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Jimmie Lee Jackson (1938 – 1965)

Jimmie Lee Jackson (1938 – 1965) was a civil rights protestor who was shot and killed by Alabama State Trooper James Bonard Fowler in 1965. Jackson was unarmed and attempting to protect his mother from police brutality. His death inspired the Selma to Montgomery marches, an important event in the American Civil Rights movement. He was 26 years old.

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Alonso de Illescas

Alonso de Illescas was a native of Senegal, West Africa. He was brought to Ecuador on a slave ship around the age of 25 and grew up to be a strategist skilled in guerrilla warfare. Behind a fortress built by by an alliance of escaped African slaves and Indigenous people, Illescas and his men fought and turned back many expeditions of Spanish forces. Alonso was also a diplomat, who on one hand, fought against the Spaniards, and on the other hand, knew how to make friends. He assisted other Blacks who were on shipwrecked slaves ships and nursed them back to health, then recruited them into his revolutionary force against Spanish troops. He was also a true governor of what is now Ecuador’s province of Esmeraldas; never subject to bribes, and even rejected the title of governor when many politicians gave up their properties to take on the title of governor of Esmeraldas. Alonso Illescas trained new leaders starting with his son Alonso Sebastian de Illescas and his grandson Jerónimo so that they be loving of justice and liberty and keep their territory free of Spanish rule. Although, Esmeraldas was the first province invaded by the Spanish, it was the alliance between Blacks and Indigenous people that kept the Spanish from taking full control. Alonso died in 1590. He was perceived as the single most powerful person in the Esmeraldas region of colonial northwestern Ecuador in the sixteenth century. In 1997, the National Congress of Ecuador declared October 2, the national day of Black Ecuadorians giving formal recognition to Alonso de Illescas.12809590_10153497999597817_225393872670001342_n

The disgraceful history of gynecology on black slaves

The disgraceful history that people in power have always been capable of exploiting those they regard as “other,” and of finding ways to rationalize the most atrocious abuse in the name of « Science » that Black folk had to endure and resist. One of the worst offenders was James Marion Sims, a 19th-century surgeon. Sims honed his skills by performing scores of painful operations on the genitals of black slaves.13508959_10153722694062817_3903349259544320133_n

Solitude (1772-1802)

Born around 1772, daughter of slaves, she saw the abolition of slavery in 1794 and joined a Maroon community in Guadeloupe.
In 1802, when Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated slavery in the French colonies, she rallied around Louis Delgrès and fought by his side, for freedom.She survived the battle of May 8, 1802, but was imprisoned by the French. Because she was pregnant at the time of her imprisonment, she was not to be hanged until November 29 of the same year, one day after giving birth.

 

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Sotitude (1772-1802)
Born around 1772, daughter of slaves, she saw the abolition of slavery in 1794 and joined a Maroon community in Guadeloupe.
In 1802, when Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated slavery in the French colonies, she rallied around Louis Delgrès and fought by his side, for freedom.She survived the battle of May 8, 1802, but was imprisoned by the French. Because she was pregnant at the time of her imprisonment, she was not to be hanged until November 29 of the same year, one day after giving birth.

Georges Dawson (1898-2001)

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Georges Dawson (1898-2001)
Georges Dawson was a grandson of slaves born in 1898. For the first 98 years of his life George Dawson could not read or write. He was persuaded that it was never too late to learn and turned out to be a remarkably able student. Dawson learned to read and even went on to study for his GED at the age of 103. He died on July 5, 2001, after suffering a stroke. He became a celebrity in the United States. Television programmes were made about his life. He was awarded honorary degrees by two universities. A school was named after him.

 

 

 

Banished

« When Jim Crow came to town with eviction notices. In the early 20th century, in communities across the US, white residents forced thousands of black families to flee their homes. Even a century later, these towns remain almost entirely white. The documentary « Banished » tells the story of three of these communities and their black descendants, who return to ‘Sunset Towns’ and learn their shocking histories. »

 

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Alex Haley (1921-1992)

AlexHaley (August 11, 1921 – February 10, 1992) was an American writer  and the author of The autobiography of Malcolm X published in 1965. It was Haley’s first book. It describes the trajectory of Malcolm X’s life from street criminal to national spokesman for the Nation of Islam  to his conversion to Sunni Islam. It also outlines Malcolm X’s philosophy of  black pride, black nationalism, and pan-Africanism. Haley wrote an epilogue to the book summarizing the end of Malcolm X’s life, including his assassination in New York’s  Audubon Ballroom . The Autobiography of Malcolm X has been a consistent best-seller since its 1965 publication.  The New York Times reported that six million copies of the book had sold by 1977. In 1998 TIME magazine ranked The Autobiography of Malcolm X as one of the 10 most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century. In 1966 Haley received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awardfor The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

In 1976 he wrote a  novel based on his family’s history, going back to slavery days called roots. It started with the story of Kunta Kinte, who was kidnapped in Gambia in 1767 and transported to the province of Maryland to be sold as a slave.Haley claimed to be a seventh-generation descendant of Kunta Kinte, and his work on the novel involved twelve years of research, intercontinental travel, and writing. He went to the village of Juffure, where Kunta Kinte grew up and listened to a griot tell the story of Kinte’s capture.

 Roots was published in 37 languages. Haley won a special Pulitzer Price alex_haley

for his work in 1977. ABC adapted the book as a television miniseries of the same name and aired it in the same year to a record-breaking audience of 130 million viewers. In the United States the book and miniseries raised the public awareness of African-American history and inspired a broad interest in genealogy and the family history.

In 1979 ABC aired the sequel miniseries, Roots : the next generations, which continued the story of Kunta Kinte’s descendants.  In 2016,  History  aired a remarke of the original miniseries. Haley appeared briefly, portrayed by Tony Award winner Laurence Fishburne.

Hamilton Naki (1926-2005)

Hamilton Naki, a laborer who became a self-taught surgeon of such skill that Dr. Christiaan N. Barnard chose him to assist in the world’s first human heart transplant in 1967, but whose contribution was kept secret for three decades because he was a black man in apartheid-era South Africa.
hamilton_naki_unfairly_underrated_surgeon_640_16Hamilton Naki was born in 1926, in a poor rural village in Transkei, South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. At 14, lacking the money to continue his education, he hitchhiked to Cape Town to find work. The university hired him to tend its grounds and tennis courts. He spent five decades working at the University of Cape Town. Originally hired as a gardener there in about 1940, he acquired his formidable surgical skills through years of silent observation and covert practice at the university’s medical school. Dr. Barnard began to acknowledge Mr. Naki’s work only after the end of apartheid in 1991. In an interview shortly before his death in 2001, he called Mr. Naki « one of the great researchers of all time in the field of heart transplants. »In an interview with The Guardian of London in 2003, Mr. Naki expressed little bitterness about a lifetime spent working in the shadows. « I was called one of the backroom boys, » he said. « They put the white people out front. If people published pictures of me, they would have gone to jail. »In 2002, Mr. Naki was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe, one of South Africa’s highest honors, for outstanding contribution to medical science.In 2003, the university awarded Mr. Naki an honorary master of science degree in medicine. Although South Africa’s apartheid laws forbade blacks from performing surgery on whites, Mr. Naki’s skills were so esteemed that the university quietly looked the other way. He worked alongside Dr. Barnard for decades as a lab technician, perfecting his craft and assisting in many operations on people. Operating on animals, Mr. Naki also taught surgical techniques to generations of medical students. Mr. Naki learned to anesthetize animals, and eventually to do surgery on them, operating on rabbits, pigs, dogs and even a giraffe. Many of the animal surgeries he performed, including coronary bypasses and heart and liver transplants, helped to perfect techniques that were later used on humans. Hamilton had better skills than Dr Barnard but because of his race, Mr. Naki’s role in the world’s first heart transplant on a young white South African woman remained unknown for years. During his years at the university, Mr. Naki lived on the outskirts of Cape Town in a one-room shack without electricity or running water. When he retired, he was paid a gardener’s pension, far less than a lab technician’s. He died  in 2005.