Academic Historian

Winston Benjamin was born in Kingston, Jamaica and grew up in the Bronx NY.  He received his B.A. in Economics from Wheaton College.  He holds an M.Ed Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Washington.  Currently he is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education.  Benjamin has worked in the youth development field for three years in Boston, Massachusetts.  He was also a charter school administrator and teacher for three years in Chelsea, Massachusetts.  His professional and personal life has been driven by a desire to understand issues surrounding civil rights and equity.  His area of interest is multicultural education. Specifically he is focused on examining the Jamaican immigrants experience in the U.S. school system.

Sylvanus Smith (1831–1911)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Sylvanus Smith, once described in a city directory as a “hog driver,” was a free black Brooklynite who promoted and protected racial equality, business ownership, and property development in the community of Weeksville, New York. Smith was one of the original … Read MoreSylvanus Smith (1831–1911)

Henry Cohen Hardy ( ? — ? )

Drawing of the Ancient Order of Pilgrims Building, Houston, Texas, 1927 Henry Cohen Hardy was a Jamaican immigrant who moved to Houston, Texas in 1870.  In 1882 he founded the Ancient Order of Pilgrims, the first Houston-based national fraternal lodge for African Americans. Although little … Read MoreHenry Cohen Hardy ( ? — ? )

George Patrick Alphonse Forde (1882-1967)

George Patrick Alphonse Forde was an important physician in early 20th century Houston, Texas. Forde was born in Barbados in September 1882.  Educated in the Caribbean, Forde first became aware of the possibility of a medical profession while he worked in a Panama Canal hospital. … Read MoreGeorge Patrick Alphonse Forde (1882-1967)

International Sweethearts of Rhythm Jazz Band (1937-1949)

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was an interracial, all-female jazz band active for 12 years, from 1937 to 1949.  The band began at the Piney Woods Country Life School, established in 1909 to train black children in central Mississippi.  The original members of the Sweethearts … Read MoreInternational Sweethearts of Rhythm Jazz Band (1937-1949)