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Yosef ben-Jochannan

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Information about Yosef ben-Jochannan

Profile image of Yosef ben-Jochannan

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Africana Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Dark Colors
Favorite Food:
Spanish, Caribbean Cuisine
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Africa
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/31/1918

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Africana Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Dark Colors
Favorite Food:
Spanish, Caribbean Cuisine
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Africa
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/31/1918
See how Yosef ben-Jochannan is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Africana studies professor Yosef Alfredo Antonio ben-Jochannan was born on December 31, 1918 in Ethiopia to a Puerto Rican woman, Julia Matta and an Ethiopian man, Kriston ben-Jochannan. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to St. Croix, part of the United States Virgin Islands, where he grew up as an only child. ben-Jochannan attended the Christian Stead School in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. After graduation from high school in 1936, ben-Jochannan attended the University of Puerto Rico where, in 1938, he received his B.S. degree in engineering. During that summer, ben-Jochannan’s father sent him to Ethiopia to study firsthand the ancient history of African people. He returned home and received his M.A. degree in anthropology from the University of Havana in 1939. ben-Jochannan held a Ph.D. degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Havana.

In 1940, ben-Jochannan immigrated to the United States and worked as senior draftsman for architecture firm, Emery Roth & Sons, in New York City. Seven years later, he began leading tour groups to Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan. He led the groups twice a year for several decades. ben-Jochannan’s teaching career began in 1950 at Malcolm-King Harlem College and City College of New York in New York City. In 1976, he became an adjunct professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. ben-Jochannan had worked closely with other notable Africana studies scholars including John Henrik Clarke, Edward Scobie, and Leonard Jeffries. ben-Jochannan had written and published over forty-nine books and papers including, We the Black Jews, Black Man of the Nile and His Family, and Africa: Mother of Major Western Religions.

ben-Jochannan passed away on March 19, 2015 at age 96.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Yosef ben-Jochannan's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Yosef ben-Jochannan lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Yosef ben-Jochannan talks about how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his high school experiences in the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his childhood neighborhoods in Puerto Rico and St. Croix
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his family life in in Puerto Rico and St. Croix
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Yosef ben-Jochannan talks about his family's entrepreneurial spirit
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his experiences in college in Puerto Rico
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Yosef ben-Jochannan recalls moving to New York City's Harlem neighborhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Yosef ben-Jochannan remembers working for the United Nations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his career in academia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Yosef ben-Jochannan talks about his travels to Ethiopia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Yosef ben-Jochannan recalls the controversies over his book 'We the Black Jews'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his religious affiliation in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yosef ben-Jochannan reflects upon historical events of the 1960s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yosef ben-Jochannan recalls his trips to Ethiopia and Egypt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yosef ben-Jochannan talks about his Jewish faith
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes the history of his biannual trips to Africa
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yosef ben-Jochannan talks about his books on African civilization
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his book, 'The Need for a Black Bible'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Yosef ben-Jochannan talks about the relationship between faith and knowledge
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Yosef ben-Jochannan recalls his African American academic colleagues
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes how his values have changed
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Yosef ben-Jochannan talks about his personal moral philosophy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his advice to his children and grandchildren
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Yosef ben-Jochannan reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Yosef ben-Jochannan describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Yosef ben-Jochannan reflects upon the importance of history
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Yosef ben-Jochannan reflects upon his life and family