Madison Washington was a man born into slavery in Virginia who managed to escape, but risked his own freedom to help free his beloved Susan. Washington was described as having extraordinary African features, superb leadership qualities and a fierce spirit. He was considered a fugitive for escaping slavery and heading north to Canada, eventually finding work with a farmer named Mr. Dickenson. Even as a small child he would rebel against the inhumane treatment of him and his people; but rebellion is what eventually earned Washington his place in history. Around the age of twenty Washington would meet the love of his life, the beautiful Susan who he would make his wife. His plan was to escape from slavery freeing himself and his wife, but his plans didn’t quite work out. His plans to escape were found out, and to prevent himself from being sold away from his wife, he escaped from the farm and hid into the woods for months. While in hiding he was able to keep an eye on his wife and he also began planning to lead a rebellion. His plans once again failed and he eventually traveled north to Canada to live in free lands.
Coretta Scott was born in 1927 in Marion, Alabama to parents Obadiah and Bernice McMurray Scott. Coretta Scott attended Lincoln High School in Marion, a private school where she first began developing her skills as a musician. She learned to read music, play several instruments, and she also learned to sing by taking vocal lessons. Her developing skill set allowed her to become the pianist and choir director for her church by the age of fifteen. Scott graduated as the valedictorian from Lincoln High School in 1945, she next attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio on a partial scholarship. Scott’s older sister Edythe was the first African-American to attend Antioch College. Coretta Scott’s concentration in college was music and education which she would graduate with a Bachelor’s of Arts around 1949. After graduation she would attend the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts on a fellowship where she earned an additional degree in voice and violin.
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On July 1, 1936, Wallace Amos, Jr. was born in Tallahassee, FL where he would live until the age of twelve. After his parents divorced he moved to Manhattan, New York to live with his aunt Della. While living with his aunt Amos found a love for cookies and baking. His aunt was the first to introduce him to baking chocolate chip cookies, which would change his life forever. His love for baking would lead him to enrolling into the Food Trades Vocational High School. At the high school he would take his aunts cookie recipe and improve on it ultimately creating his “Famous Amos” cookie recipe. Before Amos could complete high school he dropped out and joined the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force he gained his high school equivalency diploma before earning an honorable discharge.
Hannibal Barca was born in 247 BCE as a son of the Empire of Carthage, which encompassed all of North Africa and Southern Spain. Hannibal was the son of the great Carthaginian military leader Hamilcar Barca. Hamilcar lead the Carthaginian army in the First Punic War against Rome. Carthage suffered an embarrassing loss to the Romans which included loss of control the city of Sicily. It is widely stated that as a youth Hannibal’s father instilled within him an unrelenting hatred for Rome. When Hannibal was 17 Carthage was able to conquer Hispania which is now the modern day Iberian Peninsula. During the conquest Hamilcar drowned and Hannibal’s brother Hasdrubal the Fair became the commander of the army. This victory was able to expand the Carthaginian Empire which remained a formidable opponent for Rome. Hasdrubal further strengthened the numbers of Carthage by intermarrying the Carthaginians with the conquered Iberians.
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Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti was born October 15, 1938 in Abeokuta, Nigeria to parents Funmilayo and Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti. Fela was blessed with greatness in his genes; his father was a Protestant Preacher and School Principle, his mother was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement; she was said to be the inspiration behind Fela’s political activism. In 1958 Fela was sent to Trinity College in London, England to study medicine, but made the decision to study music instead. In College he formed his first band Koola Lobitos, a band that played a fusion of jazz and highlife. In 1963 Kuti moved back to Nigeria and reformed his band, he also trained as a radio producer for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation. In 1967 Kuti traveled to Ghana and developed Afrobeat.
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.