David Walker: Revolutionary Leader of Oppressed African-American People

  November 23, 2020   Read time 1 min
David Walker: Revolutionary Leader of Oppressed African-American People
Slavery is one of the darkest pages of the human history forever. No one can wipe off this darkness by any means. Meanwhile there were great leaders who took constructive steps towards the abolition of the slavery. David Walker was an African-American great activist whose pamphlet is a substantial document in the history of anti-slavery movement.

David Walker, (born 1796/97?, Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S.—died August 6, 1830, Boston, Massachusetts), African American abolitionist whose pamphlet Appeal…to the Colored Citizens of the World… (1829), urging slaves to fight for their freedom, was one of the most radical documents of the antislavery movement. Born of a slave father and a free mother, Walker grew up free, obtained an education, and traveled throughout the country, settling in Boston. There he became involved in the abolition movement and was a frequent contributor to Freedom’s Journal, an antislavery weekly. Sometime in the 1820s he opened a secondhand clothing store on the Boston waterfront. Through this business he could purchase clothes taken from sailors in barter for drink and then resell them to seamen about to embark. In the copious pockets of these garments, he concealed copies of his Appeal, which he reasoned would reach Southern ports and pass through the hands of other used-clothes dealers who would know what to do with them. He also used sympathetic black seamen to distribute pamphlets directly. When the smuggled pamphlets began to appear in the South, the states reacted with legislation prohibiting circulation of abolitionist literature and forbidding slaves to learn to read and write. Warned that his life was in danger, Walker refused to flee to Canada. His body was found soon afterward near his shop, and many believed he had been poisoned. (Official records, however, indicate that he died of tuberculosis.) Walker’s Appeal for a slave revolt, widely reprinted after his death, was accepted by a small minority of abolitionists, but most antislavery leaders and free blacks rejected his call for violence at the time (Source: Britanica).

Leadership is building a bridge that connects the vision with the purpose, in order to empower those who are around us, David Walker.

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