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African American Studies

New PDF release: Americas First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H.

By Nikki M. Taylor

ISBN-10: 0813140773

ISBN-13: 9780813140773

In pursuit of his preferable aim, complete and equivalent citizenship for African american citizens, Peter Humphries Clark (1829--1925) defied effortless class. He used to be, at quite a few occasions, the country's first black socialist, a devoted supporter of the Republican occasion, and an suggest for the Democrats. A pioneer academic activist, Clark led the struggle for African americans' entry to Ohio's public colleges and have become the 1st black valuable within the nation. He supported all-black colleges and staunchly defended them even after the tide became towards desegregation. As a political candidate, highbrow, educator, and activist, Clark was once advanced and enigmatic.

Though Clark encouraged a new release of abolitionists and civil rights activists, he's nearly forgotten at the present time. America's First Black Socialist attracts upon speeches, correspondence, and outdoors remark to supply a balanced account of this missed and misunderstood determine. Charting Clark's altering allegiances and ideologies from the antebellum period in the course of the Nineteen Twenties, this complete biography illuminates the lifestyles and legacy of a massive activist whereas additionally highlighting the black radical culture that helped democratize America.-Amazon.ca

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Additional info for Americas First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H. Clark

Example text

80 He dutifully, albeit ambivalently, assumed the mantle of barbershop owner to honor his father’s memory. But parental obligation only went so far. As proprietor, Clark made a conscientious decision to defy the color line by serving clients of all races at his shop. ”81 This open defiance of the color line is significant. African American and white men simply did not get shaved in the same spaces. Whites generally refused to patronize barbers who also served African Americans; consequently, African American barbers were forced to—in the name of financial solvency—refuse to serve members of their own race.

Such a violently racist scene surely left an indelible scar on him. It is no wonder that, looking back at his childhood in Cincinnati some time later, Clark once bemoaned that racism “stood by the bedside of my mother and intensified her pains as she bore me. It darkens with its shadow the grave of my father and mother. ”42 But if Clark witnessed the violence, he also must have seen the organized self-defense. The sight of African American armed men standing to defend their homes and property must have radicalized the bright twelve-year-old.

Unlike many African Americans in northern cities in the antebellum era, Elizabeth’s family would not have to endure a lifetime of moving from town to town to stay ahead of slave catchers. More important, they had the peace of mind of knowing that their freedom could not be challenged; they had the papers to prove it. Moreover, all of Elizabeth’s kin had made good on the promise of freedom and enjoyed gainful employment as barbers or carpenters. Several members of her extended family had obtained respectability, wealth, and independence through entrepreneurship and ingenuity.

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Americas First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H. Clark by Nikki M. Taylor

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