African Americ African And American Essays

African Americ African And American Essays

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1. African or American examines the development African American equality movements during the late 18th and 19th centuries. This book use a vast amount of primary source such as newspaper, speeches, official record to examine the evolution of African American activism due to inequality they faced after their emancipation. Alexander argues Blacks must start to view themselves as Americans and not Africans if they hope to eventually achieve any form of equality.”

2. Alexander use a large number for primary sources within this text. These sources include manuscripts, newspapers, public documents, speeches and convention/meeting minutes. Several of the major newspapers cited include Frederick Douglass Paper, New York Time, National Anti-Slavery Standard, and the Liberator. The manuscripts and public documents ranged from the Black Abolitionist Papers to Seneca Village Exhibit and Achieves.

3. Even though their numbers were still small in the late 18th century the free Black population still had an impact on Black activism in New York. “Black political strategies, cultures and community” took root in the area and “profoundly altered the face of freedom in New York State.” (pg. 2) Black communities began to emerge in the area when enslaved Black began to argue the immorality of slavery. This would cause politicians to confront the “contradiction between revolutionary ideology and the practice of holding humans in bondage.”(pg. 3) This would lead to emancipation in New York and the formation of these free Black communities. However these communities faced a large number of obstacles including “poverty, discrimination and political inequality” that blocked “their path to true freedom.” (pg. 4) In order to respond to these several Bl...


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... its untimely destruction leave several question about what it would have become.

10. The most surprising thing to me was the lack of unity on the part of Blacks in the beginning of the book. It would make sense that they should all want the same thing, the end of slavery and true freedom, but the issues of how to go about that divided them. This almost end any of the movement before they started. However I did like reading about how they evolved and eventually unified to try and achieve a common goal. The thing I found most interesting was the thing that challenged my own preconceived views and that was that blacks struggled with the issue of if they were African or American. I just always thought they always thought of themselves as African Americans. I did not think of the possibility that that could be an oxymoron and create conflict within a group of people.

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