2 years ago, on april 2, 2018, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, prominent anti-apartheid activist and the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, died. She dedicated most of her adult life to the cause of the people and for this was known far and wide as the « Mother of The Nation ». She waged a courageous fight to liberate Black South Africans from repressive white-minority rule. She was arrested several times for her efforts, including being sent to prison in 1969 for 17 months, where she spent the majority of the sentence in solitary confinement.
Anténor Firmin (1850-1911) was born in Haïti. In 1885, he published a book on « the equality of human races, positive anthropology » where he tackled the pseudo-scientific theorists of racism. A true precursor, unparalleled genius, enlightened thinker, champion of the defense of Black people, Anténor Firmin has greatly contributed to the birth of awakenings of conscience. In advance of his time, he knew how to refute western racism through scientific and rigorous argumentation. He also highlighted the essential role of African cultures in the history of civilization, from the Egyptians to the first Black Republic of Haiti.
Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (July 10, 1875 – May 18, 1955) was a determined woman. She helped make education available to thousands of black americans. When she was a child, many people though that education was a waste of time for black children but t Mary wanted to go to school and her parents supported her. She graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1895 and afterward taugh school in Georgia. In 1904 she moved to Daytona, Florida to establish a school for girls. Mary had only $ 1,50 in her pocket when she arrived in Daytona, but that didn’t stop her. She sold sweet potato pies to raise money for her school. She asked for donations from churches, clubs and anyone who would help. Her school became Bethune-Cookman University. It is an example of what a determinded person can acomplish. Mary used that same determination to fight for other equal rights for her people. She founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. She was also an advisor to four presidents of the United States. Her legacy lives on.
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (1900–1978) was a pioneering nationalist who fought against British colonialism. She was a pioneer African feminist and a human rights activist who was tireless in her campaigns for women’s rights and for economic, political, and social justice. She was an educator who gave a voice to the voiceless and education to the uneducated. Kuti was the mother of the activists Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a musician, Beko Ransome-Kuti, a doctor, and Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a doctor and a former health minister of Nigeria.
The Mis-education of a Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson