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  • La Amistad

    La Amistad became renowned in July 1839 for a slave revolt by Mende captives, who had been enslaved in Sierra Leone, and were being transported from Havana, Cuba to their purchasers' plantations. The African captives took control of the ship, killing some of the crew and ordering the survivors to sail the ship to Africa. The ship was intercepted and the African captives were brought to trial and later granted their freedom.
  • Lee, Spike

    Producer, writer and director. Born Shelton Jackson Lee on March 20, 1957 in Atlanta, Georgia, Lee spent one year in Chicago, Illinois and then his family moved to Brooklyn, New York. Lee attended New York University Graduate Film School after attaining his bachelor's degree from Morehouse College. He won the student academy award for his short film, Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads. In 1986, Lee made his first feature film, She's Gotta Have It. It was one of the most profitable independent films made at that time. In 1989, Lee's screenplay for Do The Right Thing was nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Lee's other film credits include School Daze, Malcolm X, Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Four Little Girls, He Got Game, and Inside Man.
  • Liberia

    One of only two African countries not formed by Western colonial forces, Liberia's first African American settlers arrived in 1816. The Liberian colony elected its first black governor in 1841 and became an independent nation in 1847. With most of the populace settling around the coastal capital of Monrovia, much of the inland terrain did not come under government control until the 20th century. Recent decades have seen civil war and United Nations intervention to put an end to the violence.
  • Libretto

    A libretto presents the story or text of an opera or an oratorio. It consists of the words of a musical work, such as an opera, which explains the underlying structure or motivation of both the spoken and sung roles.
  • Lincoln University

    Founded in 1854 in Pennsylvania, Lincoln University is the oldest black college in the nation. Originally named the Ashmun Insititute, the school was renamed Lincoln University in 1866 in honor of the slain president. The university boasts such distinguished alums as poet Langston Hughes, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah.
  • Lincoln, Abraham

    The sixteenth president of the United States. Lincoln served from 1861 to 1865. During his presidency, the Civil War was fought, and his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the North, as well as paved the road for complete emancipation.
  • Little Rock Nine

    On September 24, 1957 nine black pupils entered Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, with an escort of paratroopers. The intransigence of the South against the law of the land was amply demonstrated when Governor Orval Faubus summoned National Guardsmen to turn away the black pupils. A direct challenge was being posed to the federal government, which had already approved a desegregation plan for the district. When the black students were forced to withdraw from the premises of the school in direct defiance of a federal district court order, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, for the first time since Reconstruction, sent in federal troops to protect the rights of the students. Some one thousand paratroopers descended on Little Rock, and were joined by ten thousand National Guardsmen. The soldiers remained on call for the entire school year.
  • Louis, Joe

    Known as the Brown Bomber, Joe Louis was a devastating boxer. Born in Alabama and raised in Detroit, he became one of the greatest fighters in history. His career saw him wearing the heavyweight championship belt and defeating the German champion, Max Schmeling, on the eve of World War II in a bout that was hailed as a refutation of Nazi Germany's racial attitudes. When he passed away in 1981, President Ronald Reagan waived the eligibility rules for Arlington National Cemetery and allowed him to be buried there.
  • Louisiana

    Admitted to the United States as the eighteenth state on April 30, 1812, Louisiana later seceded from the Union on January 26, 1861 and joined the Confederacy. The Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, which declared that separate but equal facilities were legal, was decided based upon a Louisiana case. The state maintained a series of Jim Crow laws for decades with the last of these laws being abolished in 1972.
  • Lusaka

    Established in 1905, Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. Located in the central region of the country, Lusaka is both a productive farming community and a thriving commercial center. Its location at the junction of highways to Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe has made Lusaka a natural transportation hub for southern Africa.