Alexander Crummell's The Race Problem In America

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Alexander Crummell, an Episcopalian priest, professor, and lecturer, set out to analyze and discuss “The Race Problem in America.” This piece was written in 1888, following the Reconstruction period after he had traveled to Europe and Africa, lecturing on American Slavery and African-American and African issues. Crummell, when not working outside of the country, resided in the North at various places in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, where many of the countries African-American intellectuals lived at the time. As a professor, lecturer, and priest, the intended audience were members of the society who were literate, Christian, and for the time period, more radically thinking. Due to his relationship with Christianity and the relationship…show more content…
According to Crummell, all the race' class='brand-secondary'>race-problems of this land can be solved with the Christian notion of ‘universal brotherhood’ where “love and peace prevail among men.” He sets up his argument by looking at the history of race laws to see if there is a starting point for us to begin to determine the best way to handle residences of various races in a single region. This leads him into a discussion of the different types of racial intermingling; amalgamation, the wilful blending of races, expulsion from the region, absorption into a different people, extinction, or an existence separate and distinct from its neighboring races. From this lense he then asks, has a new race formed in the United States? For Crummell that answer is no. Because of the forceful nature of the origins of the mixed race in the south, amalgamation is not an appropriate answer. Many interracial individuals are products of rape. He discusses how the forced “victimization of helpless black women” and this “gross and violent intermingling of the blood of the southern white cannot be taken as an index of the future of the black race.” He concludes this by discussing race as a family, of “divine origin”, and the elimination of race as impossible. After ruling out the previous methods of handling race relations, he holds that the “race problem is a moral one,” “fought with weapons of
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