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Academic Historian

Will Guzmán is professor of history at Prairie View A&M University and has taught at the University of Texas–El Paso, Florida A&M, Florida State, Seton Hall, and New Jersey City universities. He was director of NJCU’s Hagan Africana Studies Center and is author of the award-winning Civil Rights in the Texas Borderlands: Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon and Black Activism (University of Illinois Press, 2015).

Guzmán and David H. Jackson are co-editing Maceo C. Dailey’s biography, Emmett Jay Scott—confidant to Booker T. Washington (Texas Tech University Press). His other forthcoming books will be on Afro-Puerto Ricans; New Jersey civil rights attorney Raymond A. Brown (Fordham University Press); and co-editing with Kwasi Densu, Florida’s Black Power Movement (University Press of Florida). Guzmán tweets at: @ebeyiye.

Tato Laviera (1951-2013)

Jesús Abraham “Tato” Laviera Sánchez, community activist, poet, declamador, playwright, author, and “a chronicler of life in El Barrio,” was born May 9, 1951 in Santurce, Puerto Rico to Maria Sánchez Ramos, an embroiderer, and Pablo Laviera Ramírez, a political nationalist, bricklayer, and contactor. Laviera … Read MoreTato Laviera (1951-2013)

Pura Belpré (1903-1982)

Pura Teresa Belpré y Nogueras, author, librarian, storyteller, folklorist, and puppeteer, was born on February 2, 1903 in Cidra, Puerto Rico to Carlota Nogueras, homemaker, and Felipe Belpré y Bernabé, a building contractor. Belpré attended schools in Arroyo, Cayey, Guayama, San Juan and graduated from … Read MorePura Belpré (1903-1982)

Bill Jones (1933-2012)

Activist, existential philosopher, professor, and Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Dr. William “Bill” Ronald Jones dedicated his career to the analysis and methods of oppression, religious humanism, and liberation theology that influenced Africana philosophers such as Anthony B. Pinn and Lewis R. Gordon.  Born July 17, … Read MoreBill Jones (1933-2012)

Sylvia del Villard (1927-1990)

For over thirty years Sylvia Luz del Villard Güilbert gave global lectures and performances on the African influence in Puerto Rico (PR) as an activist, actress, artist, ballerina, choreographer, coloratura, dancer, declamadora, folklorist, lecturer, orator, painter, teacher, singer, and writer. Reared by Paula Moreno Herrera, … Read MoreSylvia del Villard (1927-1990)

Miriam Jiménez Román (1951-2020)

Miriam Esther Jiménez Román, professor, editor, archivist, curator, social theorist, author, and activist was born on June 11, 1951 in the coastal city of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico to Arcelia Román Ruiz (1931-2009) of Vega Baja and Afro-Puerto Rican Baldomero Jiménez Font (1928-1999) of Piedras Blancas. … Read MoreMiriam Jiménez Román (1951-2020)

José Barbosa (1857-1921)

José Celso Barbosa Alcalá, physician, polemicist, professor, politician, and publisher, was born on July 27, 1857 in Bayamón, Puerto Rico to Carmen Alcalá and Hermógenes Barbosa, brick mason and San Antonio sugar mill overseer.  Barbosa’s life traversed significant periods: Spanish colonization; Grito de Lares; slavery, … Read MoreJosé Barbosa (1857-1921)

Julia de Burgos (1914-1953)

Julia de Burgos was a celebrated literary icon of the Americas whose themes of Blackness, feminism, love, migration, nationalism, and nature helped birth the 1960s Nuyorican movement. Julia Constanza Burgos García, teacher, activist, journalist, and poet, was born February 17, 1914 in Santa Cruz, Carolina, … Read MoreJulia de Burgos (1914-1953)