History > Book > W. Andrews-Classic African American Women Narratives- Intro vii-xiv Only (All)
W. Andrews-Classic African American Women Narratives- Intro vii-xiv Only PDF document INTRODUCTION d O, ye daughters of Africa, awake! awake! arise! no longer sleep nor slumber, but distingui... sh yourselves. Show forth to the world that ye are endowed with noble and exalted faculties. O, ye daughters of Africa! what have ye done to immortalize your names beyond the grave? what examples have ye set before the rising generation? what foundation have ye laid for generations yet unborn? — M a r i a W . S t e w a r t (1831) In October 1831, only a few weeks after the slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia, had electrified the United States, a black woman named Maria W. Stewart stepped into the printing office of a newly launched Boston antislavery newspaper, The Liberator, to ask its editor, William Lloyd Garrison, to publish a pamphlet she had written. Hitherto unknown to Garrison, Stewart brought with her no credentials as a writer or a journalist. The 28-year-old widow had been inspired by her recent conversion to Christianity and by the life and writing of David Walker, whose militant opposition to slavery and championing of African American unity and pride had found fearless expression in David Walker’s Appeal in 1829. Some, including slaveholders in the South, whom many blamed for Walker’s mysterious death in 1830, thought the Appeal had incited Nat Turner to preach violence against whites. Maria Stewart’s manuscript, Religion and the Pure Principles of Morality, the Sure Foundation on Which We Must Build, which Garrison swiftly published, echoed Walker’s demands for justice and freedom for black people North and South. “we claim our rights,” Stewart thundered, prophesying ominously to white America: “Dark Copyright © 2003. Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. EBSCO Publishing : eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) - printed on 1/4/2017 2:52 AM via UNIV OF ARIZONA AN: 129740 ; Andrews, William L..; Classic African American Women's Narratives Account: uarizi n t r o d u c t i o n viii and dismal is the cloud that hangs over thee, for thy cruel wrongs and injuries to the fallen sons of Africa. The blood of her murdered ones cries to heaven for vengeance against thee.” Assuring her African American readership that “though Walker sleeps, yet he lives,” Stewart nevertheless counseled “my brethren” to “sheath your swords,” “calm your angry passions,” “arm yourselves with the weapons of prayer,” and “make a mighty effort” to “promote ourselves and improve our own talents.” The battle for “rights and privileges” would be fought and won via intellectual, moral, and spiritual struggle—what Stewart called “head-work”—through which, she contended, white Americans had gained their social and political supremacy while black Americans “had done their drudgery.” It was high time for black Americans to “practice head-work too, and keep what we have got, and get what we can.” [Show More]
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