(1863) Alexander Crummell, “The Responsibility of the First Fathers of a Country for its Future Life and Character”

African American intellectual Alexander Crummell lived in Monrovia, Liberia for nineteen years between 1853 and 1872.  While there he taught at Liberia College.  In a speech delivered in Monrovia on December 1, 1863, Crummell discusses the role educated young Liberian men would play in the … Read More(1863) Alexander Crummell, “The Responsibility of the First Fathers of a Country for its Future Life and Character”

Marcus Garvey (1887-1940)

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, one of the most influential 20th Century black nationalist and Pan-Africanist leaders, was born on August 17, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica.  Greatly influenced by Booker T. Washington’s autobiography Up From Slavery, Garvey began to support industrial education, economic separatism, and … Read MoreMarcus Garvey (1887-1940)

(1867) John Sella Martin, A Speech Before the Paris Antislavery Conference

John Sella Martin was born into slavery in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was carried to Georgia and escaped from there to the North in 1856. Martin lived successively in Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo, where by that point he was a minister and led a church … Read More(1867) John Sella Martin, A Speech Before the Paris Antislavery Conference

(1858) Mary Ann Shadd, “Break Every Yoke and Let The Oppressed Go Free”

Mary Ann Shadd (1823-1893) was born into an affluent free black family in Wilmington, Delaware. Nonetheless after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, Shadd joined thousands of other African Americans in emigrating to Canada. She briefly taught the children of the emigrants … Read More(1858) Mary Ann Shadd, “Break Every Yoke and Let The Oppressed Go Free”

(1846) Lewis Richardson, “I am Free From American Slavery” 1846

By the 1840s a number of fugitive slaves, the most prominent being Frederick Douglass, took to the lecture circuit usually appearing before abolitionist societies where they told their personal stories of bondage. The speech of Lewis Richardson, however, attracted particular attention because he had escaped … Read More(1846) Lewis Richardson, “I am Free From American Slavery” 1846

(1841) Charles Lenox Remond, “Slavery and the Irish”

In November 1841 Charles Lenox Remond, while still on his European tour, gave a speech before the Hibernian Antislavery Society in Dublin. That oration, published in the Liberator, appears below. In rising to make some remarks on the great cause which has brought us together, … Read More(1841) Charles Lenox Remond, “Slavery and the Irish”