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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.

Leonard Jeffries (1937- )

Leonard Jeffries, Jr., university administrator, professor, and Pan-Africanist was born January 19, 1937 in Newark, New Jersey to Leola Smith Jeffries of Lynchburg, Virginia, an office secretary, and Leonard Jeffries of Akron, Ohio, a tailor at Irvington Cleaners & Dryers. Reared in Newark’s Roseville section, … Read MoreLeonard Jeffries (1937- )

Yvonne Denis-Rosario, (1967- )

Yvonne Denis-Rosario, columnist, librettist, narrator, novelist, poet, professor, radio/ TV host and producer, was born March 9, 1967 in San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR) to Alejandrina Rosario Román, a public employee, and Juan Denis Estrada, a dry cleaning business owner. One of seven siblings, her … Read MoreYvonne Denis-Rosario, (1967- )

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)