Will the Afro-American Return to Africa?

Shawn Leigh Alexander

in T. Thomas Fortune, the Afro-American Agitator

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032320
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039084 | DOI:
Will the Afro-American Return to Africa?

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African Americans had at various times debated the idea of emigration outside of the United States, especially in the 1850s and the 1890s. Although Fortune was a supporter of African independence, he did not believe African Americans should return to Africa. This chapter presents an essay written for the AME Church Review in 1892, when the emigrationist ideas of Henry McNeal Turner were gaining some popularity in the African American community. Lynching and mob rule were on the rise, and the nation's federal government continued to do little to prevent the southern states from stripping the black community of social and political rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Fortune, however, still believed that African Americans should remain in the United States and fight for their civil and political rights.

Keywords: African Americans; civil rights; emigration; Henry McNeal Turner; lynching; mob rule; essay

Chapter.  2973 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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