Balladeer and Lyric Baritone Lenny Welch was born Leon Welch on May 15, 1938, in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He was reared by godparents Eva and Robert Richardson and attended Asbury Park High School but left in the 10th grade in 1956. In 1957, when he was 19, Welch he cut the first recordings with Decca, where he began developing a style similar to that of Johnny Mathis.
In 1962, Welch joined the New Jersey National Guard, at which point he was on duty once per week. Then in the summer, he would go away for two weeks for training for the next six years. In 1963 while still in the National Guard, Welch recorded on the Cadence label, “Since I Fell for You,” a pop ballad that reached number 3 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the latter part of 1963. It hit #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 early in 1964 and by that point had sold over one million copies. The success of the ballad led to an appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Welch followed his hit with “If You See My
Love,” in 1964, which peaked at # 92 on the Billboard Hot 100. “If You See My Love” would be his last record with Cadence Recordings which closed later that year.
Welch landed with Kapp Records shortly after Cadence closed and charted with “Darling Take Me Back” in 1965. The song peaked at 61 and remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks. Welch did not record from 1965 to 1968 while he completed his time as a National Guard reservist. When finally released from military service in 1968 Welch fared poorly with a series of recordings for Kapp Records which did not sell well. He was forced to perform at high school record hops and weekend club dates to promote his new releases on Kapp Records, but nothing significant happened.
In 1969, Welch then took another break from recording and performing to research and practice his music skills and promote a new image. While often compared to Johnny Mathis in musical style and vocal qualities, Welch was uninterested in performing in Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe. And, of course, his recordings did not sell like those of Mathis. In 1972 he recorded the single, “To Be Loved/Glory of Love” which was a modest success. “To Be Loved/Glory of Love” was his last record. In the 1980s Welch sang on T.V. commercials for Subaru, Coca-Cola, M&Ms candy and Oreos Cookies. Welch obtained his high school diploma in the mid-1980s and graduated from the College of New Rochelle in 1987.
In 1991, Welch joined The Royal All-Stars, a Doo-Wop group, and became interested in theatre. The following year he traveled to California to audition for an acting role \on the ABC-TV soap opera General Hospital. He made it and played the part of a detective in various episodes through the 1990s.
Lenny Welch has four children with Pamela Beck whom he married in 1983 in Brown County, Texas. They also have six grandchildren. Welch continues performing at age 83.
Zhou Enlai’s first tour of Africa, popularly known as Zhou’s “Safari,” was a series of state visits to ten independent African countries, undertaken between December 1963 and February 1964 by the Chinese Premier. These visits, which occurred during a period when many countries were gaining independence from colonial power, marked the first time any high-ranking Chinese Communist leader had traveled to Africa.
Zhou’s original plan was to visit every country on the continent that had established formal diplomatic relations with Beijing. He traveled at the head of a delegation of more than fifty people, including China’s foreign minister, Chen Yi. The delegation began its tour in Egypt, which in May 1956 had become the first African country to recognize the Communist government of China. During the journey, the itinerary was amended several times to add Tunisia, whose government planned to recognize Communist China; remove Tanganyika, which was in the midst of the Zanzibar Revolution; and add Ethiopia, despite the fact that it did not recognize the Beijing regime until 1970.
In the end, the ten countries visited were as follows: Egypt (The United Arab Republic: December 14–21, 1963), Algeria (December 21–27), Morocco (December 27–30), Tunisia (January 9–10, 1964), Ghana (January 11–16), Mali (January 16–21), Guinea (January 21–26), Sudan (January 27–30), Ethiopia (January 30–February 1), and Somalia (February 1–4).
Zhou’s primary goal in Africa was to raise China’s profile on the continent at a time when it was beginning to challenge the Soviet Union openly over the direction of the global Communist movement. While Zhou received a warm reception in countries with left-wing governments, such as Algeria and Mali, he faced more hostile encounters with leaders who were adamantly anti-communist, especially in Tunisia and Ethiopia.
In response, Zhou consistently asserted that countries with different “political systems” could maintain friendly relations. Rather than focus on the affairs of postcolonial governments, he largely restricted himself to calling for African countries still under colonial rule to win independence. Zhou did, however, employ potentially inflammatory Marxist rhetoric in several of his speeches in Africa. In a farewell address in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, before returning to China, for example, he pledged that China would support “revolutionary struggles” throughout the continent and oppose both foreign intervention and native “reactionaries.”
Another important goal of Zhou’s trip to Africa was to drum up enthusiasm for holding a second Asian–African Conference in Algiers in 1965, a decade after the first Asian–African Conference had been held in Bandung, Indonesia. Zhou was especially concerned to ensure that the Soviet Union not be invited to send a delegation to the conference, since it would make it more difficult for the Chinese government to present itself as the only truly anti-imperialist Marxist power. Zhou made a second, shorter trip to Africa in June 1965 to lobby several African leaders to support his vision for the second Asian–African Conference, but the conference was canceled soon thereafter in the wake of the overthrow of Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella.
The Third Congo Civil War—also known as Africa’s World War—was a five-year conflict that occurred primarily in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Nine African countries eventually became involved in the war other than the DRC: Angola, Chad, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. The Third Congo Civil War became the deadliest conflict since World War II. An estimated 5.4 million war-related deaths occurred and more than twice that number were displaced from their homes and sought asylum in neighborhood countries.
The Third Congo Civil War evolved out of Laurent-Desire Kabila’s victory over Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997. Once Kabila became president of the DRC, his relations with previous allies like Rwanda and Uganda quickly deteriorated. In July 1998, Kabila ordered all officials and troops from Rwanda and Uganda to leave the country. Instead on August 2, 1998, those troops began supporting rebels who were intent on overthrowing Kabila. Two days later, Rwandan troops flew directly from their nation to the DRC province of Bas-Congo (now Kongo Central) which the intention of joining other Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers and March on the capital of Kinshasa. Their goal was to drive Kabila from power and replace him with leaders from the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RDC).
The Rwandan attempt to overthrow Kabila was prevented by the intervention of Angolan, Zimbabwean, and Namibian troops. The leaders of these nations, while not strong supporters of Kabila, nonetheless feared a precedent when foreign troops invaded another nation to overthrow its government.
Rwandan soldiers and the RCD withdrew to the eastern DRC and began a long campaign against the DRC Army and its new foreign allies. In February 1999, a new rebel group called Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC) backed by Uganda formed in that nation. They allied with the RDC and the Rwandan troops and invaded the eastern Congo in August 1999. At this point two rebel groups challenged the Kabila-led Congo government and five African nations had troops fighting in the county. Three nations—Angola, Zimbabwe, and Namibia—supported the Congo government while Rwanda and Uganda opposed that government.
By the end of the summer of 1999, two rebel factions backed by the Rwandan and Ugandan Armies and their Hutu militias, controlled much of the eastern Congo. While the fighting was going on, cease-fire talks began in July 1999 in Lusaka, Zambia. A cease-fire agreement was signed among the warring factions in August 1999 called the Lusaka Accord. None of the factions, however, keep their promises made at Lusaka and the fighting continued.
On January 16, 2001, DRC President Laurent-Desire Kabila was assassinated by his bodyguard Rashidi Muzele in Kinshasa. Kabila’s son Joseph Kabila succeeded him as president of the DRC and began new negotiations with the warring factions to end the fighting. On April 2, 2003, the Pretoria Accord was finally ratified in Sun City, South Africa. Within months Rwandan, Angolan, Namibian, Ugandan and Zimbabwean troops withdrew from the Congo. Two months later on July 18, 2003 the war was over.
The Black Loyalists were the approximately 3,000 African American supporters of the British during the American Revolution who were repatriated to British Canada at the end of the conflict. Most settled in Nova Scotia and established what would be for decades, the largest concentration of black residents in Canada and what was at the time the largest settlement of free blacks outside Africa.
The Black Loyalists who fought for Great Britain believed they were fighting not only for their own freedom, but for the ultimate abolition of slavery in North America. The British commitment to the these loyalists began when Virginia’s Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, issued a proclamation promising freedom to all Virginia slaves who supported the British and the white Loyalist allies.
Over the seven years of the American Revolution these men made an immense contribution to the British war effort. The black pioneers were the most famous of the Black Loyalist military units. A pioneer was a soldier whose main task was to provide engineering duties in camp and combat. Divided into a number of different corps attached to larger armies, they served as scouts, raiders, and what we would call today military engineers. While generally not a fighting unit, they would have often been called to work under heavy fire and the most dangerous conditions.
As the British began preparations for their withdrawal from the American colonies at the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783, they sought land on which to settle the white and Black Loyalists who were displaced by the war. Their search led them to the largely unoccupied, unsettled province of Nova Scotia in Canada.
The first Black Loyalists—men, their wives and children–arrived in Halifax and other Maritime ports in the summer of 1783. Since they had fought for the British Crown and were promised the same rights, privileges and freedom that their white counterparts were to receive, they expected land and to be incorporated into the provincial political structure. They were, however, betrayed by the colonial government which initially provided neither land or respected their political or civil rights. Some British Army officers suggested the Black Loyalists be used as ransom for the British prisoners still held by the Americans. Civilian Loyalists, including many slaveholders from the thirteen colonies, argued that the blacks should be re-enslaved.
During this period of vulnerability, the black migrants became the source of cheap labour for the more prosperous Nova Scotians, often scrambling to survive by any means available to them. Black Loyalists, however, pressured the colonial government of Nova Scotia to honour its commitment to them. Many held certificates signed by British General Samuel Birch, guaranteeing their freedom, and a promise that a small plot of land would be waiting for them.
In September 1783, the colonial government finally provided land. Seven companies of black pioneers were led by their black commander, Colonel Stephen Blucke to the new settlement, which they named Birchtown in honour of General Samuel Birch. These settlers became known as the Birchtown Black Loyalists. Birchtown soon became the destination of choice for many isolated communities of blacks and refugees. The population ranged from 1,500 to 2,000 people, more than half of the Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia.
Birchtown, however, soon proved unsuitable. The community was situated on the rocky side of the Halifax harbour, and was virtually surrounded by a large swamp. The available farmland was mostly rocky barren soil. The Black Loyalists were left to work this area for nearly a decade with virtually no livestock, guns or ammunition for hunting, lumber for housing or capital or credit for supplies. Ultimately these liabilities took its toll on the settlers.
In 1791, Thomas Peters, a Pioneer sergeant, journeyed to London to lodge a formal complaint about the injustices black settlers were suffering in Nova Scotia. While in London, Peters met with the chairman of the Sierra Leone Company and was able to negotiate the free passage of approximately 1,200 black Nova Scotian residents to the west coast of Africa, where they would help establish a free black colony. Consequentially, Birchtown was mostly depopulated by 1792 as nearly all of the people who had a choice left for Africa. Colonel Stephen Blucke and about 50 families remained but most of them gradually moved away over the years to Halifax and other cities.
Today most of Birchtown’s residents are white. Nonetheless it is the home of the Black Loyalist Society. There is a National Heritage Monument on the site of the original Birchtown cemetery and a small museum in a 19th Century school.
The 1919 race riots in Great Britain’s seaport areas such as Liverpool, Cardiff, and Salford were stoked by social, economic, and political anxieties and anger by white union workers and demobilized white servicemen against blacks, Arabs, Chinese, and ethnic minority communities and businesses. It was one of Britain’s most violent periods of racial upheaval in the 20th century.
Since the 16th century, the black presence in Liverpool and London had been noticeable but increased dramatically following World War I at a time when the nation entered a period of economic downturn. Labour shortage and shrinking industries in port areas such as Cardiff and Liverpool were widespread. White working-class union workers and former servicemen who lacked the resources to challenge shipping magnates, largely blamed, targeted, and took out their frustrations on blacks and other ethnic minorities who they saw as foreign competitors for jobs and for the attention of white women, thus threatening Britain’s post-war national identity.
The race riots took place between January and August 1919 and were sporadic throughout the year. In Glasgow from January 23 to 30, the British Seafarers Union and the National Sailors’ and Fireman’s Union (NSFU) held anti-immigrant labour meetings blaming foreigners for undercutting white British employment. At one dock in January 1919, black and white seamen, waiting to see if they would be hired, started jostling each other and soon a fight broke out and spilled into the yard. White bystanders joined in, using knives and makeshift weapons to attack black labourers.
Liverpool, well known for its black population, experienced the most “ferocious and sustained” rioting in June 1919. Police arrested dozens of rioters. White rioters lynched Charles Wootton, a young Afro-Caribbean. Liverpool’s rioting crowd reached up to 10,000. Out of fear from their safety, 700 ethnic minorities were temporarily removed from their homes and sought police protection. Black workers were also fired during the riots while black, Arab, and Chinese homes and businesses were damaged or set ablaze by angry white rioters. The government often did not reimburse victims for property damages.
By mid-June, blacks in Salford were also attacked; their properties were also damaged or destroyed. Police intervention in the riots was also slow. However, when blacks retaliated against white rioters, the police intervened and arrested them. At the end of the riots, five people were killed, many were injured, and at least 250 were arrested.
In the aftermath of the June riots, the British government, which had been monitoring black communities, intensified its repatriation scheme. The move to repatriate colonial citizens in Britain was launched in February 1919. However, after the June riots, the government began removing colonial citizens from Britain out of fear of a “black backlash.” The government offered repatriates a resettlement allowance of £2 to £5, plus an additional £5 dis-embankment allowance. Between 1919 and 1921, an estimated 3,000 black and Arab seamen and their families were removed from Britain under the repatriation scheme. Shipping companies that employed Caribbeans also aided the state by firing black labourers and returning them to the West Indies.
Further rioting also ensued in 1920 and 1921. Sustained racism, post-war economic hardship, and the reclassification of blacks and Arabs as “aliens” with the 1920 and 1925 immigration mandates further made life difficult for blacks, Arabs, and Asians particularly in seaport areas after the 1919 riots.
Mohamed Siad Barre (Maxamed Siad Barre) was a military general in Somalia and the country’s third president. He came into power in October of 1969, leading a coup d’état against the elected government. Barre ruled over Somalia until 1991 when he was overthrown by militias, leading the country into a bloody civil war.
Barre was born in Shilabo, Ethiopia, in 1910 to a nomadic family from the Marehan clan. He spent his formative years attending school in Luuq, Italian Somaliland, and Mogadishu for his secondary education. He later joined the colonial police force. After Somalia gained independence in July of 1960, Barre became the Vice Commander of the Somali National Army.
In 1969, Somalia’s President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke was assassinated, and a military group, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC), staged a coup d’état, allowing Barre to assume power. Barre dissolved the constitution, parliament, and arrested politicians from the previous regime. The SRC renamed the country The Somali Democratic Republic and declared it a Marxist-Leninist one-party state. Barre adopted scientific socialism based on the teachings of the Quran and Marxism. He tried to rapidly industrialize and modernize the country by creating a new writing system, promoting cooperative farming, and leading an anti-tribal campaign. During Barre’s regime, all of Somalia’s major industries, from farming and oil to banking, were nationalized.
Barre pushed the idea of a Greater Somalia which refers to joining areas that Somalis are indigenous to, which includes Djibouti, the Ogaden in Ethiopia, and Kenya’s North Eastern Province. In July 1977, the Ogaden War broke out after the Barre’s administration tried to unite all these regions into Greater Somalia, starting with the Ogaden. The Somali National Army attacked Ethiopia, which was then under the socialist regime governing the nation. Somali armies were able to capture a significant part of Ogaden, but the war led the Soviet Union to shift their support from Somalia to Ethiopia. After the Soviets’ decision, the socialist world turned its back on Somalia. With the help of 15,000 Cuban troops, the Ethiopians pushed the Somali soldiers out of Ogaden in 1978. Somalia in turn cut its ties with the Soviet Union and switched its allegiance to the United States.
Discontent against the Barre regime grew after Somalia’s defeat in the Ogaden War. With the country’s economic sector crumbling, the entire nation faced a financial crisis, intensified by growing corruption among government officials. Although Barre led an “anti-tribalism” movement early in his regime, he now singled out the Isaaq tribe and subjected them to arbitrary arrests, rape, and torture. He also formed the Red Berets, a paramilitary unit to brutalize other clans. Consequently, many of them formed militia groups often supported by Ethiopia.
By the end of the 1990s the rebel group, Somali National Movement and other armed militias stormed the capital at Mogadishu forcing Barre to flee to Gedo, Somalia in January 1991. Unable to regain control of Mogadishu which was now under the control of the warlord Mohamed Farrah Aideed. Barre fled Somalia for Nairobi, Kenya and then Lagos, Nigeria. He died in Lagos on January 2, 1995 at the age of 85 and was buried in Gedo, Somalia.
Lydia Fedorovna Arkhipova was a prolific painter who achieved fame in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and abroad. She also developed her original style which challenged the major trends in Soviet-era art.
Arkhipova’s father was Frederick Bruce Thomas, widely known before the Russian Revolution (1917) in bohemian circles in Russia, Europe, and the United States as a wealthy member of Moscow society because of his ownership of the Maxim Club, a major nightlife venue in pre-1917 Russia. Her mother, Arkhipova Lydia, came from a wealthy merchant family. Thomas had a business relationship with Vasiliy Arkhipov, the father of Arkhipova and introduced him to daughter, Lydia.
When Frederick Bruce Thomas had to flee Russia during the Revolution, Lydia Fedorovna Arkhipova was forced to grow up with her mother. She was quickly recognized as a gifted child. She painted, played the piano, and composed music. In her youth she studied at Moscow State University.
In 1941 mother and daughter left for Central Asia. Two years later in 1943, Lydia Arkhipova at age 29, became a student at the Surikov’s Art Institute, which was moved to Samarkand (Uzbekistan) at that time. There she studied with Director of Arts Sergey Gerasimov and painting professor Alexander Osmyorkin. Her long-term friendship with the artist Robert Falk and her acquaintance with a representative of the Russian avant-garde art, Nadezhda Udaltsova, as well as her love for the impressionists (especially Matisse) and the study of ancient Russian painting had a great influence on her artistic handwriting.
In 1950, after graduating from the art institute, Lydia Arkhipova began to take an active part in exhibitions of young artists across Soviet Russia under the pseudonym “Archi. LF.” In 1953 she became a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR. She has traveled around the country but she especially loved to visit Central Asia and small towns where she wrote numerous works that reflected her search for an awareness of her own identity. During this period her painting were noted for their portrayal of festivity and freedom.
By the early 1960s, notes of nonconformism began to play in her work. Her paintings increasingly became modernist in character and were based on idealistic philosophical theories and aesthetic trends of the twentieth century not always favored by the Soviet government or major Soviet artists.
In 1977, Lydia Arkhipova, then 63, gave her first personal exhibition at Moscow’s Hall of the Union of Artists, a belated recognition of her contribution to the world of Soviet Art. After the exhibit she continued to work producing different types of art including portraits, still life, landscapes, architectural sketches and everyday scenes of religious and symbolic subjects. Regardless of the type of art produced, her paintings were always distinguished by decorativeness, bright, hot, sunny colors in a range of red-yellow-orange strokes.
Few Soviet artists were allowed to travel abroad. Lydia Arkhipova, however, over her long career frequently visited India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and traveled to Italy, Spain, France, and North Africa, where was she awarded prestigious art diplomas. Her works today are displayed in many museums of the former USSR as well as in private collections in Western Europe, the United States, and India.
Lydia Arkhipova died in Moscow in 1997. She was 83 at the time of her death.
Queen Amina is often mentioned among norm-busting African women of old whose accomplishments and deeds surpass what we modern society has come to expect of women. Even though her historicity has been questioned multiple times, the former queen of Zazzau continues to be regarded as the archetypal empowered woman.
She was born circa 1533 in Zazzau, a Hausa people whose ancient kingdom is now known as Zaria (curiously named after Amina’s sister) in the northern region of ancient Nigeria. Her family was a wealthy and noble family. Amina’s family made their fortunes from the sale of leather goods, kola, salt, horses and imported metals, Amina acquired battle skills while understudying with the soldiers of the Zazzau military.
Upon the death of her mother the queen in 1566, the rule of Zazzau fell on Amina’s younger brother Karama as customary in those days. After ten years or so on the throne, Karama died and the leadership baton fell on Queen Amina who had gathered much popularity among Zazzau’s people and military owing to her exemplary leadership skills and for the fact that she was unbeatable even as a female warrior. Thus, in 1576, she became the Queen of Zazzau.
Among the things credited to Amina is her securing her kingdom’s direct access to the Atlantic Coast for trade-related reasons and expanding Zazzau’s territory up to Nupe and Kwarafa in the north. To ensure this, she is thought to have personally led military expeditions of over 20,000 infantrymen to innumerable battles. And this is where it gets intriguing for a woman.
Amina never married but according to Emirates of Northern Nigeria written Sidney Hogben, rather took lovers from these towns that she overcame in battle. As she did not make them her husband, it is safe to assume Amina was not looking to forge bonds in the protection of her kingdom. The most reasonable conclusion one may draw was that she was a woman in the position to have a lover of her choice and did not turn down the opportunity.
But Hogben’s book also claimed that Amina’s “brief bridegroom was beheaded so that none should live to tell the tale”. This may speak to the idea that although she was an independent woman capable of having her way, she may have still been under pressure of gendered expectations of womanhood. Male rulers would not ordinarily kill their female lovers just so they do not live to tell the tale.
Mzee Jomo Kenyatta had few close friends while he was president of Kenya. One of them was Ethiopian leader Emperor Haile Selassie. They were such good friends, that Kenyatta made sure that the Emperor was Kenya’s first foreign dignitary invited during the Jamhuri Day celebrations in 1964. Jamhuri Day is a Kenyan holiday, celebrating its independence from Great Britain on December 12, 1963, and the establishment of its republic.
During the celebrations in 1964, Haile Selassie gifted Kenyatta a white pet dog. The Emperor didn’t know that Kenyatta hated pets. Indeed, the gift angered the Kenyan leader, who, according to biographer Jeremy Murray-Brown, would have preferred a cow. But, due to their close friendship, Kenyatta “bought a Mercedes Benz to ferry the dog as a sign of respect to his friend,” a report said.
As Lee Njiru, who served Kenyatta, wrote: “The friendship was so deep that when he was gifted the white little dog during his visit to Ethiopia, he bought it a Mercedes Benz 280S.”
A street in Kenya’s capital Nairobi has since been named in Haile Selassie’s honor.
Kenyatta led Kenya from its independence in 1963, ushering in new change for the nation after years of British rule. Born on an unknown date in the 1890s, Kenyatta’s political ambitions grew when he joined the Kikuyu Central Association (KCA), becoming the group’s general secretary in 1928. Working on behalf of the KCA, Kenyatta traveled to London to lobby over the right to tribal lands.
Kenyatta did not get support from the British regarding the claims, but he remained in London and attended college there. It is documented that while studying in London’s Quaker College in Woodbroke, Kenyatta adored Haile Selassie so much so that he kept a red, green and gold Ethiopian flag in his room in England. During that period, they were already good friends, according to Murray-Brown.
Kenyatta would eventually become Kenya’s first president under independence. His health became poor when he suffered a heart attack. He ruled, however, as a leader open to reconciliation with the British and Asian settlers in the land. Kenyatta embraced a capitalist model of the government, although some experts write that he selfishly promoted those from his own circle and tribal line to positions of power. Still, Kenyatta was beloved by many, despite the rumblings that in his later years he had no control over government affairs due to his failing health.
Kenyatta died of natural causes, later succeeded by his Vice President Daniel Moi. Today, his son, Uhuru Kenyatta, is the current president of Kenya.
María Elena Moyano Delgado was an Afro-Peruvian community organizer and mother whose assassination by the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) sparked a public outcry bringing attention to her work and the plight of economically marginalized women.
Born on November 23, 1958 in Barranco District, Lima to Eugenia Delgado Cabrera, laundress, and Hermógenes Moyano Lescano, Moyano Delgado and her six siblings were mostly raised by Eugenia. Moyano Delgado completed two-years of Sociology at Inca Garcilaso de la Vega University in Lima, but limited funds prevented further studies. While her education provided some analytical concepts and Marxist interpretations, it was her experiences amongst community women that shaped Moyano Delgado’s approach to organizing and politics.
As a teenager, she became involved in church groups before expanding her reach into secular community organizing. Moyano Delgado was active in the Movimiento de Jóvenes Pobladores (the Shantytown Movement), elected in 1986 and 1988 president of the Federación Popular de Mujeres de Villa El Salvador (Federation of Common Women of Villa El Salvador), and finally elected deputy mayor of Villa El Salvador in 1989, serving until her 1992 death. She spearheaded the organization of public kitchens, health committees, various income-generating projects, education, and the Vaso de Leche program (Glass of Milk), which provided daily milk to impoverished children.
Moyano Delgado never publicly called herself a feminist, nor did she emphasize her Blackness, although her actions suggested a commitment to both. This was due in large part to Peru’s war-torn conditions and like so many other Afro-Peruvian women, Moyano Delgado found herself and her people caught in the middle between two hyper-masculine and violent factions. The Sendero Luminoso, a Marxist-inspired movement, and the Peruvian state under President Alberto Kenya Fujimori Inomoto, then implementing draconian neo-liberal economic reforms.
Moyano Delgado’s concern remained with Villa El Salvador women, not ideology. She considered soup kitchens a form of public grievance and saw the political in the personal. And, Moyano Delgado was committed, despite attempts to derail her daily work with women, to improving the material conditions on the ground.
Her advocacy gained the support Lima’s mayor who instituted and expanded Vaso de Leche. Unfortunately, fundamentalist Sendero Luminoso resented attempts to improve the conditions of the poor without a full-scale embrace of the Marxist Revolution, thus they assassinated Moyano Delgado in front of her family, then dragged her body to the nearest town and blew it up with dynamite to serve as a community spectacle of terror. Moyano Delgado knew her death was imminent since it came during the politically-motivated assassinations of María Antenati Hilario, Margarita Astride de la Cruz, Juana López, Marina Oroña Barbarán, Verónica Pérez de Mantari, and Rebeca Fernández Cartagena.
María Elena Moyano Delgado died at thirty-three years-old in Villa El Salvador on February 15, 1992. Nearly 300,000 people attended her funeral and in 2017 her mother Eugenia accepted the Peruvian Order of Merit for Distinguished Service on Maria’s behalf. In 1980, Moyano Delgado married Gustavo Pineki and they had two sons, David and Gustavo.
If you can’t recall a single African warrior you learned about in school, it doesn’t mean you were a terrible student of history. It means your school, like most schools in the U.S., probably failed to teach you about any African warriors.
We are here to introduce you to 5 African warriors you’ve probably never heard of.
Yaa Asantewaa was a Ghanaian brave warrior queen born circa 1840 into the Ashanti Kingdom. She managed to form and lead an army that fought against the British invasion. The area where she ruled was under attack from the British and Kind Prempeh was exiled to Seychelles.
For the Ashanti people, the Golden Stool is at the very heart of their existence. However, not knowing this fact, British Governor Frederick Hodgson made a huge mistake: he demanded to sit on the Golden Stool as well as to own it.
This really enraged the Ashanti people. Under the control of Yaa Asantewaa, they took on the British. She was also exiled in Seychelles, where she lived until her death.
Born in 1820, Almamy Suluku was a smart, powerful Limba ruler who managed to maintain his independence for a long, long time. When he became war captain, he made his Kingdom, Biriwa, one of Sierra Leone’s largest. The kingdom became prosperous and rich, as Almamy Suluku fostered trade in gold, foodstuffs, ivory, and hides. He is still renowned as one of Africa’s most powerful warriors.
The Dahomey Amazons
This was a Fon women-only military regiment in the Kingdom of Dahomey, which is nowadays’ Republic of Benin.
The Dahomey Amazons, also known as Mino, translates as ‘our mothers’. These women were very well trained to become ferocious fighters and they had the reputation of decapitating soldiers right in the middle of battles. Moreover, they were serving as torturers to those who didn’t become their captives.
In 1851, Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh, one of this regiment’s most famous leaders, led an army of approximately 6,000 women against the Abeokuta’s Egba fortress. Despite the fact that the Dahomey Amazons fought with swords, spears, and bows, only about 1,200 of them survived this battle, because of Egba’s deadly European cannons.
In 1890, they battled the French forces along with the King’s male soldiers in the First Franco-Dahomean War. During this war, the French army lost multiple battles to these skilled women warriors, as they weren’t prepared for the females’ agility and ruthlessness.
Kwame Nkrumah was Ghana’s very first Prime Minister and later became the country’s president. He was a revolutionary that led Ghana to independence from Britain in 1957.
Nkrumah was a Pan-Africanist and anti-colonialist who trained and prepared to be a teacher. He also founded the Convention People’s Party (CPP). He was sentenced and jailed but freed when his party (CPP) won the elections in 1951. Kwame was a firm believer in the Africans’ liberation.
In 1964, he formed a one-party state and became Ghana’s president.
Amanirenas was one of the most courageous Kingdom of Kush’s Queen-Mothers. Between 40 BC and 10 BC, Amanirenas ruled over the Meroitic Kingdom of Kush.
During her reign, more specifically in 24 BC, Augustus, the renowned Roman Emperor, attached Amanirena’s people. Along with her son, Akinidad, she conducted an army of approximately 30,000 soldiers and defeated the Romans in Aswan, Egypt. Additionally, they knocked down Caesar’s statues in Elephantine.
Although the Romans tried to fight back, they were held back by Amanirenas’s and her troops’ powerful resistance. After about 3 years of violent fights, the parties decided to negotiate a peace treaty. Besides other agreements, the Romans finally agreed to return their soldiers and give back the land that they’ve taken. Amanirenas remains famous for her devoted combat and for fighting together with her soldiers.
These are just few of the most influential African warriors in the history of Afria. Let us know your personal favorites below!
Known to be third largest of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, the typical Igbo communities are found in the southeastern part of Nigeria.
And according to oral tradition and many writers of Igbo history, Eri is to the Igbos, what Oduduwa is to the Yoruba.
But unlike Oduduwa whose father is unknown, Eri was the fifth son of Gad, the seventh son of Jacob (Genesis 46:15-18 and Numbers 26:16:18).
He was said to have migrated from Egypt with a group of companions just before the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt thousands of years ago.
Eri and his group were said to have traveled by water and finally arrived at the confluence of Ezu and Omambala Rivers, located in present-day Aguleri, Anambra State.
We were not told how long their voyage took to get to their promised land, what we were told is that Eri and his group was divinely instructed to make the confluence of Ezu and Omambala Rivers their final destination.
They would move into the hinterland and make a settlement in the present-day Aguleri. It was here that Eri lived and died.
Meanwhile, amongst Eri's children was Agulu, the eldest son who took over from his father after his demise.
It was him who appended the name of his father, Eri, to his name and founded Agulu-Eri (Aguleri) by calling the settlement where his father Eri died and he (Agulu) lived AGULERI.
However, apart from the story of how they came into being, the Igbos also shares some similar practices with the biblical Jews. And among the Igbos, these traditional practices predate the coming of the Christian missionaries.
Examples of shared traditional practices between the Jews and the Igbos include circumcising male children eight days after birth, refraining from eating "unclean" or tabooed foods, mourning the dead for seven days and celebrating the New Moon.
Supporting this belief is Daniel Lis, a foremost researcher on Jewish Identification among the Igbo from the University of Basel, Switzerland.
He affirms that there has been a clear continuity of Jewish identity among the Igbo. "It's not just something that happened yesterday," he said.
In addition to the shared practices between the Jews and the Igbos, there is a striking evidence that forces one to see a link between the Igbos and the ancient civilization of Egypt: It is the Ancient Igbo Pyramids, which is also known as the Nsude Pyramids.
The Ancient Igbo Pyramids or Nsude Pyramids is a testimony of ancient civilization among the Igbos.
Nobody knows when it was built, but archeologists have said that the pyramids have lasted centuries and are believed to have been built at the same time the first or second wave of Egyptian pyramids were built by the Nubians.
With similar features to that of the Stepped Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara, Egypt, one is forced to contemplate on the mystery behind their resemblance.
And without exaggeration, it can be suggested that the knowledge of one must have led to the building of the other.
Be that as it may, it should be stated here for the purpose of clarity that the word Ndi Igbo/ Ndigbo mean the "Ancient People." And according to them, the British called us IBO or (Heebos): A word synonymous to Hebrew.
There are other interesting arguments, with regard to the topic of this article, that has been presented by concerned Igbo scholars.
Notable among them is the claim that the following Igbo words/phrases were used in the bible.
1. Jee na isi isi (Genesis)
Known to be the first book in the bible, some Igbo scholars believe that the word is a corrupted version of the Igbo phrase "jee na isi isi" which when translated in English means "go to the very first".
2. Detere nu umu (Deuteronomy)
Known to be the fifth book in the Bible, the word “Deuteronomy” is from Latin Deuteronomium, from Greek Deuteronomion and originally from Igbo phrase "detere nu umu".
The Igbo phrase, "Detere nu umu" means "written down for the children". And actually, the book of Deuteronomy was words written down to serve as laws for the children of God.
3. Asaa bu taa (Sabbath)
According to the biblical story of creation, God rested on the seventh day. Sabbath is a day set aside for rest and worship. The word is said to be thesame with the Igbo phrase "asaa bu taa" which means "today is seventh."
4. Chere ubim (Cherubim)
Described in the Bible as a winged angel and represented in ancient Middle Eastern art as a lion or bull with eagles' wings and a human face, Cherubim is regarded in Christian angelology as an angel of the second highest order of the nine-fold celestial hierarchy.
However, the name is believed to be a distorted version of the Igbo phrase "chere ubim" which means "guard my home." And of course, angels are guardians.
5. Nta lite kuo ume (Talitha cumi)
According to the book of Mark 5:41, Jesus was storied to have raised from death- the daughter of Jairus. And "Talitha cumi" were the words he used.
"Talitha cumi" or "Talitha kum" or "Talitha koum" is an Aramaic phrase and believed to be an Igbo phrase "nta lite kuo ume" which means "little child wake up and start breathing".