‘We Were Curiosities’: One Of ‘The Last Negroes At Harvard’ Shares His Story

Kent Garrett Sr., 97, still remembers how proud and happy he was when his son was admitted to Harvard in 1959. “I invited everybody over for dinner,” he recalls with a laugh.

Garrett was a subway motorman who worked a second job waxing floors. His son, also named Kent Garrett, was among an unprecedented group of 18 black students accepted into the class of 1963.

Garrett chronicles what that time was like for him and his fellow black classmates in the new book The Last Negroes at Harvard, co-authored with his partner, Jeanne Ellsworth. MORE

First Black woman to graduate from MIT with a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering

Mareena Robinson Snowden, is the first Black woman to graduate from MIT with a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering

Black girl magic was in full effect earlier this month when Mareena Robinson Snowden, became the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT in Nuclear Engineering. Snowden’s dissertation focused on the development of radiation detectors for future nuclear arms control treaties. According to her personal website, she is a native of Miami and earned a B.S. in Physics from the illustrious Florida A&M University. Snowden took to her Instagram to share some of her thoughts on her achievement:

“No one can tell me God isn’t. Grateful is the best word I have to describe how I feel. Grateful for every part of this experience – highs and lows. Every person who supported me and those who didn’t. Grateful for a praying family, a husband who took on this challenge as his own, sisters who reminded me at every stage how powerful I am, friends who inspired me to fight harder. Grateful for the professors who fought for and against me. Every experience on this journey was necessary, and I’m better for it.” MORE

Meet Wesley Lainé, Sciences Po Law School and @Harvard_Law graduate.

From Haïti to America to Sciences Po

I was born and grew up in Port-au-Prince in Haiti. I had the opportunity to pursue my studies in the United States, and after having obtained my bachelor’s in political science and then a master’s international politics, I decided to apply to the school that I had dreamt of attending as a child: Sciences Po.

All the Africans on the 2019 ‘TIME 100 Next’ list

The new TIME 100 Next list features rising stars from all over the world shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and other sectors.

“Although this focus lends itself to a younger group, we intentionally had no age cap — a recognition that ascents can begin at any age. The TIME 100 Next members all have grand ambitions, and they know they may face even greater setbacks. But by and large, ‘they are driven by hope.’ They are eager to defy the odds — and fight for a better future,” the magazine says.

The 2019 list pays homage to eight people from Africa. They are: MORE


PORTRAIT (Togo) – Harvard Kennedy School: A Vision in Togo: Cina Lawson MPP 2001 uses technology to transform financial inclusion and internet access in this West African nation

2019 Recipient Public Service Award

CINA LAWSON MPP 2001 FIRST MET the president of Togo when he visited New York for the United Nations General Assembly in 2009. She was working in Manhattan, developing data infrastructure services for Orange Business Services’ public- and private-sector clients, and the two discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the telecom sector in West Africa.

When President Faure Gnassingbé was reelected in 2010, he remembered their conversation and asked Lawson to join his government as the minister of posts, digital economy, and technological innovation. Since assuming that position, she has significantly expanded access to both the internet and financial services in Togo.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: ‘This could be the beginning of a revolution’

Me-Too-HandsShe’s on school reading lists and counts Hillary, Oprah and Beyoncé as fans. The author talks about motherhood, #MeToo – and causing controversy

At a PEN lecture in Manhattan last weekend, the novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie took Hillary Clinton to task for beginning her Twitter bio with “Wife, mom, grandma”. Her husband’s account, it will surprise no one to know, does not begin with the word “husband”. “When you put it like that, I’m going to change it,” promised the 2016 presidential candidate.

Adichie is an international bestseller and about as starry as a writer can be (when we meet she chats casually about recently meeting Oprah Winfrey, who made a little bow to her). Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, published when she was only 26, was longlisted for the 2004 Man Booker; she won the 2006 Orange prize for Half of a Yellow Sun; was awarded a MacArthur fellowship – the so-called genius grant – and her work is now a fixture on American school reading lists. Following her sensational 2013 TED talk, We Should All Be Feminists, (sampled by Beyoncé, used by Dior for a series of slogan T-shirts and distributed in book format to every 16-year-old in Sweden) the 40-year-old has become something of a public feminist: hence scolding the former US secretary of state. MORE

These Young African Visionaries Made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List

Forbes Magazine just released its 30 Under 30 List 2018, and some of our favorite young African talents made the cut.

The list, which the magazine calls an “annual encyclopedia of creative disruption,” features young folks making waves in a number of industries, including tech, commerce, media, art, food, policy, entertainment and more. Continue reading

Four Belgians among list of European Innovators under 35

Since 2011, MIT Technology Review has been performing a talent search in several European countries for the most talented young innovators and entrepreneurs who are developing new technologies to address the most pressing issues faced by society. To that end, the magazine, property of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has celebrated local editions of its most prestigious competition in Belgium, Spain, France, Poland, Germany and Italy, always pursuing the same objective: to award innovation. This year, with the support of BNP Paribas and L’Atelier BNP Paribas, the competition has gone one step further by aiming to compile a pool of 35 profiles within the entire European Union.

No fewer than 4 Belgians feature on MIT Technology Review’s prestigious list of European Innovators under 35. The magazine of the American University Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) thus shows its appreciation for the work of Damya Laoui, Victor Dillard, Julien De Wit and Vincent Spruyt.

The list of ‘Innovators under 35 Europe’ consists of 35 talented European innovators and entrepreneurs who were chosen from 1,100 entrants.

Damya Laoui conducts research into a new cancer treatment via ‘dendritic cells’, which form part of our own immune system. She is investigating the possibility of extracting cells from cancer patients’ tumours and re-injecting them into the host in order to slow tumour growth.

Victor Dillard designed an artificial intelligence platform facilitating the development of safe and efficient gene therapy.

Vincent Spruyt developed a machine learning platform for explaining and predicting human behaviour through big data. His Sentiance platform uses data from smartphone sensors and already has half a million users.

Julien De Wit is looking for new techniques to identify and study potentially habitable planets orbiting stars other than the sun. As a member of Michaël Gillon’s team, Julien de Wit played a major role in the recent discovery of four exoplanets around the ultra-cool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. MIT Technology Review had previously also named Julien De Wit as Belgian Innovator of the Year 2017.