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This superb book unites the abolitionist famous speeches of David Walker and Henry Highland Garnet - two of the most famous African American campaigners against slavery in the 19th century.

Filled with vociferous opposition, both of the campaigners condemn the racism and hatred that underpinned the perpetuation of slavery. Insight into the feelings of the time are dispensed: it was dangerous to be an abolitionist, as it meant standing against powerful economic interests controlling the Southern states. Retaliation, violent or otherwise, was a constant possibility. 

Unlike many abolitionists more ingratiated with the Establishment of the era, Walker and Garnet did not fear criticizing otherwise lauded figures such as President Thomas Jefferson. As well as owning slaves, Jefferson published his opinion that black people were inherently inferior, and that their place in shackles was justified. That this view be espoused by a recent leader of the United States indicated, for Walker and Garnet, an urgent need for vigorous, sustained opposition. 

Railing against these opinions, Walker's Appeal calls for abolition of slavery, and the education and establishment of rights for black Americans. Walker believed that the white Americans feared educating black people, and that slaves who knew enough would cast off their oppressors. Furthermore, he criticizes the religious authorities; despite the sentiments of Christianity of goodwill to all men, many preachers hypocritically chose not to extend these to the black slaves of the United States. 

Following on from David Walker's address of 1839, Henry Highland Garnet delivered a further speech to the National Congress of 1843. His views, broadly similar to Walker's, were rejected. However the momentum behind abolitionism was strengthening, and the message of both campaigners that the USA could be redeemed and reconciled from its legacy resonated with sympathetic white Americans. These speeches thus foreshadowed the election of Abraham Lincoln and, ultimately, emancipation.

31. Dezember
Pantianos History

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