Edward Wilmot Blyden
Blyden was widely known as the father of Pan-Africanism and became particularly interested in Pan-Africanism after he was refused admission to the Rutgers’ Theological College in New Jersey because of his race.
Born on August 3, 1832, in Saint Thomas, in what is now the U.S Virgin Islands, Blyden turned his attention to Africa after that rejection.
He found his way to Liberia, which had become independent in 1847 after he received an offer in 1850 to go teach. Soon after his arrival in January 1851, Blyden was employed at Alexander High School in Monrovia.
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Blyden gained prominence in Liberia where he married into a prominent family and had three children with his wife, Americo-Liberian Sarah Yates. They had three children together and he also had five children with Anna Erskine, an African-American woman from Louisiana whom he had a long-term relationship with while living in Freetown Sierra Leone.
Before his death on 7 February 1912 in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he was buried, Blyden had worked as a journalist, a professor, college president and diplomat serving as an ambassador for Liberia to Britain and France.