Black History Month: Homeland Heroes


For the final part of the series, I decided to end it recognizing our brothers and sisters across the pond from various African nations. As usual, only ten noteworthy figures. In this case, there will be five men and five women. And if you want to know more about these and other historic icons, click on the link, search the net or visit your local library.

Kwame Nkrumah  – Led the Gold Coast to independence from colonial rule, and became President of the new country – Ghana. A leading advocate of of Pan-Africanism, and African independence.

Wangari Maathai – Kenyan environmental and political activist, who led initiatives to plant trees and the green belt movement. Awarded the Nobel peace prize 2004.

Haile Selassie – Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930. Selassie became an inspirational figure in the movement for African independence for the way he resisted the Italian invasion of Ethiopia during the 1930s.

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti – Activist, feminist, instrumental in the dethroning of King Alake Ademola of Egbaland who wanted to impose taxes on women.

Asbel Kiprop – Double world champion and Olympic champion (2008) in 1500m.

Yaa Asantewa – Military leader of what is known as the ‘Yaa Asantewa War’, which was the last war between the Asante and the British, and during which she became referred to by the British as the ‘Joan D’Arc of Africa’.

Kofi Annan – Secretary General of The United Nations from 1997-2006.

Miriam Makeba – Nicknamed “The Mother of Africa”, involved in radical activity against apartheid but also in the civil rights movement and then black power.

Chinua Achebe – Nigerian, novelist. He authored the best-selling 1958 classic, Things Fall Apart which has made him into one of the best selling African authors.

Margaret Ekpo – famous for being a fashionable woman who combined western and Nigerian fashion influences.


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