Wednesday, February 27, 2013

David Walker

You hear a lot of names when it comes to slavery in America. You have your Harriet Tubman's and your Frederick Douglas's who both were a vital part in the freeing of slaves, but I want to inform my blog readers on my unsung hero of slavery. His name is David Walker.

Last year, I watched a documentary called "Africans in America : America's Journey through Slavery". I love history, but no history I love more than my own. I learned a lot about the slave trade and the horrors that Africans faced traveling to a new land and being held in bondage. The story that stood out the most to me was the story of David Walker.

David Walker resided in Boston, MA (shout out to my homey, E! Massachusetts stand up). His father was enslaved, but his mother was free, so by law he was considered free. David Walker didn't just take his freedom, move up North (he was born in the Carolinas), and just lived his life. He determined to change the ways of the nation. He joined forces with other black activists and wrote for the Freedom's Journal, a weekly African-American newspaper out of NYC. He also authored the Colored Citizens of the World which is plainly known as David Walker's Appeal. In his "Appeal" he challenged his fellow brothers and sisters to fight for their freedom through faith, education, and if need be, violence.

A very religious man, David Walker compared the struggles of the slaves in America to the slaves of Egypt, and spoke against white people who would pervert the words of the Bible to justify slavery in America. Nothing like MLK, David Walker took the Malcolm X approach. He wrote ". . .they want us for their slaves, and think nothing of murdering us. . . therefore, if there is an attempt made by us, kill or be killed. . . and believe this, that it is no more harm for you to kill a man who is trying to kill you, than it is for you to take a drink of water when thirsty." An opponent to Thomas Jefferson, David Walker spoke out against the idea of colonization or sending the slaves back to Africa. He believed that without the slaves' hard work, America wouldn't have became the great country that it became so he was staying put! He also encouraged black men to value education and to promote education among their brothers. Walker told stories of him arguing with other black men about the education of their children, and how one must know more than just to read and write (scribble, he called it).

Some parts of David Walker's Appeal could still be applied today to the black community. The education system has suffered, and poverty runs rampant throughout the inner-cities. I believe blacks should not look to government for assistance but rebuild our communities from within.

Obviously a black man writing such literature would piss off white people in the south, so there were was a bounty put on his head ($3,000 dead / $10,000 alive). Mysteriously he was found dead the next year in his home. Some speculate that he was poisoned, but there was never any proof.

That's your Black History minute with ya boy Fatdreek! Tune in next year....

Signing Out,


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