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Download Martin R. Delany: A Documentary Reader by Robert S. Levine PDF

By Robert S. Levine

Martin R. Delany (1812-85) has been known as the "Father of Black Nationalism," yet his striking profession additionally encompassed the jobs of abolitionist, doctor, editor, explorer, flesh presser, military officer, novelist, and political theorist. regardless of his huge, immense effect within the 19th century, and his carrying on with impact on black nationalist concept within the 20th century, Delany has remained a comparatively imprecise determine in U.S. tradition, as a rule portrayed as a thorough separatist at odds with the extra integrationist Frederick Douglass. This pioneering documentary assortment deals readers an opportunity to find, or rediscover, Delany in all his complexity. via approximately a hundred documents--approximately two-thirds of that have no longer been reprinted on the grounds that their preliminary nineteenth-century publications--it strains the total sweep of his interesting occupation. integrated are decisions from Delany's early journalism, his emigrationist writings of the 1850s, his 1859-62 novel, Blake (one of the 1st African American novels released within the United States), and his later writings on Reconstruction. Incisive and wise, indignant and witty, Delany's phrases encouraged key nineteenth-century debates on race and kingdom, addressing matters that stay urgent in our personal time.

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Culture. That said, there remains something quite magnificent about Delany’s unceasing efforts, as a writer and activist, to challenge the culture, address the big issues, and demand equality for African Americans. Delany’s friends and enemies alike agreed that he was an uncommonly intelligent and proud person who was devoted to improving the situation of black people in the United States. Though he was known for what we might today term a strong ego, he was actually rather selfless in his devotion to the cause of black elevation.

18. M. R. Delany, Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party (New York: Thomas Hamilton, 1861), p. 11. 19. See W. E. B. Du Bois, “On the Training of Black Men,” in The Souls of Black Folk (1903). 20. Martin R. Delany, “Letter to Reverend R. L. Perry,” Christian Recorder, 12 October 1867, p. 1. 21. Martin R. Delany, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States (Philadelphia: published by the author, 1852), pp. 37– 38. 22 Introduction 22. Martin R.

A man eats, and also dies of necessity, that is he eats to keep him from dying, and dies because he can’t help it; he would not go to the trouble of either eating or dying, provided, it was left to his own choice. This is necessity; a thing done without your choice, a thing done that you can’t do without doing. But to make this plain, suppose that you knew of a young lady and gentleman, the son and daughter of a family in which you live, with all the comforts of life around them, leave their parents’ house and their acquaintances, and throw themselves about in people’s houses among their domestics, though such hired girls were white, would you not at once revolt at the idea, though you were at service yourselves, and strongly reprove them for thus traducing themselves?

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