Black History Fact of the Week: Jomo Kenyatta
Born Oct. 20, 1893 in a village called Ichaweri, Gatundu, in Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta made history, when he became the country’s first prime minister and president.
As a young man, Kenyatta, who was born with the name Kamau wa Ngengi, worked alongside his medicine-man grandfather after his parents’ death. He also suffered from infections in his feet and one leg. At 10-years-old, he underwent surgery at the Church of Scotland mission, where he was exposed to Europeans. He then became a student at the mission.
He later worked as a clerk in the public works department of Nairobi; this is arguably where his interest in politics was initiated.
After marrying his first wife Grace Wahu in 1920, he became involved with politics. He began lobbying for his tribe’s (Kikuyu) land rights, and wrote articles that were published in British newspapers. He joined the East Africa Association, which was established to recover Kikuyu lands that were lost, when Kenya became a British colony.
During the 1930s, Kenyatta obtained an education in economics and social anthropology at the London School of Economics.
With his education and passion for his people, Kenyatta eventually founded the Pan-African Federation in 1946 and also became the president of the Kenya African Union a year later. It was during these times that his life was threatened on several occasions by White settlers.
Because of his rebellious activities against the British rule, Kenyatta was arrested in October 1952 on charges that he was allegedly involved with the Mau Mau Rebellion. He denied any involvement but was sentenced to seven years of hard labor and exiled from Kenya.
Despite the government’s attempt to suppress Kenyatta, he was released August 1961, when other African revolutionaries of the Kenyan African National Union refused to cooperate with the British. At The London (Constitutional) Conference in 1962, Kenyatta and other Kenyan freedom fighters hammered out the parameters for the nation’s independence from Britain. He became the first prime minister Dec. 12, 1963. A year later, Kenyatta won the election and became the country’s first president under Kenya’s independence.
For more Black history facts visit www.Black365.us.
Hiram Rhoades Revels was elected the first African American senator in the United States in 1870 and served until March 4, 1871. He was born in Fayetteville, NC, in about 1827. His date of birth has not been clearly identified. His parents were free people of mixed African and Croatan Native American descent.
Revels began to manage a barbershop, after his brother, whom he worked under at the barbershop, died in 1841. Three years later, he left the barbershop to obtain an education at Beech Grove Quaker Seminary in Liberty, Ind., and also attended Knox College in Ohio.
An enslaved African in Greece, he was and is known for his fables such as “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” and “The Ant and the Grasshopper.” There are at least 656 short stories and fables Aesop told that have been recorded and are still being told to this very day. Many of his wise creations are called nursery rhymes.
The storyteller is described as having had an oversized head, short in stature, and he wore a scraggly beard and did not appear to groom often.
The Ambo people in Zambia call the Creator Cuta; the Bacongo people in Angola call him Nzambi; the Digo people in Kenya call God Mulungu; the Kpelle people in Liberia call the Almighty Yala; and the Ndebele people in Zimbabwe call the All Knowing Unkulukulu. These are but a few names our brothers and sisters in the Motherland call the being whom most of us call God. Living worlds apart, yet connected through ancestry and even spirituality, African Americans have long been consciously disconnected to whom we used to call God.
The big community splash that is being made over the news about the takeover of Inner City Educational Foundation, better known as ICEF, the parent company of the popular View Park Prep Charter Academy, is sending shivers through the nation’s independent charter school movement. A community-based charter school system that grew the old fashioned way, through community and parent empowerment, ICEF currently operates 15 schools, mostly in South Los Angeles.
On Sept. 26, 2001, police officer Stephen Roach was acquitted of all charges in the shooting death of an unarmed 19-year-old Black man—Timothy Thomas.
The shooting occurred on April 7 in Cincinnati, Ohio, when two off-duty police officers spotted the young man walking down the street. Thomas had 14 outstanding warrants out for his arrest, 12 of them for traffic violations. The other warrants were for evading the police. After noticing the police, the young man began to run. Within minutes, 12 officers were in pursuit.