Jan Mostaert’s Portrait of a Moor (1520-1530)

In the following account University of Cincinnati historian John K. Brackett describes the famous 16th Century painting of a black courtier at the court of Margaret of Austria, the Duchess of Savoy and Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands.  The name and rank of this courtier … Read MoreJan Mostaert’s Portrait of a Moor (1520-1530)

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (1881- )

Kinshasa is the capital and largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the third largest city in Africa after Cairo and Lagos and the second largest French-speaking city in the world other than Paris, France. Formerly known as Leopoldville, it was founded … Read MoreKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (1881- )

Afro-Uruguay: A Brief History

In the following account University of Pittsburgh historian George Reid Andrews provides an introduction to the history of the population of African ancestry in Uruguay. When we think of the great nations of the African diaspora—Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, the United States—the South American republic of … Read MoreAfro-Uruguay: A Brief History

(1960) Patrice Lumumba’s Last Letter to Pauline Lumumba

My beloved companion, I write you these words not knowing whether you will receive them, when you will receive them, and whether I will still be alive when you read them. Throughout my struggle for the independence of my country, I have never doubted for … Read More(1960) Patrice Lumumba’s Last Letter to Pauline Lumumba

(1890) George Washington Williams’s Open Letter to King Leopold on the Congo

George Washington Williams, “An Open Letter to His Serene Majesty Leopold II, King of the Belgians and Sovereign of the Independent State of Congo By Colonel, The Honorable Geo. W. Williams, of the United States of America,” 1890 Good and Great Friend, I have the … Read More(1890) George Washington Williams’s Open Letter to King Leopold on the Congo

Joseph-Désiré/ Mobutu, Sese Seko Kuku Waza Banga Mobutu (1930-1997)

Joseph Mobutu, named Joseph-Désiré Mobutu at birth, was the second president of Zaire (now called the Democratic Republic of Congo) from 1965 to 1997.  Mobutu was born in 1930 in the Belgian Congo and studied journalism. In 1958, Mobutu became the country’s state secretary and … Read MoreJoseph-Désiré/ Mobutu, Sese Seko Kuku Waza Banga Mobutu (1930-1997)

(1959) Patrice Lumumba, “African Unity and National Independence”

By 1959 Patrice Lumumba was the most prominent nationalist and independence leader in the Congo.  His fame was also spreading beyond the nation’s boundaries as reflected in this speech given at the closing session of the International Seminar organized by the Congress for the Freedom … Read More(1959) Patrice Lumumba, “African Unity and National Independence”

(1971) Sese Seko Mobutu, “Address to the Conseil Nationale Extraordinaire, Dakar, 14 February 1971”

Sese Seko Ngbendu Waza Banga Mobutu, originally known as Joseph Desire Mobutu, served as Patrice Lumumba’s private secretary before being appointed Chief of Staff and second in command of the army when the Congo received its independence in 1960.  In November 1965 Mobuto led a … Read More(1971) Sese Seko Mobutu, “Address to the Conseil Nationale Extraordinaire, Dakar, 14 February 1971”