“WE NEED CHARACTER!”: Remembering Alexander Crummell’s Appeal to Postbellum African Americans
Keywords:African American history, memory, slavery, American Civil War, Crummell, negro problem
The following article offers a study and reassessment of the controversial figure of Alexander Crummell, an African American leader whose influence has been neglected by most scholars. His postbellum ideas on the advancement of black people influenced some of his contemporaries like Booker T. Washington and even later leaders such as W. E. B. DuBois. The article also offers an interpretation of two of Crummell’s most famous speeches on the future of his race, which suggest possible solutions to the tensions and problems experienced by his people after the end of the Civil War.
Bay, Mia. The White Image in the Black Mind: African-American Ideas about White People, 1830‒1925. Oxford UP, 2000.
Blight, David. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory. The Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 2001.
Crummell, Alexander. “The Destined Superiority of the Negro.” Oldfield, Civilization and Black Progress, pp. 43‒53.
Crummell, Alexander. “The Need of New Ideas and New Aims for a New Era.” Oldfield, Civilization and Black Progress, pp. 120‒33.
Crummell, Alexander. “Tracts for the Negro Race No 2: Character, The Great Thing.” Oldfield, Civilization and Black Progress, pp. 215‒26.
Du Bois, W. E. B. “The Souls of Black Folk.” Three Negro Classics. Avon, 1965, pp. 207‒389.
Gates, Henry Louis. “Introduction.” Pioneers of the Black Atlantic, edited by William Andrews and Henry Louis Gates Jr, Civitas, 1998, pp. 1‒29.
Johnson, E. A. School History of the Negro Race in America. 1890. tinyurl.com/6gebfk6/. Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.
Marable, Manning. Black Leadership: Four Great American Leaders and the Struggle for Civil Rights. Penguin, 1999.
Meier, August. Negro Thought in America 1880‒1915: Racial Ideologies in the Age of Booker T. Washington. U of Michigan P, 1978.
Moses, Wilson Jeremiah. Creative Conflict in American Thought. Cambridge UP, 2004.
Oldfield, J. R., editor. Civilization and Black Progress: Selected Writings of Alexander Crummell on the South. UP of Virginia, 1995.
Williams, G. W. The History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. 1883. BiblioBazaar, 2008.
How to Cite
Authors retain publishing rights and grant ES Review. Spanish Journal of English Studies right of first publication.
Simultaneously, all articles and reviews published in ES Review will be available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC) license, by which others are allowed to share and use their work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.
In addition, ES Review allows authors to arrange additional contracts for the non-exclusive publication of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. In such a case, authors are required to approach the editor(s)/publisher to request permission.