Black Names in History and Businesses of Today

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Location: San Francisco, California

In my life journey I have walked with an unassuming gait, trying to find my way to happiness. I have come from naïve, carefree, and curious to skeptical and cautious. After only a few years of the latter, I realize there is a healthy balance that must be achieved. My goal is to find it, amidst all of this chaos I call my life.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Haile Selassie I (In History) - July 23, 1892 - August 27, 1975

Haile Selassie I, was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 – 1974. Born Tafari Makonnen in Ethiopia in 1892, he became the 111th emperor in the succession of the line of King Solomon. Upon being crowned emperor, he changed his name to Haile Selassie, meaning, "Might of the Trinity". Many world leaders consulted with him during his rule, such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Nelson Mandela. He fought to keep his country a sovereign nation and led the war when Italians intended to overtake Ethiopia. He also established the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, headquartered in Addis Ababa. There are mixed emotions about Haile Selassie's reign, and although he accomplished such things as modernizing the government in Ethiopia, and abolishing slavery, his intentions were questioned. Some feel, that he may have cowardly run to Europe during the war, instead of being exiled. Some feel that slavery was abolished only to obtain entry into the League of Nations. Some question his actions in the face of Ethiopia's poverty and famine. However you view his reign, he was unquestionably instrumental in maintaining Ethiopia's independence and bringing an African Nation to the forefront of global politics, when most other nations were still in the midst of colonialism.

Sites referencing Haile Selassie:

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cheikh Anta Diop (In History) - December 29, 1923 - February 7, 1986

One of the great African intellectuals of the 20th century, Cheikh published the influential and controversial book, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality. His project was to identify the distortions about African history that we have learned and correct them for future generations. While he was studying in France, Cheikh Anta Diop was an avid political activist. From 1950 to 1953 he was the Secretary-General of the Rassemblement Democratique Africain (RDA) and helped establish the first Pan-African Student Congress in Paris in 1951. His first major work, Nations Negres et Culture (1955) shows the interrelationships between African nations, north and south, and proves that ancient Egypt was a distinct African nation and was not historically or culturally a part of Asia or Europe. Diop’s body of work has altered the historiography of Africa.

Sites referencing Cheikh Anta Diop: