Archive for April, 2008

David Walker’s Appeal

Posted in Book Readings on April 8, 2008 by legacybc

In 1829 David Walker, a free black born in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote one of America’s most provocative political documents of the nineteenth century, Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. Decrying the savage and unchristian treatment blacks suffered in the United States, Walker challenged his “afflicted and slumbering brethren” to rise up and cast off their chains. Walker worked tirelessly to circulate his book via underground networks in the South, and he was so successful that Southern lawmakers responded with new laws cracking down on “incendiary” antislavery material.

Walker’s Appeal represents one of the earliest African-centered discourses on an oppressed people’s right to freedom. African American political philosophy has evolved from many of the themes that it articulates.  We should explore the relevance of the Appeal in the 21st Century.

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