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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Emigrationists

Emigrationists

"Focus: Even while slavery continued, free blacks in America began to reflect on what the best course of action would be after emancipation. The first choice to be made was: do we stay or do we go? Often basing themselves on the historical example of the Israelites, a number of prominent figures argued for a mass emigration, either back to Africa or to other lands in the New World. We will examine the emigrationists' grim assessment of the prospects for racial equality and racial comity in the United States. As a thought experiment, consider how you would have felt at the time. Would you have favored staying or going? Would a black Exodus have been preferable? Would it have been better or worse for blacks, better or worse for whites, better or worse for America? Is the argument for emigration offensive to you? Would it be more offensive if it were proposed today as the solution for our continuing racial troubles? Is emigration a cowardly solution? A racist one? Or is the idea of emigration realistic, bold, and prophetic?"

Readings:

* Augustus Washington, "African Colonization-By a Man of Color" (July 3, 1851), 13-25 (Packet)

* Brotz, African-American Social and Political Thought, 1850-1920

o Martin R. Delaney, "The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States" (1852), 49-55, 64-73, 79, 88-97

o Edward W. Blyden, "The African and the Method of Its Solution" (1890), 126-39

o Alexander Crummell, "The Race Problem in America" (1888), 180-90


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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