Rights of Leadership: The Propaganda of Race and Class During the Abolitionist Movement

Powerful Essays
Rights of Leadership: The Propaganda of Race and Class During the Abolitionist Movement

Henry Highland Garnet and William Lloyd Garrison were two of the most instrumental leaders of the Abolitionist Movement. Their social backgrounds and experiences were responsible for contrasting the two leaders and influenced their approaches, beliefs and solutions to the abolishment of slavery. Their opinions and approaches were voiced in terms of the role of the political process, the role of moral persuasion and the role of violence as a means to an end.

Though both Garnet and Garrison shared a common interest in the anti-slavery movement they differed greatly in their rhetoric and advocacy styles and techniques. Garrison, who was from a poor New England family was involved from an early age in the business of publishing as an apprentice to a printer, a job that laid the foundation for what would later be a career as editor of the Liberator, a paper that actively addressed controversial issues about the eradication of slavery. Although Garrison addressed issues concerning the eradication of slavery, he also focused on other causes such as temperance and women's voting rights. Due to his involvement in advocating for many other reforms, his critics accused him of being unfocused on the issue of abolition.

Oppositely, Garnet focused solely on the elevation of the Black community which included a more extreme and active means to end slavery. Garnet, who escaped slavery with his family to the North, was still subject to racial violence. One incident that exemplified the racial aggression was when his house had been looted and his sister had been arrested as a "fugitive from labor." This event in the early part of his life was an introdu...

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