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Slave CultureNationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America$
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Sterling Stuckey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931675.001.0001

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Henry Highland Garnet: Nationalism, Class Analysis, and Revolution

Henry Highland Garnet: Nationalism, Class Analysis, and Revolution

(p.156) 3 Henry Highland Garnet: Nationalism, Class Analysis, and Revolution
Slave Culture

Sterling Stuckey

Oxford University Press

A major leader of blacks in the 19th century who has been underestimated, Henry Highland Garnet emerged from the precocious black student body at New York's African Free School to in time be hailed by Frederick Douglass as the foremost intellectual among blacks of his time. Focusing on the spiritual cost occasioned by successive generations of blacks passing on to subsequent generations the accumulated damage of enslavement, that insight premised his revolutionary stance as perhaps his most original contribution to nationalist theory. Since blacks alone had experienced that degradation, they had no choice but to lead in the overthrow of slavery. Under the pseudonym “Sidney,” Garnet advanced brilliant arguments for oppressed blacks leading their own struggle for freedom. Deeply humanistic, he was a leading advocate of the need for the liberation of white workers as well.

Keywords:   African Free School, James McCune Smith, Ira Aldridge, New York Emancipation Day, New York African Society for Mutual Relief, Liberia, African Civilization Society, The Colored American

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