Martin Robison Delaney, Multi-talented 19th Century Luminary, Advocated Black Pride and Self-sufficiency

Among the many constellations of Black heroes who championed 19th century Black uplift is the luminary Martin Robison Delany. Born in 1812 to an enslaved father and a free mother who was literate, Delany learned early how to read and write. Both maternal and paternal grandparents were born in Africa, one grandmother descending from the great Malinke people of Mali. Informed of and connected with his African ancestry, Delany grew up to become one of the greatest 19th century champions of African pride.
Delany’s 1879 publication “The Origin Of Races and Color” boldly asserted the primacy of African people as the first humans, God-Kings, builders of pyramids, and otherwise monumental contributors to world civilization. His daring treatise was, at that time, a bombshell, grossly at odds with conventional racist literature. It reflected a man deeply informed about, and in love with, his African self. As the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass once stated, “I thank God for making me a man, but Delany thanks Him for making him a Black man.”

Over the course of his life, Delany was an abolitionist, physician, educator, writer, newspaper editor, and much more. Whether writing to inform and inspire Black communities, leading an emigration expedition to establish an African land-base for free Blacks, or being commissioned by President Lincoln to serve as Major in the Union army, Martin Delany marshaled his many talents into service for creating safe, prosperous, self-governing Black communities.

Click here to learn more about the extraordinary work of Martin Delany, fueled by deep and abiding Black self-regard.
To order a copy of Delany’s bombshell publication “The Origin Of Races and Color” from Black Classic Press, click here.

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