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What the Educational Background of These 3 Brilliant Leaders Will Teach You

It is important to learn from these brilliant personalities who have greatly impacted the world such as Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and MLK.



Research has shown that effective leaders are those who can address two types of needs in their places of leadership; human needs and efficiency needs. This is why it is important to learn from the brilliant personalities who have greatly impacted the world such as Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, Bill Gates, the great technologist behind Microsoft, and Martin Luther who revolutionized the world by fighting for justice.

Barack Obama

Like many great personalities in the world, Barack Obama has grown to become a force to reckon with due to his education. Obama has made his mark in the history of the United States as the first African-American president. He won Peace Prize for his audacious humanitarian efforts and for his extraordinary efforts to support international diplomacy.

Obama enrolled in Punhou Academy while living with his grandparents where he graduated in 1979 with academic honors and was also an excellent team member in basketball. Although he studied in a school where the majority of students were whites, Obama was never discouraged.

Barack Obama went to Occidental College, Los Angeles after high school where he studied for two years. He later earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from New York’s Columbia University in 1983. Obama went to Chicago in 1985 after working for two years in the business sector. While in Chicago, he served as a community organizer on the poverty-stricken South Side for the low-income community members until 1988.

Barack Obama joined Harvard Law School in 1988 where he became the editor of the University’s law journal. He became the President of the Harvard Law Review in his second year and the research assistant for two years for Laurence Tribe; a constitutional scholar at Harvard by then. He graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1991 from Harvard.

While most great world personalities and innovators passed through Harvard University, other colleges have also equipped and produced impactful professionals and innovators across the globe.

Obama has generously supported several charity organizations including Harlem Children’s Zone, Kids Wish Network, Clinton Bush Fund, National Park Foundation, Peace Players International, Save the Elephants, The Trevor Project, USAID, United Service Organization, and Avoid Deforestation Partners.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft; the largest software in the world, who became the richest man globally after founding the software. He is also an investor, philanthropist, and an author. His major interest throughout his school life was in computer programming.

Bill Gates enrolled in the Lakeside school while at age 13 and was able to create his first computer program that allowed users to play games. He graduated from the school in 1973 and became a National Merit Scholar. He joined Harvard College in 1973 and chose a pre-law major. However, Gates was more interested in computer science and mathematics courses.

Gates devised an algorithm for sorting pancakes in his second year as a solution to a problem presented by Professor Harry Lewis in a combinatorics class. The solution held the fastest record for more than 30 years. It was also formalized in a publication in collaboration with Christos Papadimitriou; a computer scientist at Harvard at that time.

Bill Gates supports many international organizations through Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation; a philanthropic organization that he co-foundation with his wife Melinda in 2000. The foundation focuses on reducing poverty and enhancing healthcare globally, and in America, it aims at expanding educational opportunities.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther grew up in Atlanta and attended Booker Washington High School where he became famous for his excellence in public speaking and was a member of the debating team. When he was at age 13, Martin became the youngest assistant newspaper manager of a delivery station in 1942 for the Atlanta Journal.

He later won his first prize during his junior year in an oratorical competition in Dublin, Georgia.

Luther graduated from Morehouse with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1948 and joined Crozer Theological Seminary where he graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. While attending Crozer, Luther became the President of the student body. He later earned his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Boston University in 1955.
Martin Luther is remembered for being a leading civil rights leader in the United States who became famous for his exceptional oratory and leadership skills.

The events that took place in the 1950s and 1960s gave him a platform to shine by working for the rights of humankind. He was willing to risk everything he was including leadership, preaching, and his black origin to make America the best country during his time.

What Can You Learn from the Success of These Great Leaders?

  • Higher education is a requirement for any person who wants to impact the world.
  • Everything is possible and achievable. All the three men were faced with challenges that seem insurmountable but they found a way out and became successful by pursuing their studies and goals.
  • Change is continuous. They embraced change by adjusting to the latest trends, always seeking the better side of things, and reacting constructively to any challenges that they came across.
  • They cooperated with others. They began their leadership roles from the school where they served their fellow students and participated in student’s organizations.
  • They are good communicators and public speakers. Their messages, including those of Martin Luther though he is dead, are published in books and have been electronically recorded for empowering and educating others.
  • They are great contributors to the needs of the society. Their education prepared them to be world’s leading philanthropist and have greatly made the lives of others better while working for a peaceful and conducive environment.
  • Men, however, are not the only ones dominating in leadership and innovation as women also have proved that they have greater capabilities like men. For instance, the ability to relate to others makes women better team leaders and managers.

Additionally, women are good problem-solvers and thus can contribute significantly if given chance to pursue higher education in a good environment.

Leaving a great legacy is what the world’s notable personalities have always aspired for. They never stop learning and seeking solutions for the challenges that are facing humanity. Similarly, for you to beat the norms and stand out from the rest, higher education is the key.

Amanda Wilks is a Boston University graduate, a writer, and researcher. Being a regular blogger for numerous prestigious online publications, her interests range from sports and social activism to education and entrepreneurship. You can follow Amanda on Twitter @AmandaWilks01.



5 People Finally Arrested in 1983 Racially Motivated Murder of 23-Year-Old Black Man

The family of Timothy Coggins may finally receive justice, over three decades later.

TUT Staff



Suspects of a racially motivated murder of a black man 34 years ago have finally been arrested in Georgia. Frankie Gebhardt, Bill Moore Sr., Sandra Bunn, Lamar Bunn, and Gregory Huffman were all arrested in connection with the murder of Timothy Coggins. Coggins was found dead on October 9th, 1983 in Sunnyside, Georgia as a result of multiple forms of trauma. All five suspects are white.

The search for the suspects went cold until March of this year when new evidence came to light. Original witnesses were re-interviewed, which also lead to new information for the case. Police stated that many witnesses were, “living with this information since Coggins’ death but had been afraid to come forward or had not spoken of it until now.”

Frankie Gebhardt and Bill Moore were arrested and charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and concealing the death of another. Sandra Bunn. Lamar Bunn and Gregory Huffman were charged with the lesser charge of obstruction.

Coggins’ family thanked the police for re-opening the case saying, “We know that there’s been tireless nights and we know that you guys have put in so many hours making sure that these people were brought to justice…The only unfortunate part in this is that our grandparents, Timothy Coggins’ parents, are not able to see this today.”

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A Tale of Two Festivals, Attending the Baltimore Book Festival & Kunta Kinte Festival Both.

When you look at how Black festivals have been discouraged, downsized and basically under sponsored in every area its hard to ignore the dichotomy. The festivals where the audience is predominantly or more than 60% white, gets the money, advertisement and attention.



kunta kinte festival

Growing up in Baltimore, there were a standard set of festivals that I could rely on every year. I couldn’t wait until school ended and the summer months stretched ahead, each month was full of cultural enrichment or art in every format. I tried to attend every festival, in fact I still do.

As a treat, my grandmother would often take me to different festivals in the Maryland area, she even dared the “unwelcoming” parts of Maryland, taking me to Annapolis for the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival a few times.  As a child, I’m sure it must have looked larger than it really was, perhaps back then it was larger. The late 80’s and early 90’s was a time of great pride in African American & African Heritage, perhaps Black people flocked to Annapolis in droves.

kunta kinte festival

However, that was not the case this past weekend as I left Baltimore and traveled to Annapolis for the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival to pic up My press pass, which turned out to be useless.

press pass

Annapolis is the capitol of Maryland, on the waterfront, it’s also home to the port where many slaves where many Africans were brought into America on slave ships. Kunta Kinte was one of the slaves brought in through the Annapolis port, that is why his great, great, great grandson, Alex Haley, who told the story of Kinte’s family, is honored with a statue there.

As we got closer to the waterfront, where the festival will occurring, I lost hope that this would be an epic day. The first thing I noticed as we approached the water near the traffic circle, was a group of white people taking pics with the statue of Haley. Staying optimistic, we looked for a place to park. As we circled the community for 25 minutes looking for parking, we noticed residential parking signs on nearly every street. The signs said that you couldn’t park on the street any longer than 2 hours without a permit. The city has one large public lot, we parked on the upper level, which luckily had space. By the time we left the parking garage was full.

Walking through the waterfront area, we were confused as to where the festival was, there was no signage along main street, no signage near the status of Alex Haley, no signage in any visible place. As we walked, we finally saw that towards the actual dock, removed from the busy activity and hundreds of people on main street, was the festival.

Upon walking into the festival area, disappointment immediately started to set in. There was a vendor’s area set up near the front, you walked through them before reaching the welcome table. At the welcome table sat three women volunteers, non-smiling and looking like they were forced to be there. There was no activity in the opening area, no festivities. A banner welcomed you, but otherwise, there was no indication that there was a celebration happening.

alex haley statue

The allotted area for the festival was larger than the people who filled the space. I tried to not feel discouraged. I was hungry, I didn’t leave before I left the house because to me, festival means food. I just knew I’d be able to get some authentic African food, my heart was set on Samosas particularly. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I entered the food vending area. There were so few food vendors that other vendors were actually set up there. In fact, there was so few food vendors that there were only 2 actual food trucks. Besides the two food trucks, there were three food stands, one from a local church and another selling some African and some Jamaican cuisine. Other than the stand with the basic African and Jamaican cuisine, there was no other cultural food. I ended up getting a rib platter at the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival, I was mad but the food was good.

As far as entertainment, I was confused. I saw two stages advertised but try as I might, I only saw one. I’d hate to think I missed something but there was one visible stage and surely no music coming from any other direction. The entertainment was so-so, I can’t say it was bad because some of it was very entertaining, but there was nothing I’d tell people it’s a shame they missed, at least while I was there.

In fact, the entertainment highlight for me, was a group of senior citizen line dancers. Their spirit was so strong and beautiful, one of the women even had an oxygen tank. I loved it. Speaking of senior citizens, that was the demographic. I was hard pressed to find people My age or younger out enjoying the festivities. There weren’t many families. Not that everyone there was geriatric but the demographic was primarily 40 and up.

As I left the festival, which felt more obligatory than heartfelt, a client called and asked to meet with me in downtown. Baltimore.  I agreed and arrived almost a full hour early. I had forgotten that the Baltimore Book festival was happening at the same time.


The Baltimore Book Festival, though always a popular local attraction, recently became a huge tourist attractions, and attracted a more diverse local audience as well. Until a few years ago, the festival had been in the Mount Vernon area, now it’s held at the Inner Harbor Baltimore’s biggest tourist area. There were thousands of people around the harbor, thousands, literally, of all race, age and nationality.

There was a food court as well as individual vendors along the festivals allotted space. The entertainment lineup was crazy. There were multiple stages, some for panel discussions, some for cooking demonstration, some for meet the author type things, poetry, and the main stage boasted non-stop entertainment.

Surely, Maryland and it’s energy was focused on the book festival, hell more advertisement was done for Comic Con which happened this weekend also. As a  Baltimorean, living in this cultural melting pot, it’s easy to forget that Maryland consists of so many counties and different areas, many of them predominately white.

Sometimes, you get disillusioned and think that there is total equality, which we know there isn’t. This summer we really felt it, the Black community already had to suck up the  fact that they canceled the  Stone Soul Picnic on us, this year, they downsized the Afram ( African American Heritage Festival), taking our mainstream talent from us, moving us to a new location out of downtown Baltimore and focusing on local talent. Most people, like myself, avoided the whole mess.

When you look at how Black festivals have been discouraged, downsized and basically under sponsored in every area its hard to ignore the dichotomy. The festivals where the audience is predominantly or more than 60% white, gets the money, advertisement and attention.

I was disgusted this weekend. Thinking back, days later, I’m still disgusted.


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Annapolis Hosts 28th Annual Kunta Kinte Festival

The festival is a free family friendly event with food, fun, entertainment and even a tent to learn more about our cultural heritage.



entertainment lineup

This weekend marks the 28th anniversary of the Kunta Kinte African Heritage Festival. As a child, I’d attend with My grandmother, who never was one to let us ignore our rich heritage and history. As a young child, I spent many days in her home library, reading up on African history and culture as well as the history of the African in America.

My grandmother is no longer around, but as I prepare to attend the festival tomorrow, I feel as if I’m taking her with me.

Even if you had never understood the rich heritage and history afforded to us all, when Alex Haley dared to do the unthinkable, and trace his roots back to their beginning. I, like most, first heard the name Kinta Kinte in the television miniseries, Roots, based off of Haley’s bestselling book. Roots depicted the story of Haley’s ancestors who were stolen from their homeland of Africa and taken to America to be slaves.


Statue of Alex Haley by the Annapolis Dock

Statue of Alex Haley by the Annapolis Dock


The book and series both focused on the life of a young Kunta Kinte as he transitioned from free child, enveloped in his own culture, family and heritage, to property, owned by a master and beat into assimilation and obedience. Kinte was brought to America on a ship that landed in Annapolis, MD in 1767.

This 28th annual Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival commemorates the 250th year since Kinte was brought to America. In 1987, the first Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival marked a momentous occasion for all ancestors of African heritage. The festival is a free family friendly event with food, fun, entertainment and even a tent to learn more about our cultural heritage.

entertainment lineup

entertainment lineup

entertainment lineup

entertainment lineup


I’ve got my outfit ready and my mouth is craving samosas, hope to see you there.

The Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 7 -p.m. http://www.kuntakintefest.org for more info.



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