Famous Freedom Fighters

By freedom

African Freedom Fighters

  • Albert John Luthuli, the president of the African National Congress, was an African politician and teacher.
  • Nelson Mandela – Led the struggle against South African apartheid even while in prison and become President soon after his release.
  • Desmond Tutu worked to end apartheid in South Africa.
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first woman president of the African nation, Liberia, bringing the country change and hope.
  • Helen Suzman bravely stood up against apartheid and was the first female South African Minister of Parliament.
  • Joseph Ki-Zerbo works to help Africans retain control of their country’s agriculture.
  • Kofi Annan  is an honored freedom and peacemaker hero.
  • Marcus Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement and economic empowerment focusing on Africa known as Garveyism. Himself Jamaican, his goal was for those of African ancestry to return to Africa and redeem its greatness.
  • Ndeh Ntumuzah was a remarkable Pan-African spirit who was one of the leaders of one of the foremost Pan-Africanist liberation movements in Africa, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC).
  • Kwame Nkrumah became the first president of Ghana known as the foremost proponent of Pan-Africanism in the latter half of the 20th century.
  • Patrice Lumumba was a Congolese independence leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium
  • Abdel Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of modernization, and socialist reform in Egypt together with a profound advancement of pan-Arab nationalism
  • Frantz Fanon is known as a radical humanist thinker on the issue of decolonization. His works have incited and inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades.
  • Walter Rodney was a prominent Guyanese historian and political activist

African American Freedom Fighters

  • Angela Davis – Leader, author, and professor who has fought for decades for human rights.
  • Bob Marley was not only a famous musician and humanist, he was a Pan-African freedom fighter 
  • Bobby Seale co-founded the Black Panthers along with Huey P. Newton
  • Booker T. Washington – Born a slave, he later established the now famed Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which became the paragon of education for African Americans. Vocational education, frugality, self-reliance, and learning an employable trade for the world of work was the Tuskegee model.
  • Frederick Douglass – One of America’s most respected and well-known African American orators and abolitionists, he became a trusted advisor to Abraham Lincoln. He preached about the enslavement of African Americans, but he also demanded world justice.
  • Frances Ellen Watkins was a prolific author and poet who devoted her life to speaking out against slavery.
  • George Washington Carver –   Once a kidnapped slave baby, George Washington Carver found freedom in learning everything he could about the world around him. He said, "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom."
  • Harriet Tubman - Escaped slavery in 1849 and dedicated her life to freeing other American slaves. Harriet Tubman became the most famous of the "Conductors of the Underground Railroad."
  • Huey P. Newton was political and urban activist who founded the Afro-American Association and co-founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
  • Ida B. Wells – Mistreated for not giving up her seat on a railroad car for "whites only," Ida Wells turned from teaching to journalism, bringing exposure to lynching including exposing the names of people responsible for lynchings to bring about justice and fair laws.
  • John Lewis has worked for civil rights for all for over 40 years.
  • Josephine Baker , popular African American dancer in France, fought for civil rights and freedom against the Nazis.
  • Malcolm X – Malcolm Little known as Malcom X, was a warrior in the fight against racism.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. – "I Have a Dream" was his civil rights speech that moved the world
  • Marian Wright Edelman is one of the country’s leading advocates for children, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)
  • Medgar Wiley Evers worked to end racism in America. His murder and subsequent trials caused an uproar.
  • Rosa Parks   made history when she refused to sit in the back of the bus.
  • Sojourner Truth – Preacher, lecturer, and abolitionist. Though she was illiterate, she became a masterful orator and traveled across the country, preaching on "a mission of truth."
  • Susie King Taylor was a pioneer in the struggle for African American women’s rights.
  • W.E.B. Dubois was a leading 19th century writer and scholar.

Asian Freedom Fighters

  • Aung San Suu Kyi - Has dedicated her life to freeing Burma from a repressive dictatorship and creating democracy without violence.
  • Bhagat Singh an Indian freedom fighter who gained support when he underwent a 64-day fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners
  • Kailash Satyarthi is determined to end child labor practices around the world.
  • Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist one-part system
    • NEWS: Nobel Peace Ceremony Goes Ahead 
      with Empty Chair for Winner, Liu Xiaobo
    • NEWS: Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Jailed Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo 
  • Mahatma Gandhi – used non-violence to free India from British rule.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru – First Prime Minister of independent India who played an important role in India’s freedom struggle
  • Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta is Kerry Kennedy’s hero because of his human rights work in East Timor.
  • Kim Dae Jung, the fifteenth President of Korea is mainly known for his opposition to and lifelong struggle against the authoritarian rule in Korea.
  • Mohammad Hatta was a central figure in Indonesia’s fight for independence.
  • Qasim Amin was a forerunner in the fight for women’s liberation in the Islamic world.
  • Quaid-E-Azam helped to create the nation of Pakistan and obtain significant political rights for Muslims
  • RAWA promotes women’s rights through non-violent action.
  • Reverend Peter Nguyen Van Hung works to end human trafficking of Vietnamese women workers and brides.
  • Sardar Patel was one of Mohandas Gandhi’s closest associates
  • Subhash Chandra Bose was India’s most visionary and fierce activist in the pre-independence era.
  • Tunku Abdul Rahman – Founding Father of independent ‘Malaysia’
  • The Dalai Lama is the religious leader of Tibet and an emblem of Tibet’s hopes for freedom.

Asian American Freedom Fighters

  • Art Miki founded the National Association for Japanese Canadians to help redress Japanese rights lost during WWII.
  • Fred Korematsu bravely protested the Japanese-American internment.
  • Richard Aoki: The Japanese Black Panther – the only Asian American member to attain a formal leadership position.
    • VIDEO: http://www.RBGTube.com/play.php?vid=5048

Native American Freedom Fighters

  • Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, wrote the famous Autobiography, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
  • Black Hawk was the fiercest and most powerful opponent of the English
  • Cochise – Apache leader who held out against the American invasion.
  • Chief Joseph - Led the Nez Perce tribe in an effort to keep its homeland.
  • Chief Pontiac defended the Great Lakes Region from the invasion and occupation of the British Troops. 
  • Crazy Horse bravely fought for the freedom of the Sioux Nation
  • Geronimo was a great military and spiritual leader of the Apaches, who led the last great Native American uprising.
  • Hiawatha – formed the Five Nations of the Iroquois confederacy.
  • Osceola  led the Seminoles in their battle for independence.
  • Red Cloud led the Sioux people in Red Cloud’s War, the most successful war ever waged by a Native American against the US military.
  • Russell Means is famous speaker for the American Indian Movement (AIM) and advocate for matriarchy
  • Sitting Bull was a holy man and a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux medicine man. He was famous for his premonition of winning against Col. Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn, which came true.
  • Tecumseh united other Indian tribes and they battled the Americans

Caucasian American Freedom Fighters

  • Abraham Lincoln was a U.S president who fought for the abolition of slavery while keeping the country united.
  • American diplomat, who on February 6, 1778, finally negotiated the Treaty of Commerce And Defense Alliance with King Louis XVI, the turning point of the American Revolution.
  • Betty Williams is the President of the ‘World Centers of Compassion for Children’ and the Chairperson of ‘Institute for Asian Democracy’.
  • Clara Shortridge Foltz was the first woman to practice law in California.
  • Deborah Sampson dressed as a man so that she could fight in America’s Revolutionary War.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt was a champion for freedom and devoted her life to gaining rights for others
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a pioneer in the movement for women’s rights.
  • Emma Lazarus  was an advocate for immigrants’ rights and wrote the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
  • Emmeline Pankhurst fought tirelessly for women’s suffrage, and succeeded.
  • George Washington  led the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolutionary War against the Kingdom of Britain
  • Inez Milholland Boissevain lived a brief but spectacular life dedicated to women’s suffrage.
  • John Adams  worked as hard for peace for the United States as he did for its independence.
  • Lydia Maria Child wrote brilliantly to advocate for the abolition of slavery.
  • Mary Harris Jones  worked to free men, women, and children from industrial slavery
  • Paul Revere risked his life for the freedom of the American colonies.
  • Ralph Bunche known for the formation and administration of the United Nations, won Nobel Peace Prize (1950)
  • Robert F. Kennedy was a voice for the powerless and advocate for human rights.
  • Roger Nash Baldwin – Helped found the American Civil Liberties Union
  • Susan B. Anthony  led the early Women’s Suffrage Movement.
  • Thomas Jefferson  helped the American Colonies achieve independence from Britain.

European Freedom Fighters

  • Alexander Nevsky - Medieval Russian prince who saved Russia from the Teutonic Knights (old Russian movie made about him in the 1930s)
  • Albert II, King of the Belgiums – In World War IGermany over ran 99% of his country. Through shear will he held what was left of the army together to hold on to the remaining 1% until victory was achieved.
  • Fadela Amara is recognized throughout France as a champion of women’s rights.
  • Francisco Madero – led the overthrow of the Mexican dictator Díaz.
  • Jan Žižka – Bohemian czech freedom fighter general – was mostly blind during final victories
  • Michael Collins – IRA hero who led Southern Ireland to freedom (Liam Nieson movie)
  • Robert "Rob Roy" Roy Mac Gregor – Scottish hero who brought down corrupt English officials. Two movies about him.
  • Inge Sargent is a Burmese princess devoted to human rights for all.
  • Lech Walesa – Known For his Struggle as Trade Union Activist and Human Rights Activist, won Nobel Peace Prize 1983
  • Moses led the Jews from slavery and gave them religious laws.
  • Oskar Schindler saved almost 1200 Jews during the Holocaust.
  • William Wallace was a freedom-fighter for Scotland and Ireland in the early 1300s.
  • Winston Churchill was one of the first to recognize and warn others of Hitler’s danger to freedom and human rights.
  • Yasir Arafat is the founding father of Palestinian nationalism, also considered the godfather of 20th century terrorism.
  • Yitzhak Rabin helped form the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians and the Peace Treaty with Jordan. Won the Nobel Peace Prize (1994).

Latin, Central and South American Freedom Fighters

  • Augusto Sandino was a Nicaraguan revolutionary and leader of a rebellion against the U.S. military
  • Camilo Torres dubbed the “revolutionary priest”, founder of the National Liberation Army (ELN), a Colombian left-wing guerrilla group
  • Cesar Chavez - A tireless advocate for migrant farm workers. and founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW).
  • Che Guevara – Argentine Marxist revolutionary major figure of the Cuban Revolution
  • Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet is known as the ‘Mandela of Cuba’ because he bravely defends the rights of Cuban citizens.
  • Emiliano Zapata – Father of the Zapatistas, he was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution
  • Jose Marti is considered the father of Cuba’s battle for independence.
  • Farabundo Marti was a social activist and Communist leader in El Salvador.
  • Fidel Castro is a revolutionary figure and former Prime Minister of Cuba who served the country from 1959 to 1976 and gained a reputation of an anti- capitalist who openly refuted the American dominance in Asian countries
  • Oscar Arias Sanchez – Famous for helping end Civil War in Central America and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987
  • Subcomandante Marcos is the spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN),

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