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Logan, Rayford Whittingham (07 January 1897–04 November 1981), historian of the African diaspora, university professor, and civil rights and Pan-Africanist activist, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Arthur Logan and Martha Whittingham, domestic workers. Two circumstances of Logan’s parents are germane to his later life and work. Although he grew up in modest circumstances, his parents enjoyed a measure of status in the Washington black community owing to his father’s employment as a butler in the household of Frederic Walcott, Republican senator from Connecticut. And the Walcotts took an interest in the Logan family, providing them with occasional gifts, including money to purchase a house. The Walcotts also took an interest in Rayford Logan’s education, presenting him with books and later, in the 1920s and 1930s, introducing him to influential whites in government. Logan grew up on family lore about the antebellum free Negro heritage of the Whittinghams. It is open to question how much of what he heard was factual; nevertheless, he learned early to make class distinctions among African Americans and to believe that his elite heritage also imposed on him an obligation to help lead his people to freedom and equality....

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Lowenthal, Marvin Marx (06 October 1890–15 March 1969), writer and Zionist organizer, was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the son of Louis S. Lowenthal, a jeweler, and Pauline Marx. At the age of fifteen he went to work in a local silk mill. Having risen from bobbin boy to assistant superintendent within six years, Lowenthal quit his job to enroll at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In February 1912 Lowenthal embarked on a rigorous course of humanistic studies and graduated with the class of 1915....