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David Dabydeen

African‐American physician, abolitionist, soldier, and black nationalist who fought for the emancipation and self‐reliance of Blacks. Delany was born in Charleston, Virginia, to a free mother and a slave father. Due to his mother's free status, he was deemed free as well. All his life Delany insisted on the need for black people to recognize and absorb their African heritage and culture. As such, he anticipated the rise of Pan‐Africanism. He rejected notions about the inferiority of Blacks, promoting instead the values of self‐sufficiency and entrepreneurial effort. He advocated emigration rather than subjection to racial harassment at home. In July 1859 he sailed to West Africa and signed a treaty with the King of Nigeria on 27 December 1859 that permitted Blacks linked with Delany to settle in vacant tribal lands. In 1860 he arrived in Britain seeking financial assistance for his project In ...


James Sellman

During the nineteenth century Martin Robison Delany was a prominent African American leader, but his repeated political shifts undermined his standing and obscured his legacy. Recently, historian Sterling Stuckey has emphasized Delany's role in the development of black nationalist thought, concluding that he was an influence on W. E. B. Du Bois.

Delany was the son of a slave father and a free mother; her free status made her son free as well. As a child, he moved to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. He attracted the attention of a prosperous mentor, John B. Vashon, who paid for Delany's education. White abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison described him as “black as jet and a fine fellow of great energy and spirit,” but Delany's separatist views alienated many potential allies.

In contrast to Frederick Douglass whose outlook was integrationist Delany stressed the importance of blacks African heritage and the need for black ...


Paul A. Cimbala

Delany, Martin Robison (06 May 1812–24 January 1885), black nationalist, was born in Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia), the son of Samuel Delany, a slave, and Pati Peace, a free black seamstress. In 1822 his mother moved the family to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, to avoid punishment for violating state law after whites discovered that she had taught her five children to read and write. In 1823 Samuel joined the family after he had, with his wife’s assistance, purchased his freedom. In 1832 Martin Delany moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the next year began an apprenticeship with Andrew N. McDowell, a local white doctor. In 1843 he married Catherine Richards. The couple had seven children, whom Delany proudly named after famous blacks. After being rejected by a number of medical schools, he entered Harvard Medical School in 1850 but was dismissed under the pressure of student protests.

While ...


Timothy Konhaus

However, because of his vehement political and social critiques of the United States, Delany is often relegated to the shadows of his contemporary, Frederick Douglass. Like Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois in the early twentieth century, Delany and Douglass represent a point-counterpoint in American history. Unlike Washington and Du Bois, however, Delany and Douglass were at times business partners and friends despite their conflicting social views.

Delany was born in Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1812, the son of Pati Peace, a free black woman, and Samuel Delany, a slave father. In 1822 his family moved north to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In 1831 Delany went to Pittsburgh to study under the Reverend Lewis Woodson, an ardent black separatist. Delany also began studying medicine under the direction of several Pittsburgh doctors while serving as a cupper and bleeder.

In 1843 Delany began ...


Adele N. Nichols

a black nationalist best known as Ahmed Evans, was born in Greenville, South Carolina, to John Henry Evans and Ora (surname unknown). Evans was the fourth of twelve children, and when he was young, he and his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Other than that his family was poor, little is known about his early life before he joined the U.S. Army in 1948. He served in the Korean War as a sergeant in a ranger company but left the Army to return to Cleveland to work, following an injury to his head and back.

He returned to the Army in 1954 and won a boxing championship at Fort Hood in Texas He also struck a superior officer was tried by a military court and was given a punishment of two years in military prison His ruling was lowered because there was medical evidence that supported him ...


Eric W. Petenbrink

political theorist, was born Haywood Hall in South Omaha, Nebraska, the youngest of three children of Haywood Hall, a factory worker and janitor, and Harriet Thorpe Hall. When he was fifteen, racist violence in Omaha prompted the family to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Hall soon dropped out of school and began working as a railroad dining car waiter. In 1915 the family moved to Chicago, Illinois, to be near extended family, and Hall enlisted in the military in 1917. He served in World War I for a year as part of an all-black unit in France, where he grew accustomed to the absence of racism. Hall married his first wife, Hazel, in 1920, but the marriage lasted only a few months. In spite of their lengthy separation, they did not officially divorce until 1932.

Hall s experiences in World War I and defending ...


Larvester Gaither

major organizer and theoretician of the Communist International. Though Harry Haywood's parents, Harriet and Haywood Hall, were born into slavery, they had migrated to South Omaha, Nebraska, by the time he was born. When Harry was fifteen, his father, a meatpacker, was attacked by a white mob and the family was forced to leave Nebraska; they moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and eventually settled in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1917 Haywood entered the U.S. Army, and as a member of the Illinois 370th Infantry he set sail for France in April 1918. The year Haywood returned home to Chicago from the war, 1919, the city was engulfed in a bloody race riot. Such experiences radicalized Haywood, and after a brief stint with the African Blood Brotherhood he joined the Young Communist League in 1923.

He joined the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) in 1925 and moved ...


Jason Philip Miller

civil rights activist and black nationalist, was born Roy Emile Alfredo Innis in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, to Georgianna Thomas and Alexander Innis, a policeman. His father died when Innis was six years old, and in 1946 Innis relocated with his mother to New York City, where he attended Stuyvesant High School before joining the U.S. Army at the age of sixteen in 1950. Innis served for two years and was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant after it was discovered that he had lied about his age to enlist. He returned to New York, where he completed his high school work and received his diploma.Innis matriculated at the City College of New York, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Chemistry. He found employment with the Vicks Chemical Company in New York City and married a woman named Violet her maiden name ...


Boyd Childress

historian, teacher, and author. Rayford Whittingham Logan was a marginal civil rights figure yet a key voice in post–World War I race relations. Born in Washington, D.C., and educated in the district's segregated school system, Logan graduated from Dunbar High School, where Carter G. Woodson—later to play a key part in Logan's life—was an instructor. After continuing his education at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1917, Logan returned home and joined the District of Columbia National Guard, seeing combat in Europe as an infantry second lieutenant.

The U.S. Army in 1917 was segregated and like so many World Wars I and II black veterans Logan was deeply affected by his military experience After the war he was discharged but chose to remain in France an expatriate bitter against white Americans At home racial violence was widespread from Chicago ...


Michaeljulius Idani

Democratic politician, was born in Albany, Georgia, one of eight children of Jimmy Lee Rush and Cora Lee. Rush's parents separated and his mother moved the family to the North side of Chicago, Illinois. In 1963, at the age of seventeen, Rush dropped out of Marshall High School in Marshall, Illinois, and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served until 1968.

The 1960s were a pivotal time in Rush's life. All around him, there was increased awareness about discrimination and inequality. Rush became a student of social justice and an activist in the civil rights movement. As an army serviceman stationed in Chicago's Jackson Park, Rush joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael encouraged Rush and Bob Brown to start an Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense BPP Rush would oblige and serve as Defense Minister his ...


James Thomas Jones

civil rights activist. Born in Monroe, North Carolina, Williams was reared in a racially charged Jim Crow environment that made racial matters omnipresent for local blacks. Toward solidifying such realities in young Robert, his grandparents, former slaves themselves, rehashed stories regarding the cruelty of the slave system and the whites who facilitated it. Naturally such teachings had a profound effect upon young Robert, who decided as a teenager that collective political agitation was critical to African Americans’ survival.

Similar to other southern blacks, Robert and his family sought freedom and opportunity in the North and migrated to Detroit. The teenage Williams quickly discovered that racial tensions undergirding the North equaled those of his southern roots. The Detroit riot of 1943 destroyed any illusions he may have had about the North A dozen years later following his discharge from the U S Marines Williams returned to Monroe North Carolina where ...


Steven J. Niven

civil rights radical, broadcaster, and writer, was born in Monroe, Union County, North Carolina, the fourth of five children of John Williams, a railroad boiler washer, and Emma (Carter) Williams. In school Robert excelled at history, an interest encouraged by his grandmother, Ellen Williams, who passed on to the young boy tales of slavery and of the violent white supremacy campaigns of the 1890s. Ellen also passed on to Robert the rifle owned by his grandfather, Sikes Williams, who had been a prominent Republican Party activist and newspaper editor.

Even at an early age Robert understood the powerful sexual dynamics that shaped Southern race relations. One incident in particular from Robert's childhood haunted him. As an eleven-year-old he looked on in horror as Monroe's burly police chief, Jesse Helms Sr. the father of the U S senator dragged a black woman to ...