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The Fundamental Diffferences Between the Black Abolitionists and the White Abolitionists Movements

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The Fundamental Diffferences Between the Black Abolitionists and the White Abolitionists Movements

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African American Study IV


Analyzing the Fundamental Differences Between the Black Abolitionists and the White Abolitionists Movements

Black and white abolitionists shared common assumptions about the evil of slavery, the "virtue of moral reform", and the certainty of human progress"(1). Schor, Garnet,1877, & Lanngston, 1989). This shared understanding provided "the basic for the interracial solidarity" and cooperation so vital in the crusade against slavery"(2). (Schor and Garnet, 1877). But blacks also brought a distinct perspective to the antislavery movement. Their abolitionism was shaped profoundly by their personal experience and racial oppression. Unlike most white abolitionists, they conceived of antidlavery as an all-encompassion struggle for racial equality, and they took a more pragramatic, less doctrinaire approach to antislavery tactics. The contrast between the two abolitionists -- black and white -- become increasingly apparent in the 1840s and 1850s as black expressed a growing militancy, asserted greater independence, and called for racially exclusive organization and initiatives.

But despite patriotic statement and vigorous public against colonization, there was a greater margin among black abolitionists and white who claimed to be abolitionists alike black people. In 1833 sixty reformers from eleven northern gathered in Philadelphia, creating an antislavery movements named American Antislavery Society (AASS). Its immediate goal was to end slavery without compensation for slaves oweners and rejected violence and the used of force. People involved were Quakers, Protestant clergymen, distinguished reformers, including three blacks by the names of Robert Purvis, James G. Barbardos, and James McCrummill.

Addressing the issues of prejudice, slavery, and colonization, there were two different acceptation among them. First that most white colonizationists believed that free blacks endangered American society. They accepted the popular myth that blacks lack of moral character and the ability to become useful citizens. And the second issue that they considered (white abolitionists stated and confirmed) slavery was evil and reasoned that sending blacks to Africa would ease white anxiety(3)

Most white aboitionists as well as antislavery organization members they theorized that emancipation would be archieved through the courts.

However in 1816 a second movement emerged after the American Colonization Society(ACS) -- the leading proponent of free black repatriation to the African continent -- was established in 1816. Before long ACS boasted of support from several Protestant denominations, reform clergy, gradualist antislavery societies, fourteen state legislatures, and a host of prominent political figures, including Henry Clay, James Madison, James Monroe, and Daniel Webster. The ACS hoped its considerable political influence would persuade the federal government to finance its newly created Liberian colony on the West African coast. Within a decade, the ACS had acquired reobust leadership, broad support, and a fully treasury devoted to recruiting black settlers and chartering ships to transport them to Liberia.

But between 1817 and 1819, in Philadelphia, blacks took the lead and held a mass meeting, rejecting colonization. By the late 1820 black abolitionist leaders were preoccupied while David Walker, a Boston's aggressive black abolitionists whose call for slave resistence shocked northern antislavery moderates and sourthern slaveholders alive, proclaimed that "Our Wretchedness[is] in Consequences of the Colonizing Plan"(4) (Walker,1820, NY, 1965).

In 1830, however, African Americans feared that emigration might be forced on native Americans to new lands in the West, as well as among free black communities. According to Editor Peter Riply and his associates, in the book titled African American voices on Rage Slavery, and Emancipation, observed that African American leaders revealing that the movment had no antislavery goals or genuine concern for free blacks, because for them "the colonization incessant references to black inferiority. They [African American abolitionists] reckoned that remaining at home and demonstrating African American capacity for social and economic improvement would discredit charges of racial inferiority and undermine slavery"(pp15-35) (Riply, 1993).

When Black abolitionists began to examine the results of moral reform and moral persuasion in the late 1830s and early 1840s, they concluded that the battle for emancipation and quality need new strategies and tactics. Their 'situation

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