In April of 711 AD, Tariq led his army to what is now known as Gibraltar. The name “Rock of Gibraltar” derived from the Arabic name Jabal al Tariq; meaning rock of Tariq. The Straights of Gibraltar were also named after Tariq, the Moore who conquered Spain. Tariq’s army consisted of 12,000 soldiers and they met the Army of Roderick containing 100,000 soldiers at the Battle of Guadelete. Before battle Tariq gathered his troops and delivered one of history’s most motivating and soul stirring sermons; The Breath of Perfume. “If I perish after this, I will have had at least the satisfaction of delivering you, and you will easily find among you an experienced hero, to whom you can confidently give the task of directing you. But should I fall before I reach to Roderick, redouble your ardor, force yourselves to the attack and achieve the conquest of this country, in depriving him of life. With him dead, his soldiers will no longer defy you."
The legend John Horse was born near Micanopy, Florida during the time of the War of 1812, his mother was an African woman who was a slave of his father, who was a Seminole Indian slave trader named Charley Cavallo. John Horse and his mother were the property of Cavallo but lived in one of the Oconee Seminole settlements populated by black people along the Suwannee River. In 1817 during the First Seminole War, John Horse’s settlements along with others were raided by American forces led by then President Andrew Jackson. They displaced many families and enslaved a number of the black people they captured; following the displacement of the Seminoles John Horse was living amongst the Oconee Seminoles near the Tampa Bay. As a child John Horse was known as Juan, he earned the name “Gopher John” after it was discovered that he was swindling his personal cook, he would sell him the same tortoise pretending it was different tortoises, in exchange for the cook’s meals; the particular tortoise he was using was the gopher tortoise.
On April 23, 1856 Granville Woods was born in Columbus, Ohio to parents Cyrus Woods and Martha Brown. His family experienced poverty so Woods only attended school until the age of ten, he then began working to help his family survive. He worked in a machine shop where he would learn mechanics; information also suggests that he worked as a railroad engineer, engineer on a British ship, railroad worker and blacksmith. Woods became interested in electrical engineering and began learning as much as he could about electricity and its concepts. From 1876 to 1878 he was enrolled into a technical college where he studied electrical and mechanical engineering, upon graduation he began working on a steamship called the “Ironsides”. After working on the “Ironsides” for two years Woods was promoted to the Chief Engineer of the “Ironsides”. Upon returning to his home state of Ohio he began working at the pumping stations for the Springfield, Jackson and Pomeroy Railroad Company. His next step was becoming an engineer with the Dayton and Southwestern Railroad Company.
Click the button below to learn more about the On the Shoulders of Giants book series
On the Shoulders of Giants
The mission of On the Shoulders of Giants, Inc. is to provide an innovative and informative approach to educating middle school, high school, college age and young adults, about the history , culture, influence and impact of the heroes and culture of the African diaspora.