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Biography, Activists

Biography, Activists Book List

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Cover of 'Josie Mpama/Palmer'

Josie Mpama/Palmer
Get Up and Get Moving
By Robert R. Edgar

The latest in the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Josie Mpama/Palmer: Get Up and Get Moving tells the story of Josie Mpama/Palmer’s activism and political legacy in South Africa and around the world.

Cover of 'Wangari Maathai'

Wangari Maathai
By Tabitha Kanogo

This concise biography tells the story of Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner who devoted her life to campaigning for environmental conservation, sustainable development, democracy, human rights, gender equality, and the eradication of poverty.

Cover of 'From Jail to Jail'

From Jail to Jail
By Tan Malaka
· Translation by Helen Jarvis
· Introduction by Harry A. Poeze

From Jail to Jail is the political autobiography of Sutan Ibrahim gelar Tan Malaka, an enigmatic and colorful political thinker of twentieth-century Asia, who was one of the most influential figures of the Indonesian Revolution. Variously labeled a communist, Trotskyite, and nationalist, Tan Malaka managed to run afoul of nearly every political group and faction involved in the Indonesian struggle for independence.

Cover of 'Amílcar Cabral'

Amílcar Cabral
A Nationalist and Pan-Africanist Revolutionary
By Peter Karibe Mendy

Amílcar Cabral’s charismatic and visionary leadership, his pan-Africanist solidarity and internationalist commitment to “every just cause in the world,” remain relevant to contemporary struggles for emancipation and self-determination. This concise biography is an ideal introduction to his life and legacy.

Cover of 'Albert Luthuli'

Albert Luthuli
By Robert Trent Vinson

In an excellent addition to the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Robert Trent Vinson recovers the forgotten story of Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize winner, who linked South African antiapartheid politics with international human rights campaigns and was a leading advocate of nonviolent civil disobedience techniques.

Cover of 'Amy Biehl’s Last Home'

Amy Biehl’s Last Home
A Bright Life, a Tragic Death, and a Journey of Reconciliation in South Africa
By Steven D. Gish

Granted unrestricted access to the Biehl family’s papers, Steven Gish brings Amy and the Foundation to life in ways that have eluded previous authors. He is the first to place Biehl’s story in its full historical context, while also presenting a gripping portrait of this remarkable young woman and the aftermath of her death across two continents.

Cover of 'From Jail to Jail'

From Jail to Jail
By Tan Malaka
· Translation by Helen Jarvis
· Introduction by Helen Jarvis

From Jail to Jail is the political autobiography of Sutan Ibrahim gelar Tan Malaka, an enigmatic and colorful political thinker of twentieth-century Asia, who was one of the most influential figures of the Indonesian Revolution. Variously labeled a communist, Trotskyite, and nationalist, Tan Malaka managed to run afoul of nearly every political group and faction involved in the Indonesian struggle for independence.

A 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Cover of 'Ken Saro-Wiwa'

Ken Saro-Wiwa
By Roy Doron and Toyin Falola

A penetrating, accessible portrait of the activist whose execution galvanized the world. Hanged by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa became a martyr for the Ogoni people and for human rights activists, as well as a symbol of modern Africans’ struggle against military dictatorship, corporate power, and environmental exploitation.

A 2016 CHOICE Significant Title for Undergraduates
Cover of 'Frantz Fanon'

Frantz Fanon
Toward a Revolutionary Humanism
By Christopher J. Lee

A timely and original short biography reintroducing Fanon for a new generation of readers. Written with clarity and passion, Christopher J. Lee’s account argues for the pragmatic idealism of Frantz Fanon and his continued importance today.

Cover of 'Keep On Fighting'

Keep On Fighting
The Life and Civil Rights Legacy of Marian A. Spencer
By Dorothy H. Christenson
· Introduction by Mary E. Frederickson

Dot Christenson records the life story of remarkable leader, Marian Alexander Spencer, who joined the NAACP at thirteen and grew up to achieve a number of civic leadership firsts and a legacy of lasting civil rights victories.

Cover of 'Govan Mbeki'

Govan Mbeki
By Colin Bundy

Govan Mbeki (1910–2001) was a core leader of the African National Congress, the Communist Party, and the armed wing of the ANC during the struggle against apartheid. Known as a hard-liner, Mbeki was a prolific writer and combined in a rare way the attributes of intellectual and activist, political theorist and practitioner.

Cover of 'Steve Biko'

Steve Biko
By Lindy Wilson

Steve Biko inspired a generation of black South Africans to claim their true identity and refuse to be a part of their own oppression. Through his example, he demonstrated fearlessness and self-esteem, and he led a black student movement countrywide that challenged and thwarted the culture of fear perpetuated by the apartheid regime. He paid the highest price with his life. The brutal circumstances of his death shocked the world and helped isolate his oppressors.This

Cover of 'The Ghost of Equality'

The Ghost of Equality
The Public Lives of D. D. T. Jabavu of South Africa, 1885–1959
By Catherine Higgs

Davidson Don Tengo Jabavu was born in the Cape Colony in British southern Africa on October 20, 1885, when a few African men could vote and the prospects for black equality with the ruling whites seemed promising. He died on August 3, 1959, in the Cape Province of the Union of South Africa, eleven years after the apartheid state had begun stripping blacks of their rights and exorcising the ‘ghost of equality’ with a completeness unparalleled in the country’s history.

Cover of 'From Jail to Jail'

From Jail to Jail
By Tan Malaka
· Translation by Helen Jarvis
· Introduction by Helen Jarvis

From Jail to Jail is the political autobiography of Sutan Ibrahim gelar Tan Malaka, an enigmatic and colorful political thinker of twentieth-century Asia, who was one of the most influential figures of the Indonesian Revolution. Variously labeled a communist, Trotskyite, and nationalist, Tan Malaka managed to run afoul of nearly every political group and faction involved in the Indonesian struggle for independence.