Eleven Years in the U.S. Navy: The Strange Saga of Robert Shorter

In the account below historian Lorraine McConaghy uses the story of black sailor Robert Shorter to indicate that while the Civil War freed nearly four million slaves, it also set in motion the status decline of antebellum African American seamen. The eleven years Robert Shorter … Read MoreEleven Years in the U.S. Navy: The Strange Saga of Robert Shorter

Guadalupe Victoria Yolí Raymond (1936-1992)

Guadalupe Victoria Yolí Raymond, known popularly as “La Lupe,” was a Cuban and Cuban American singer and dancer.  She was born in San Pedrito, a locality within Santiago de Cuba, Oriente Province, Cuba on December 23, 1936. Yolí grew up in an impoverished family.  Her … Read MoreGuadalupe Victoria Yolí Raymond (1936-1992)

Ewart Guinier (1910-1990)

Ewart Guinier, labor activist and political candidate, was the first chairman of Harvard University’s Afro-American Studies Department. Born in Panama in 1910, Guinier migrated to the United States in 1925 and attended high school in Boston, Massachusetts. After his acceptance into the Harvard University Class … Read MoreEwart Guinier (1910-1990)

Ferdinand Christopher Smith (1893-1961)

Ferdinand Smith, Chicago Alderman Earl B. Dickerson and Donald M. Nelson, Chair of the War Production Board, 1943 Image Ownership: Public Domain Jamaican-born Ferdinand Christopher Smith became a prominent twentieth century international labor activist and leader.  At an early age Smith left Jamaica’s poor economic … Read MoreFerdinand Christopher Smith (1893-1961)

Eric Walrond (1898-1966)

Eric Walrond was an Afro–Caribbean-American fiction writer and journalist of the Harlem Renaissance era.  Born December 18, 1898, in Georgetown, British Guyana, Walrond would write short stories with the interwoven themes of immigration, racial pride, and discrimination as he captured the early urban experience of … Read MoreEric Walrond (1898-1966)