Carlos Russell, who was born in Panama’s former Canal Zone in 1934, is a retired professor and accomplished poet who has been active in both Panamanian and Afro-American history. During the years he spent in New York, Russell worked with community leaders like Louis Farrakhan, and organized Black protest movements like New York City’s Black Solidarity Day, a day of protest against racism in the U.S. that was first celebrated in November 1969. Russell has also served as Panama’s ambassador to the UN, and is the recipient of the Vasco Núñez de Balboa Award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon a Panamanian citizen. Russell’s greatest passion is the education of both American and African American youth, who, according to him, desperately need to learn about the ways that one’s identification with a larger group of humanity can enrich their lives and allow them to make great contributions to the world.
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