Platform for Change: The Foundations of the Northern Free Black Community, 1775-1865
Platform for Change: The Foundations of the Northern Free Black Community, 1775-1865 challenges prevailing ideas about the passivity of African Americans in the antebellum North. At the same time, the work clearly demonstrates that the methods blacks used to respond to their political and social milieus were not merely reactions to white racism. Instead, late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century blacks are shown to have been motivated by human and social needs that, by and large, have been ignored by historians. Harry Reed reveals how, during this era, American blacks created a cultural identity and, at the same time, attacked the remnants of Northern slavery and the entire institution in the South.
Taken collectively, the pre-Civil War activities of blacks in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia provided strong cultural underpinnings for the sense of black community that emerged after 1865. To the extent that they were able to confront racism, their spiritual strength was visibly reinforced by a strong cultural sense and an instinct for survival. What emerged during these nine decades was a marvelously complex, organic community, one that possessed its own rationale for existence, its own forms for enhancing collective life, and its own structures for meeting physical and spiritual needs, as well as the means for addressing external power centers that often had severe, negative impacts on blacks themselves.
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Spiritual Sustenance Was Not Enough
The Role of SelfHelp Fraternal
Defenders of the Community
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abolitionists Absalom Jones activities African return African Society Afro-American American Colonization Society Anglo-African antebellum antebellum period asserted Baptist Church became Benjamin Bethel black Americans black and white black church black leaders Black Nationality black newspapers black political black press Boston Christian Civil Clarkson Colonization Colored American committee continued convention movement Cuffe's Daniel Coker Delany delegates discrimination discussion Douglass editors emigration Finley Free African Society free blacks Freedom's Journal Fugitive Garrison George's Haiti Henry Highland Garnet History Ibid ideology important interest issues Jacob James Forten John leadership letter Letterto meeting moral reform Moreover nationalist needs organizational organizations paper Paul Cuffe Peter Williams petition Philadelphia Philadelphia's Black platform for change Presbyterian race racism Redpath religious Reverend revolutionary Richard Allen Robert Samuel Cornish Shadd Sierra Leone slavery slaves social Tapsico Thomas Paul three cities tion United University Press Walker William Whipper York Yorkers