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Emperor Menelik II of the Ethiopian Empire, leading during the Italian-Ethiopian Wars, helped to maintain Ethiopia's Independence.

Menelik II Negus of Shewa (1866–89), Nəgusä Nägäst of Ethiopia (1889-death)

Ras Makonnen Wolde Mikael Guddesa of Harrar Ras Makonnen Wolde Mikael (May 8, 1852 – March 21, 1906) was the father of Emperor Haile Selassie, and first cousin and close confidante of Emperor Menelik II. He was the grandson of King Sahle Selassie of Shewa through his mother Tenagnework Sahle Selassie. His father, Fitawrari Wolde Mikael Guddesa is said to have both Oromo and Tigrean blood in addition to Shewan Amhara heritage.

Why would Emperor Menelik of Ethiopia ride into battle against the Italians with his Queen? A soldier of the Ethiopian army asked "Emperor, Your Majesty why do you ride into battle with your Queen?" Emperor Menelik explained, "I would rather die in battle with my Queen, then leave her home to be raped by a bunch of devils and beasts."

Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia (17 August 1844 – 12 December 1913) Emperor Menelik II was born in August 1844, and baptized as Sahle Maria...

His Majesty The Late Menelik II, King of the Kings of Ethiopia, Emperor of Abyssinia 1844-1913 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

John C. Robinson, The Brown Condor - Born in Florida in 1903 and raised in Mississippi, Robinson graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in 1924. He went on to head Selassie's Ethiopian Air Force in the 1930s and to teach at Tuskegee in the 1930s and 40s. He died in 1954 due to burns incurred during the engine failure and crash of his training plane. (Information via Oxford African American Studies Center. Illustration via Nick Derington on Flickr)

She Would Not Be Silent, Ida B Wells [b. 1862 - d. 1931] Ida B Wells was in England in 1894 when she heard that white Southerners had put a black woman in San Antonio, Texas into a barrel with "nails driven through the sides and then rolled [it] down a hill until she died." The 31 year old Wells, a black Southerner, was seasoned to the widespread phenomenon of mob torture and murder that went by the shorthand "lynching"; in fact, she was abroad on a speaking tour denouncing it. Nonetheles...

Educator Charlotte Hawkins Brown on her wedding day in 1912. Founder of the historic Palmer Memorial Institute in North Carolina, Ms. Brown was also one of the invaluable suffragists who worked for black women to have the same equal rights black men and white women were fighting for in the early 20th century.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Young. The first African American to attain the rank of Colonel in the United States Army and it's highest ranking African American until the day he died. A true Buffalo Soldier...