A Negro Explorer at the North Pole

(Author) (Contribution by)

Product Details

$7.99  $7.35
Mint Editions
Publish Date
5.0 X 8.0 X 0.24 inches | 0.27 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Matthew Henson (1866-1955) was an African American explorer. Born in Maryland to sharecropper parents, Henson was raised in a family of free Black Americans and spent the majority of his youth in Washington, D.C. At twelve, he left school to work as a cabin boy but soon returned home to a job as a salesclerk at a local department store. There, he met Robert Peary, an explorer who soon hired the ambitious young man as his valet. In 1891, they embarked on their first Arctic expedition, with Henson serving as a navigator and craftsman. He became an expert in Inuit survival techniques, which served their crew well on a 1908 expedition to Greenland. Together with four Inuit assistants, Peary and Henson became the first men to reach the geographic North Pole. In 1912, Henson published A Negro Explorer at the North Pole, a memoir of his life as a pioneering African American. In 1937, he became the first Black man to be made a life member of the prestigious Explorers Club. He was honored by Presidents Truman and Eisenhower and was reinterred alongside his wife at Arlington National Cemetery in 1988.

Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880-1932) was a Bengali writer, feminist, educator, and activist. Born in Rangpur, modern-day Bangladesh, Rokeya was raised in a family of intellectuals and government figures. Interested in literature from a young age, she was encouraged by her older sister Karimunnesa, a poet and social worker, to expand her linguistic knowledge beyond Arabic and Persian by learning Bengali and English. In 1898, Rokeya married an older magistrate from Bhagalpur, a widower who encouraged her to continue her education as well as to pursue the craft of writing. In 1902, she published an essay in Bengali, beginning a career that would soon flourish with Matichur (1905) and Sultana's Dream (1908), the latter of which has since been recognized as a groundbreaking work of science fiction and feminist utopianism. Following her husband's death, she founded the Sakhawat Memorial Girls' High School in his honor. Initially based in Bhagalpur, she moved the school to Calcutta in 1911 and acted as its head administrator until her death in 1932. Referred to honorifically as Begum Rokeya, she spent the remainder of her life as a tireless advocate for the rights of Bengalis and Muslim women.