Martin Delany Address To The Convention Analysis

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In 1854, a group of African Americans met in Cleveland, Ohio to discuss options for leaving America. The force behind the convention was Martin Delany (1820-1876), who many scholars call the foremost black nationalist of his day. Born into a free black family in Charleston, West Virginia, Delany moved to western Pennsylvania. There he learned the newspaper business, eventually becoming Frederick Douglass’s co-editor for a time. He also attended medical school at Harvard University, where white students rejected the presence of a black student, and forced him out. The black nationalism of the 1850s, which is expressed in this excerpt from Delany’s address to the convention, grew out of frustration with such prejudice. The new ideas stressed the need for black…show more content…
. . The great issue, sooner or later, upon which must be disputed the world’s destiny, will be a question of black and white; and every individual will be called upon for his identity with one or the other. The blacks and colored races are four-sixths of all the population of the world; and these people are fast tending to a common cause with each other. The white races are but one-third of the population of the globe—or one of them to two of us—and it cannot much longer continue, that two-thirds will passively submit to the universal domination of this one-third. And it is notorious that the only progress made in territorial domain, in the last three centuries, by the whites, has been a usurpation and encroachment on the rights and native soil of some of the colored races. . . . For more than two thousands years, the determined aim of the whites has been to crush the colored races wherever found. With a determined will, they have sought and pursued them in every quarter of the globe. The Anglo-Saxon has taken the lead in this work of universal subjugation. But the Anglo-American stands pre-eminent for deeds of injustice and acts of oppression, unparalleled perhaps in the annals of modern history. . .

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