(1932) Angelo Herndon Addresses His Jury

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" Angelo Herndon was an African-American Communist organizer who, after working on behalf of poor and unemployed blacks and whites in Atlanta, Georgia, was charged with “insurrection” in 1932. In his defense, Herndon spoke directly to the all-white jury and, though he … Read More(1932) Angelo Herndon Addresses His Jury

(1950) Ralph Bunche, “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech”

In 1950 Ralph Bunche, a political scientist by training and then an official of the United Nations, became the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  His brief acceptance address delivered on December 10, 1950, appears below. Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Mr. President of … Read More(1950) Ralph Bunche, “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech”

(1934) W.E.B. Du Bois, “A Negro Nation Within a Nation”

W.E.B Du Bois, a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) through most of his life was a staunch integrationist.  In 1934 however he advanced the argument that since integration would not happen in the nation any time soon, … Read More(1934) W.E.B. Du Bois, “A Negro Nation Within a Nation”

(1948) Bayard Rustin, “Jim Crow Army”

By the early 1960s Bayard Rustin would emerge as a major strategist for the civil rights movement and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King.  In 1948, however, he was less well known among the American population.   By that point, however, most of his views were … Read More(1948) Bayard Rustin, “Jim Crow Army”

(1948) Hubert Humphrey, “No Compromises”

Hubert Humphrey Speaking at the 1948 Democratic Convention Image Courtesy of ©Bettmann/CORBIS   In 1948 Hubert H. Humphrey, then Mayor of Minneapolis, was named one of  the 119 members of the Platform Committee at the 1948 Democratic National Convention held in Philadelphia.  Humphrey,  a relatively … Read More(1948) Hubert Humphrey, “No Compromises”

(1923) Marcus Garvey, “A Last Word Before Incarceration”

In 1923 Marcus Garvey was convicted on federal charges of mail fraud in connection with the sale of stock in the Universal Negro Improvement Association’s Black Star Line.  Sentenced to prison, Garvey delivered his last address before a crowd at Liberty Hall in New York … Read More(1923) Marcus Garvey, “A Last Word Before Incarceration”

(1903) W.E.B. Du Bois, “Training Negroes for Social Power”

Image Ownership: Public Domain In this 1903 speech, W.E.B. Du Bois describes his educational philosophy and in the process, contrasts his views with those of the Tuskegee educator Booker T. Washington who was then at the height of his power. THE RESPONSIBILITY for their own … Read More(1903) W.E.B. Du Bois, “Training Negroes for Social Power”

(1904) Mary Church Terrell, “The Progress of Colored Women”

Mary Church Terrell, the daughter of former slaves, became by the beginning of the 20th century one of the most articulate spokespersons for women’s rights including full suffrage.  In 1896 she was elected president of the National Association of Colored Women and by 1910 she … Read More(1904) Mary Church Terrell, “The Progress of Colored Women”

(1921) Marcus Garvey “Address to the Second UNIA Convention”

By 1921 the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was well on its way to becoming the largest predominately black organization in the world.  Marcus Garvey, the UNIA’s founder, however, already recognized W.E.B. Du Bois and the NAACP as its chief rival.  In his closing night … Read More(1921) Marcus Garvey “Address to the Second UNIA Convention”

(1948) Hubert Humphrey, “Speech at the Democratic National Convention”

Hubert Humphrey Shortly After Giving His Civil Rights Speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 1948. When the Democratic National Convention met in Philadelphia in July, 1948, Minneapolis, Minnesota’s 37  year old mayor, Hubert H. Humphrey, was a candidate for the U.S. Senate.  … Read More(1948) Hubert Humphrey, “Speech at the Democratic National Convention”