We are currently calling the exhibit “From These Shores.”
This will be our third project with the NCAC. In March 2006, we presented Mr. Joof, then director of the NCAC a framed Martin Robison Delany pointillism painting. The Black Camisards donated the John A. Nelson limited edition image of Martin Robison Delany. Delany is the father of Pan-Africanism and was a Mandinka-American. Mandinkas make up the largest ethnic group in the West African nation.
Under the directorship of Baba Ceesey, in March 2012, we donated the nine-image “West Africans in Early America Exhibit.” It features an array of Senegambian-Americans with identifiable Senegambia (Senegal and Gambia combined) heritage. We are grateful to America’s Islamic Heritage Museum for helping us identify some of the Senegambian-Americans.
According to Hassoum Ceesay, the new Director General of the NCAC, about 30 percent of the visitors to The Gambia and the museum are from the United Kingdom. Others come from Germany, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and now Poland. Tourism is the second highest earner of foreign revenue for the smallest country on the African continent. Juffureh is the most visited destination in The Gambia and is the home of Kunte Kinte, Kunte Kinte Island (formerly St. James), and the Juffureh mosque started by Alex Hailey and completed by Louis Farrakhan.
What you can do now:
1) Suggest another individual for us to include in the exhibit.
2) Suggest a correction or addition to a biographical sketch.
3) Suggest a name for the exhibition
4) Donate your artistic talents or photograph of one of the individuals in the exhibition.
5) Donate an artifact related to an individual in the exhibition such as a concert ticket, stamp, etc.
POHGEP is now considering an image and a short biography of each of the following:
Rosemary Sadlier (19?? - ) Canada
Toronto’s Rosemary Sadlier traces her Canadian roots to 1783 when her father’s ancestors arrived in then British controlled New Brunswick as Black Loyalist who fled the USA during British-American conflicts. Her mother’s ancestors arrived by 1840 via the Underground Railroad from, most likely, Virginia, USA.
As president of the Ontario Black History Society (1993 to 2015), she collaborated with the Historica Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Encyclopedia to create the Black History Canada web site. Sadlier also contributed to Canadian Black history being recognized through research, writings, exhibits, and outreach programs. Her advocacy was central to the government’s 1995 decision to make February Black History Month and an annual celebration and in 2021, the designation of August 1, Emancipation Day, as a federal day.
Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez (January 29, 1942 - ) Cuba
The world’s first African astronaut is Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez. The Russians launched the Vietnam War veteran and a Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko into space aboard Soyuz 38 on September 18, 1980. Méndez’s space suit is preserved at the Museum of the Revolution in Havana.
Artist: Chris Meiselman
Sebastián Lemba (circa 1500 – circa 1547) Dominican Republic
When Sebastián Lemba was a young man in southern Africa, slave traders captured him around 1525. His owner took him to France and Spain and eventually to Hispaniola, and island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Lemba and other enslaved Africans rose up against the Spanish colony around 1532.
The rebels eventually escaped to the mountainous interior of the island and for several years fought against the Spanish. Other freedom seeking enslaved Africans joined their group. Ultimately, on September 25, 1547, Lemba was captured. Today, Dominicans revere Lemba as a national hero and a statue of him stands outside of the Museo del Hombre Dominicano (Museum of the Dominican People) in the capital city, Santo Domingo.
President Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña (1781-1831) Mexico
(In Spanish tradition, his first or paternal family name is Guerrero and the second or maternal family name is Saldaña) He fought for and presided over the arrival of independence and the abolition of slavery. Theodore Vincent in his book “The Legacy of Vicente Guerrero, Mexico’s First Black Indian President,” and his 2001 article in the Journal of Negro History points out the African and Indian roots of his father Pedro, a mule driver, who passed onto his son a lifelong hatred of slavery and oppression. Guadalupe, Guerrero’s mother, was of Indian and European heritage.
Artist Larry Walker
Benkos Biohó (late 16th century-1621) Colombia
The former African king of what is now partly Guinea-Bissau escaped from the slave port of Cartagena, Columbia with ten others and founded San Basilio de Palenque, then known as the "village of the maroons." In 1713, it became the first free village in the Americas by decree from the King of Spain when he gave up sending his troops on futile missions to attack their fortified mountain hideaway. The treaty was violated by the Spaniards in 1619 when they captured Biohó. He was hanged and quartered on March 16, 1621.
Artist Hampton Olfus Jr
Bayard Rustin (1912 – 1987) United States
Between the first Chicago student sit-ins in 1942 and the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act in 1964 and 1965, Bayard Rustin had a hand in nearly every major nonviolent civil rights activity in the United States. In Ghana, he helped Kwame Nkrumah organize the youth division of his political party. When Rustin began to organize the March on Washington, Senator Strom Thurmond rose on the floor of the U.S. Senate and attacked Rustin as a draft dodger, homosexual, and communist. Despite his “baggage,” leaders chose Rustin to organize the march where Dr. King delivered his now famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. Increasingly, a number of buildings are being named for Rustin including the Social Justice Center in Conway, Arkansas.
Photographer Oggi Ogburn
George Washington Carver (1860? – 1943) United States
Moses Carver owned George at his birth and as a youngster George would refer to himself as Carver’s George. After slavery ended, George continued to pursue his education and became the first Black graduate of Iowa State University. In 1896, Booker T. Washington, the first principal and president of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), invited Carver to head its Agriculture Department. Carver taught there for 47 years where he gained international fame with promoting crop rotation, mobile classrooms, peanuts, and sweet potatoes. There are many memorials to Carver including one where Carver had spent time in his childhood. It was the first national monument dedicated to an African American and the first to honor someone other than a president.
Artist Jay Durrah
Mathias de Sousa (circa 1600s- circa 1600s) United States
Possibly of African and Portuguese descent, Mathias de Sousa was an indentured servant brought to Maryland, USA by Jesuit missionaries in 1634. His indenture was finished by 1638, and he became a mariner and fur trader. He served in the 1642 legislative assembly of freemen. As such. he is the first African American to sit in any legislative body in what would become the United States. Until 1670, even freemen of color such as de Sousa had the right to vote.
Artist Rose MG Jackson
LeBron James (1984 - ) United States
A Cleveland, Ohio known basketball prodigy since elementary school, LeBron James was Ohio’s Mr. Basketball (high-school player of the year) three times. The Cleveland Cavaliers chose him to play professionally during the first overall selection of the 2003 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. He signed an unprecedented $90 million endorsement contract with the Nike shoe company before he played a professional game. The four-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) award winner is also a three-championship team member,
As a philanthropist, his "I Promise" program offers its students free tuition, uniforms, breakfast, lunch and snacks, transportation within 2 miles, free bicycle and helmet, access to a food pantry for their families, and guaranteed tuition for all graduates to the University of Akron.
Artist Greg Scott