (originally named Port Clarence) as a naval station to fight slavery along the West African coast. Fernandinos, as the newly freed slaves who were rescued by the British Navy were called, settled in the town and their descendants can still be found in Malabo today, speaking an Afro-Portuguese dialect. Spain regained control in 1844, after the British moved its base to Sierra Leone. The Spanish renamed the island Santa Isabel.
Sources: 
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Anthony Appiah, Encyclopedia of Africa (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010); Roman Adrian Cybriwsky, Capital Cities around the World: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013).
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
University of Louisville

Lewis, Arthur W. (1926- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History

Arthur W. Lewis was a career foreign officer who served in diplomatic missions in Eastern Europe and Africa before retiring in 1987.  He also played a significant role in expanding opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities in the American diplomatic corps.

Before entering the Foreign Service, Lewis spent 23 years in the U.S. Navy.  A student at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Lewis enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and served until 1966.  He returned to Dartmouth to work with the N.R.O.T.C. and teach Naval Science while still on active duty.  He completed a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Government while at Dartmouth in 1966.

In 1966, Lewis joined the United States Information Agency (USIA), a Cold War-era diplomatic agency intended to promote American culture abroad. Lewis chose to work with the USIA because he believed he would have more direct engagement with foreign nationals than in the State Department.  With the support of the Ford Foundation, Lewis in 1967 created an expanded minority recruitment program for the USIA, targeting African American, Latino, and Native Americans enrolled in universities around the nation.  The program brought students to Washington, D.C. for expanded training in history, language, and international affairs as preparation for successfully completing the Foreign Services entrance exam.

Sources: 
“Duggan and Others Exit Reagan Administration But Blacks Remaining Want More Posts,” Jet 67 (February 25 1985); “Ex-Navyman Named U. S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone,” All Hands (November 1983), http://www.navy.mil/ah_online/archpdf/ah198311.pdf; “Nomination of Arthur Winston Lewis To Be United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone,” April 11, 1983,  http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=41167; Transcript, Ambassador Arthur W. Lewis Interview, 6 September 1989, by Charles Stuart Kennedy for the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Foreign Affairs Oral History Project, http://www.adst.org/OH%20TOCs/Lewis,%20Arthur%20W%20.toc.pdf.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Southwestern State University

Ray, Charles Aaron (1945- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History in the West
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
Ambassador Charles Aaron Ray was born in Center, Texas in 1945. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1972 from Benedictine College in Atchinson, Kansas, and his Master’s of Science from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and a Master’s of Science in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Ray joined the U.S. Army in 1962, and earned a commission of second lieutenant in 1965. In 1982, he retired from the military with the rank of major, after having served for 20 years. While in military service, Ray received two Bronze Star medals and the Armed Forces Humanitarian Service Award. During that time he did tours of duty in Vietnam, Germany, Okinawa (in Japan), and South Korea.
Sources: 
“Charles Ray,” http://harare.usembassy.gov/amb_ray.html; “In Their Own Write,” The Foreign Service Journal, November 2013; Charles Ray Blog, http://charlesaray.blogspot.com/p/about-me-if-you-dare-venture-where.html
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Morgan State University

Wills, Mary Jo (1951- )

Vignette Type: 
People
History Type: 
African American History
"Image Ownership: Public Domain"
Ambassador Mary Jo Wills has worked in international affairs for over three decades. Her service to the United States has taken her to Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Most recently, she held the position of U.S. Ambassador to the island nations of Seychelles and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

Wills holds several degrees. She earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1973. Wills received a master’s degree in Business Administration from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington, D.C. As of this writing, she is a doctoral candidate at Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy.
Sources: 
“Mary Jo Willis,” United States Office of the Historian, https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/people/wills-mary-jo; “Ambassador: Embassy of the United States Port Louis, Mauritius,” Embassy of the United States, http://mauritius.usembassy.gov/amb.html; “Mary Wills,” All Gov, http://www.allgov.com/officials/wills-mary?officialid=29078.
Contributor: 
Affiliation: 
Independent Historian
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