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Caribbean Migration
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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

Charles Alexander, One Hundred Distinguished Leaders (Atlanta, Ga.: Franklin Printing & Publishing Co., 1897)

Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin

Robert C. A. Benjamin (1855-1900) a distinguished lawyer and newspaper editor, was born in Saint Kitts. He attended Trinity College, Oxford in Great Britain. In 1876 he found employment in New York City and became a citizen. By 1880 he had read law in Alabama and Tennessee and had been admitted to the Tennessee bar. In 1888 he moved to California and, as the first known black attorney there, established a thriving practice with a prestigious white law firm. He also served as the city editor of the white-owned Los Angeles Sun. Later he moved to San Francisco where, in his practice and as editor of the black San Francisco Sentinel, he championed African-American causes. Considered an "intense race man" he presided over the California conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, covering California, Oregon, and Washington.

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